Friday, May 17, 2013

"The Ghostmaker" Movie Review – Also Known as "Box of Shadows"

Rating: R
Length: 91 minutes
Release Date: November 2012
Director: Mauro Borelli

Kyle is a drug addict who can barely function, but that doesn't stop him from occasionally working or finding time for his girlfriend. His roommate Sutton is stuck in a wheelchair and stuck paying for him when bills come due. In one memorable scene, he lets him know that it's his turn to pay the bills, but he just keeps fooling around with his girlfriend, leaving Sutton to wheel away and say that he'll pay yet again.

When Kyle discovers an old coffin while cleaning out the basement of a woman's home, she warns him against using it but then tells him he can take anything he wants. After discovering some odd gears inside, he shows it to Sutton who figures out how to make it work. They discover that when they climb inside and turn it on, they become ghostly figures who can walk and move around.

Kyle learns from a college professor that the box probably belonged to an ancient baron who was burned to death. Kyle uses the device to get an eye on his drug dealers, which is probably helpful given that they want to kill him for not paying him back, while Sutton uses the box to stare at Kyle's girlfriend who he secretly loves. Despite knowing that there's something wrong with the coffin, they just keep using without thinking about the future.

I watch a lot of bad horror movies, and "The Ghostmaker" is one of them. The film spends too much time showing Kyle's flaws and showing us how great Sutton is before completely flipping it. Kyle is the type of guy who can't go a few hours let alone a single day without using crystal meth, and he somehow manages to hide his drug use from his girlfriend. He makes her leave after sex so he can score more drugs, treats her like complete shit, and contemplates sleeping with another woman for more drugs. Sutton pays all of the bills, gives him a roof over his head, and watches the woman he loves from afar. This is seriously how both characters are for the first ¾ of the film.

Then, we're suddenly expected to love Kyle and hate Sutton. Kyle decides to finally give up drugs, but that doesn't stop him from using the coffin to see where his dealers hide their money. I guess it's totally okay to steal from drug dealers and use that money on your girlfriend instead of using it to pay your bills? Sutton learns that by using the coffin, his legs are getting stronger and he no longer needs the wheelchair. This leads to him stalking Kyle's girlfriend and eventually trying to attack and rape her.

I'm surprised that I made it all the way through "The Ghostmaker," but I'm also happy that I don't have to sit through it again. I'm fine with a character redeeming himself for the greater good, but I'm not fine with two characters completely switching roles and a film demanding that viewers change their allegiances.

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