Saturday, June 23, 2018

'10s Trash?: The Ghostmaker (2012)

Before the new Flatliners and after the original Flatliners, there is this Film.  To be fair, The Ghostmaker is not a complete rip-off, but it is very, very similar.  The Plot involves a machine that allows the user to enter a dead-like state and go around as a ghost.  Doing this too many times has consequences, leading to all sort of crimes.  This one is obviously less grounded in reality and Science than those Films.  I mean, look at the title.  Incidentally, it is only ever referred to as a Ghost Machine, so why this Title?  Was Ghost Machine too close to Ghost in the Machine?  I don't get it.  The Machine doesn't create ghosts, so why is it called this?  There's enough silly to pick apart in this one, so I'll just move on...
The Film begins with random clips which they claim to have appeared on YouTube.  They didn't.

They say that it is 'inspired' by their story.  It isn't.
While clearing out a House, this guy finds a coffin-looking thing.  He's told to destroy it, but he doesn't.
Him and his two friends look over the device, which is filled with strange clockwork mechanisms.
Their smart, nerdy friend discovers that it was made in the 15th Century by a strange inventor who was killed for heresy.  What does it do?
It makes you temporarily dead, allowing your ghost to walk around while the music playing.  It's like Pop Goes the Weasel, only with your soul.
While the nerdy guy warns them about using it too much, the others use it again and again.  They each have their own vices, but they are surely using it for good, right?
...maybe not.
The nerdy guy investigates the sound, explaining how it works further.  Why we need this is anyone's guess.  Am I supposed to believe that this is a real thing now?

In any event, he discovers that someone or something is coming after them now!
Will one of them go too far with their new power?

To find out, watch the Film.
A surprisingly-decent Film.  I got the Film solely due to the Title and crazy premise.  Was I expecting it to be good?  Hell no.  To my surprise, it's actually kind of alright.  The premise is a simple riff on previous Films like the ones I mentioned in the lead-in.  You know how it works- people get power and one of them inevitably goes crazy with it.  Likewise, we use many of the ghost clichés to simple effect.  What they add here is a voyeuristic element as the men use their invisibility to see people in their unguarded moments.  It adds some nice tension to things, while also allowing them to push the Plot forward nicely.  Be keeping the Cast nice and small- probably more for Budget reasons-, they make it easier to connect.  I still have issues with some of the growth of the Characters, but I accept it.  I won't get too deep into SPOILERS here, but I do question how using the device affects the human body to make it stronger.  They don't explain it, so how can I?  The Ghostmaker is a Film that looks terrible at first, but actually becomes a decent mix of Horror and Drama.  It can't ever truly escape the Tropes and clichés of the Genre though.  It did give me a new one for the Fake Googles made up for Films Collection though...
Next time, something new or something old.  With me, who's to say?  Stay tuned...

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