Posts Tagged ‘Amalgam Movieworks’

At this point, you have to wonder where and when this whole “ghost hunting” thing will end.

“Reality” TV is full of this kind of crap, of course, as is the “micro-budget” horror scene, and on a purely practical level it certainly makes sense : you don’t need much money, after all, to make a film where amateur acting, equally amateur cinematography (usually of the “shaky-cam” variety), and “hinted at but not really seen” effects work are built right into the story itself. In short, where unprofessionalism is not only countenanced, but expected. With all that in mind, then, it would probably be terribly naive to expect this burgeoning sub-genre of “found footage” horror (a sub-genre in and of itself) to go away anytime soon — but goddamn, sometimes I wish it would.

Case in point : 2015’s Ghostfinders, a zero-budget effort that comes our way courtesy of writer/director/producer/nominal “star” Luke Hill (and his one-off — and one-man — production outfit, Amalgam Movieworks), who, along two paranormal-hunter cohorts (played by Mallory Culbert and Quincy Kuykendall), decides to check out a house so fucking haunted that its most recent owners split after just one night in the place — not that it being a potential deathrap has prevented them from trying to rent it out to unsuspecting suckers ever since, mind you. But none of the tenants have hung around for very long, either.

The litany of complaints about the house amounts to “we’ve heard this all before” stuff — strange noises, apparitions appearing and disappearing, that sort of thing. In other words, there’s no attempt at anything resembling originality here — which is hardly an unforgivable sin in my book provided all the bog-standard shit on offer is well-executed or presented in a fashion that at least threatens to be somewhat interesting. Care to place a wager on whether or not Hill and Co. manage to pull that off?

The acting in this flick is lousy, the dialogue is dull, the hand-held camerawork is sloppy and unimaginative, the story is rote and predictable, the “scares” are non-existent, the effects are lifeless — there isn’t anything here you haven’t seen before, haven’t seen done better, and haven’t fallen asleep watching. And good effing luck staying awake here, too. I did — just barely, but I honestly wish I hadn’t. Sleep, after all, is a precious commodity in this life, while “found footage” ghost-hunter movies are anything but.

I could strain my brain for fucking days trying to dream up even one reason for you to spend your valuable time on Ghostfinders, and I’d still come up empty. There’s just nothing here — or, more specifically, there’s nothing worth seeing. Or at least nothing worth seeing again. Luke Hill clearly knew all the boxes he had to check off the list that people who make films of this sort apparently keep handy and, having placed a big red “X” in all of them, he figured that his job was done. And having warned you off this one in the strongest possible terms, guess what? So is mine.