Its 1:14 am
Last month I was over at my favorite store and seeing what was new. One thing I really like and have mentioned many times here is the fact the store stocks a LOT of indie films. This is where I get my IFC Films,A24,Dark Sky and Well Go USA films. Once in a while I will see something brand new like “Ghost In the Graveyard” which was released on Dark Coast……..a studio we had just reviewed a great documentary on last year.
I reached out to our friend Jenna from TriCoast and explained to her that we are big Jake Busey fans and if there was any way……needless to say,she had the movie in our hands in 48 hours…..
So once in a while you run across a film that just completely stumps you cold. You’re watching the film and somehow,some way,it has gotten terribly lost in its story and direction. Its starts out one way,zigs to the right,zags to the left and then tosses in a plot hole big enough to swallow a Tesla driverless car. You then have two choices,bail out and start again with another film or stay in the game and see where it takes you.
Being as we are Jake Busey fans,we choose the latter and away we went……
The film opens up in the past as to lay the groundwork for what is to come. A bunch of young kids are playing hide and seek in a cemetary when one of the little girls,Martha,is accidently killed despite her friend Sally trying to save her.
Flash forward 10 years and Sally (Kelli Berglund) is returning to Mt. Moriah to finish high school.She has been away for a year and everyone it seems is happy to see her,including her father Charlie (Busey) and her brother Billy as well. But looks can be deceiving as not everyone is happy….it seems like Sally’s former best pal Zoe (Olivia Larsen) isn’t so pleased as she has her eyes on Reed,a classmate that Sally liked as well before her vacation. As the turf war at the high school starts,a group of young boys on bikes are at the cematary’s entrance. They know the stories about how the graveyard is supposed to be “haunted” by Martha’s ghost and they are daring each other to ride through. One boy does but meets a ghostly demise……
Sally herself starts to see Martha while Charlie and the Sheriff (Royce Johnson) start meeting and talking about what Sally’s coming home means. Sally starts to investigate herself and she is creeped out when she sees her dad having books on demons and spells under his deak at work.
She starts thinking that maybe her baby (hence the “vacation”) is the target of some weird cult and she starts to panic,Charlie takes Sally aside and reveals some family secrets that leaves Sally reeling but not as much as when her now enemy Zoe comes to Sally for help saying she has been seeing Martha’s ghost as well……….
If this sounds confusing and it does to me and I wrote it,then you can gather how mixed up “Ghost in the Graveyard” is to watch. Is it a bad movie? Actually,no,it isn’t,its just lost with too many threads to follow. Is it a vengeful ghost story? Is it a Rosemary’s Baby kind a vibe? Is is “Legion” kind of story where Sally is the chosen one to fight the coming of evil? How about all three?
This is writer-director Charlie Comparetto’s first feature film and while “Ghost” is a bit clunky and bumpy,its real strength lies in its cast. This was a very impressive cast and I really enjoyed watching them work really hard to make “Ghost” make sense.
The actor that I was most impressed was Royce Johnson who played Sheriff D. He was really solid and his sheriff was the one true “rock” as help us make sense of what we were watching. Without his cool,calm and collected performance,I don’t think “Ghost” would have turned half as well as it did.
I liked Jake’s performance as well as Charlie but he wasn’t given much to work with script-wise and his role wasn’t developed as well,he did the best he could but he was still good. I liked how he never had to raise his voice and be expected to go over-the-top. He just needed more scenes.
The young lead actress,Kelli Berglund,was also solid and had a nice screen presence. Her Sally had to go through so much in such a short amount of time. Sally was being tossed all over and her confusion and fear was evident in her actions and on her face. Berglund did a nice job in conveying all of the emotions Sally was dealing with.
The ending did have a “Legion” like feel to it and I don’t think it worked very well.
I don’t think trying to push for a possible sequel is always required for a film and especially low budget films because the chances are slim a sequel will indeed take place.
“Ghost In the Graveyard” is rated PG-13 and has a run time of 92 minutes.
You can order your copy of this film by going to the website of DarkCoast.
Despite its confusing plot,the cheetah and I still enjoyed “Ghost In the Graveyard” and thought it had its heart in the right place. We gave it a thumb/paw straight up.
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