Reviewed by: Greg Mueller

Greg's Score:
3.63

Plot/Story

2

Characters

5

Acting

8

Cinematography

5

Production Design

3

Soundtrack

2

Execution

2

Emotional Impact

2


Review:

I love Chad Michael Murray; all I ever see is Lucas Scott no matter what the context and it makes me happy. Even in this by-the-book awful horror movie about the crew of a ghost show given one last chance to make a great episode or they get cancelled and they find ghosts, too many ghosts in fact, and they are mean (this does seem to be oddly specific for a movie trope, but trust me, there are hundreds of these movies with the same basic plot). The only reason I watched this particular horror movie that gives no indication that I should expect good things from it was because it's been too long since I saw my favorite Scott brother. To his credit, CMM does the best he can here, really the whole cast is at least decent (even Sinjin fro VicTORIous is okay) and they are trying their very best to make something out of the pile of crap they signed on for. The effects are terrible (the worst CGI smoke I have ever seen), they do this annoying thing in a scene where there is a jarring transition between the regular camera and "selfie" that they do only in that scene and never again, the score is unwelcome and overpowering (to the point where CMM says "I know you guys heard that" and the only thing I heard was the BONG BONG from the score) and often implying things that aren't happening (often the score is telling us that we are supposed to be seeing a ghost or whatever and nothing is happening). All of that is pretty standard for a movie of this caliber. I'm used to these movies being D+ technical showcases, but where a movie like this can shine is with the story. I know I complained about the main plot being a trope, but I love "Ghost Show finds real ghosts" and I love abandoned anything (although for a camp that has been abandoned since the early 90's, the lack of graffiti or, at the very least, broken windows is suspicious) so I was already on board; it didn't last long though. The movie is 90 minutes (including credits. It takes 30 minutes to get to the camp. I get it, you want to establish the characters and give CMM a sympathetic background, but a third of your movie? Really? Just get to the ghosts and stuff, I don't care about his wife or his children that definitely have two different mothers because they looks nothing alike. I don't need to know that this is their last chance to keep their show on the air; just go, just go do it. We have roughly an hour for all of the Camp Cold Brook stuff and what we get is very disappointing. Firstly, the story is very confusing, both the story of the camp and the actual plot of the movie. I feel like there was supposed to be half an hour of world building that they just threw away. The ghost's motives are very suspect and how they work in this universe makes even less sense. If a ghost wants someone to help them, why is murder the first thing they can think of to convince them. If I am a ghost and I want CMM to help me, I'm not going to poison his canteen and light him on fire; if he is dead, he can't help me (unless I'm trying to make him a ghost as well, but I'm not sure how much one ghost can aid another ghost). Regardless, it's all pretty boilerplate and uninteresting, there is nothing you haven't seen a thousand times before. What is kind of unique is the revelation that they save for the last 15 minutes of the movie. If it was better executed (and not relegated to the final 15 fucking minutes) it could have been interesting, but here it just sets up one of the worst endings I've ever sat through. The ending is incredibly unsatisfying, confusing, and stupid. Hell, I'd even advocate for using the standard movie ending that 85% of horror movies use and become even more of a cliche than use the one they wrote. Again, the acting is perfectly fine and I know these actors are doing the best they can with this garbage script, but no one is saving this; you could spend millions casting Willem Dafoe, Tilda Swinton, and the reanimated body of Philip Seymour Hoffman and not even they could rescue this shipwreck. It's awful.