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Ghost House (2017)



Synopsis

A young couple go on an adventurous vacation to Thailand only to find themselves haunted by a malevolent spirit after naively disrespecting a Ghost House.




Review

In today's episode of people doing stupid things a young couple of American tourists visit Thailand, and are quickly befriended by two English tourists who want to show them the city. This is sort of fine, except our protagonists, Julie and Jim, have just gotten engaged, and the first place the English take them is a strip joint. People doing stupid things. They then offer to take now-pissed-off Julie to take photos of something 'really cool'. Cue a drive to the middle of nowhere - which takes all night. Bear in mind, that they only met these guys today. Julie then starts touching things. People doing stupid things.

Okay, okay, it's not quite that simple, but you get the picture. From there on in, Julie is clearly possessed by something, their actual tour guide / cab driver, Gogo, seems to know what's going on - and it's a race to the arbitrary finish line.

Director, Rich Ragsdale (The Curse of El Charro) does well here with what he is given. The story is pretty limp, but Ragsdale does manage to get some pretty decent scares in - all be it mostly jump scares - as the slow and sullen pace of the plot requires little to no subtlety, style, or, well, scares. Writers Kevin O'Sullivan (screenplay / writer) and Jason Chase Tyrrell (screenplay), Rich Ragsdale (story), Kevin Ragsdale (story), and Jason Chase Tyrrell (writer) - yes, five of them - seem to do little more than stretch out a thin short story. None of the writers have a pedigree, from O'Sullivan who has written nothing before or since, to Ragsdale himself who has worked nearly exclusively with short film. Perhaps, or most definitely, this is the problem.




In the lead roles we have Scout Taylor-Compton (Rob Zombie's Halloween) and James Landry Hébert (Looper). Taylor-Compton does a satisfactory job, but spends a good majority of the run time incapacitated, and it comes down to Hébert to carry the film. Which he does a solid job of, but is a deeply flawed character from the beginning - and largely unlikable.

Scene steals come from Mark Boone Junior (Sons of Anarchy) in a small supporting role, and by far the most likable character Gogo, played by Michael S. New (Night Kill).

Although watchable, Ghost House falls flat on being anything other than a cheep thrills horror. It's highly predictable, and slightly disappointing.





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