Ghost Note, Lacks Scares and Visual Development
Ghost Note Film Details
Director: Troy Hart
Writer: Troy Hart
Release Date: August 2017
Release Format: VOD and DVD
MPAA Rating: N/A
Running Time: 105 min
When rebellious teenager Mallory is left behind at her grandmother’s house while her parents go to Hawaii, she gets reacquainted with Rodney, the boy next door. She also discovers a dark family secret, hidden away in the attic. In the early 1970’s, a series of unsolved murders were rumored to have been committed by an evil blues musician named Eugene Burns who had sold his soul to the devil. Mallory’s long dead grandfather, a preacher, captured Eugene and performed an exorcism, but he was unable to expel the demon. Instead, he locked Eugene away to prevent him from hurting anyone else. Nearly 50 years later, Mallory accidentally sets Eugene free, and he begins to kill again. Now she must figure out a way to stop him before it’s too late.
For his first feature, Troy Hart wrote and directed Ghost Note, an indie horror ghost story with a slasher ingredient. The set up is simple and original but the film disappoints.
Ghost Note has a pleasant pace and rhythm and delivers on the atmosphere and carnage. It felt deranging, in particular during the second and final act. I have to compliment the director for providing us a creepy antagonist for the final showdown and for the use of some unexpected special effects to induce the mood like the fog scenes. I got transported to an 80’s slasher for a moment and it felt good. The strongest performance of the film is the one from the grandmother played by Allyn Carrell. It grew throughout the viewing and it seemed genuine. A full of love and powerful performance. Impressive.
Even though the visuals were great, Ghost Note isn’t scary. There were technical problems throughout the film, for instance, the editing and camera movements. Unfortunately, they hurt the viewing experience, it got worse near the end when we were lost during a chase scene with Mallory. This scene felt like there were shots missing…
The other performances weren’t top notch as well but especially Mallory’s. During the first act the character was too much stereotyped and overacted – the usual character you see in a horror film. She failed to carry the film on her shoulders during the toughest moments near the end. I didn’t feel she had what it takes to be the final girl for a slasher. It was unpleasant and decreased for me the fundamental flow of the film. But on a positive note (no pun intended), the killer is fascinating.
Ghost Note felt flat and I had a difficult time watching it. There were a few major scenes and the atmosphere was on point most of the time but it wasn’t sufficient to keep the spectator interested. The technical problems caused an unusual flavor in my mouth. I perceived that there was awareness for cult slashers, a refreshing idea behind it and I can congratulate Troy for his arduous work with it and for their amazing website, but in honesty, I hope he pushes up his actors next time.
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