Country: United States
Starring: Marina Resa, Shirley To, Akiko Shima, Rick Irvin
Director: Danny Draven
Run time: 90 minutes
DVD distributor: Alliance Films
There are many things that make Ghost Month awful. One is the acting, which is somewhere between hardcore porn and softcore porn thespianism. Without the boobs. The two main stars, Marina Resa and Shirley To, are OK. But every time another character is introduced, they appear to have been discovered at the casting for a Cash For Gold commercial. Like, they are the ones who didn’t make it as the crazy guy who goes gaga gor gold.
There are also some irritating special effects. Two ghosts are haunting the stars of the film, and they occasionally appear out of a mist that exists for some reason. One looks a lot like that painting The Scream, and the other looks very much like Michael Jackson. Not saying Michael Jackson didn’t look scary, but if I’m laughing every time the ghost shows up, it leaves precious little reason for me to be frightened.
There are virtually no scares at all in Ghost Month. The basic premise is that one month of every year is the “ghost month”, and the Chinese believe that the gates of hell have been opened and the ghosts will come and get you if you don’t follow certain rules and observe certain customs (almost all of them apparently involve burning stuff). Marina Resa has been hired as a housekeeper for a home run by Shirley To, a home that observes these rituals strictly. Obviously something bad has happened there before, and the ghosts are angry…obviously.
That’s the biggest problem with Ghost Month, I think. It’s so obvious. Many of the characters, especially Resa, have their own internal running monologues where they act as their own narrators. On discovering a box, she will say “I wonder what’s in this” to herself. Because we need to know exactly what’s going on in her head? Or, she discovers blood on her hands and says “there’s blood on my hands”. Thanks. Without narration, how would we know what was going on?
Any of these things, on their own, would make Ghost Month a bad movie. All together, they make it an awful one. This awful movie comes out February 23rd from Alliance Films.