Any movie that takes
place on Halloween is generally a movie to pay attention to. There's
a long legacy of movies that took place on that dark and evil day.
Some of them are excellent blockbuster titles that forever lodge
themselves in the national pantheon. Others are utter wastes of
DVD plastic--just plain garbage.
Ghost Watcher firmly
lodges itself in the latter category.
So what we have here
is the story of an agoraphobic living in a haunted apartment. Wow...talk
about your catch-22's, eh? She lives with a paralyzing, irrational
fear of wide open spaces (read: anything outside her apartment),
meanwhile, the one SAFE place she's got is spook central!
What does our frightened agoraphobic do? She goes on the internet
and orders a load of ghost tracking gear off a "ghost hunter"
website. She even goes so far as to enlist the services of the same
"ghost hunter" that she brought the crap from. Not that
this is any kind of "serious ghost hunter," if such a
thing actually exists--the girl's got a "members only"
section on her web site that involves her hanging around in skimpy
lingerie for thirty bucks a month. Not exactly a promotional bell
ringer--I know I'd never select a ghost hunter on the basis of who
looks the hottest on their web site.
The ghost hunter, along
with the agoraphobic and the agoraphobic's friend / sole link to
the outside world that doesn't involve a computer, spend the rest
of the movie hunting up the ghost of a man who killed the agoraphobic's
family. Of course, it seldom works so simply--frequently the ghost
hunters are rebuffed and beaten, bruised and bloodied by the ghost
Ghost Watchers has a
very tenuous hold on its audience. It is by lengths frightening
and confusing, with segments that are truly bone-chilling inserted
in the midst of events that have no conceivable explanation. They
insert long skeins of exposition in the middle of the movie, and
frankly, I have no clue where they're going with this. Their plot
requires so much less time than this to complete, that they're just
basically running filler material to keep up the runtime. You know,
like writers DO sometimes when they can't think of much else to
say but they have a deadline and a minimum word count. Kind of like
I just did. Right there.
But seriously, Ghost
Watcher needed a heavy editing hand. I have to think that it could
have been a quality movie if they would have reworked the script
to remove the repetitious and confusing segments.
The ending might very
well be magnificent, but since I really couldn't follow what happened
in the preceding hour and twenty minutes, I can't vouch for the
quality of what I just saw.
The special features
include director's commentary, Spanish subtitles, Ghost Watcher
trailers, deleted scenes, alternate ending, gag watcher (which is
really just a blooper reel with a clever name), and trailers for
Open Water and Ju-On: The Grudge (the Japanese version, still Sarah
Michelle Gellar free).
All in all, Ghost Watcher
has its creepy moments, its truly suspenseful bits, and some truly
excellent segments. But these are overmastered by the wide expanses
of pointless, incomprehensible filler material. This renders Ghost
Watcher nearly unwatchable for all but the most patient.
David A. Cross
David A. Cross
Jillian Byrnes .... Laura Kove
Marianne Hayden .... Nikki Brandt
Jennifer Servary .... Elizabeth Dean
Kevin Floyd .... Jack Parker
Kevin Quinn .... Malcolm Dixon
Ray Schueler .... Paul Gibson
Dan Poole .... Charlie Wilkers
GRADE: 2 stars **