Sunday, January 17, 2016

Movie review: Pay the Ghost

Mike and his wife are devastated when their son, Charlie, disappears during a Halloween celebration and search for him desperately. A year later, they suddenly begin having visions of Charlie, prompting them to begin searching once again.

Nicolas Cage (Mike), Sarah Callies (Kristen), Jack Fulton (Charlie), Stephen McHattie (Blind Man), Veronica Ferres (Hannah), Lyriq Bent (Jordan), Lauren Beatty (Annie), Kalie Hunter (Ghost Annie).

Pay the Ghost begins with a quick trip back in time to lay some groundwork that is unexplained and used as a teaser. The film then shifts to current day, introduces the main characters, and begins to unroll the main plot. The story stalls slightly, building impact around Charlie's disappearance, as the supernatural aspect cranks up and things get rolling. The rest of the film is a nice journey through both horror and insanity with a slightly over the top happy ending for everyone.

Cage delivered as usual with decent emotion and energy. Callies was a nice choice to play against Cage and did well. Fulton was almost a creepy kid, seeming much more mature than his actual age, and almost lethargic with his delivery. McHattie and the remainder of the cast were solid and enjoyable.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds felt realistic and solid throughout the film. Action scenes were pretty good and blended well with CGI which saw some strong use in this film. Effects were creepy and slightly over the top at times, but fit the film. Dialogue was okay though a bit more depth would have been nice. Sound and soundtrack were good.

Pay the Ghost ends up being a mid-level horror flick, but that is about it. The storyline isn't very unique, adding a couple of mild twists to keep things interesting. The horror is good but again, doesn't add much to the genre. Those who enjoy a strong thriller aspect to their horror should enjoy this the most.

With plenty of disturbing images, including Cage in some kind of strange cowboy outfit, some gore, and mild foul language this should be fine for mature teens and above.

Released: 2015
Reviewed: 1.8.16
Star rating: 3 out of 5
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Supernatural Horror, Supernatural Thriller, Abduction Horror

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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