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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Movie Review: Ghost of Goodnight Lane

What do you do when a ghost traps you in a building? In March 2014, we watched as a group of co-workers tried to stay alive and find a way out. 

Directing this 96 minute comedy/horror is Alin Bijan.

Billy Zane as Alan, Lynn Andrews III as Amin, Lacey Chabert as Dani, Matt Dallas as Ben, Adam Whittington as Johnny, Alisha Revel as Jeanie, Christine Bently as Larurel Mattews, Danielle Harris as Chloe, Brina Palencia as Micah, John Franklin as Nico, Richard Tyson as Ron, Allyn Carrell as Thelma, and Sophia Arias as Carly.

After the sudden death of their co-worker Ron, the rest of the crew at the film studio tries to keep it together to finish one more job. As if starting the work day off with Ron's death wasn't bad enough, a sudden visit
from an elderly woman named Thelma, with a cryptic warning, only cranks up the creepy scale for the day. Still, everyone has a job to do, and deadlines have to be met. Unfortunately, Thelma's warning has fallen on deaf ears, and before the crew knows it, the deadline is the last thing they should be worried about.

Why wouldn't you want to catch this flick after you see two awesome names like Zane and Harris in the cast lineup? Zane's work has always been cool to watch, and Harris has been tearing it up in the horror genre for a long time now. Well, that's exactly why I sat down and gave this one a go.

Writers Amy Acosta and Alin Bijan threw together a ghost story to entertain us. Now, it's a comedy/horror, but unfortunately I didn't find much to laugh at in this tale. I will say the storyline was pretty decent, and they tried to throw in some interesting stuff. Yet, at base level it's just another ghost story, so it's nothing new that we haven't already seen... a lot of. The script isn't bad, but it's not great either. Again, for a comedy I didn't find much humor. There is some funny-ish stuff, quick one liners etc., but not enough to gain a comedy tag or make you laugh. 
                                           

The playthrough really wasn't bad, and it had a good pace. You get a pretty steady flow all the way through the flick that was able to deliver the main story and nicely blend in the back story. The problem was that after a few I started to get bored with what was going on. Yes, the story was unfolding, stuff was constantly happening, but it just seemed like the same thing being replayed the longer the film went on. We're all scared, run around in a small building and try to figure out what's going on. Sadly, by the end I was just happy to find out how it ended so I could move on with my life.

The look of everything was of really good quality, from the set to the special effects. The camera work was also of good quality, all steady handed and smooth. By all rights this should have been a better movie than it was. They even had a few spots that could have you jumping. Yet, instead of following up with those moments and adding some needed creepiness to the film, they break away to... I guess attempt more comedy?

As for the cast, I can best sum up this up by saying: Watching this flick was like watching the Scooby gang trying to solve a mystery... while on Valium. Which seriously depressed me! I jumped on this one because of Harris... and because of Zane. Well, Harris doesn't come into the story until later and her character wasn't even all that great.

As for Zane, his character is in it from beginning to end, not that that's a bonus to the movie. I've always been awed, not by Zane' characters, but mainly because of the life that he puts into them. He brings a certain enjoyment to the screen with his characters, be it his wit or style I'm not sure. Either way, those were two things that were missing in his character this time. Zane's character was just emotionless and empty, then add in the almost stupid IQ that his character seemed to have, or was supposed to have (due to script) I'm not really sure. Other than those two major upsets, the rest of the cast was pretty good and Chabert did a solid job as a lead character.

Overall, I was disappointed in this one. I can handle recycled stories, and who doesn't like it when everything looks good? It just fell apart when it hit the playthrough and the performance  of the cast. Weighing all the pros and cons of this film, they just don't balance out enough to make it worth it seeing.

It's rated UR (unrated) but has language and violence.

2 ghostly stars...

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