Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ghostquake Movie Review – Haunted High

Runtime: 84 minutes
Release Date: August 25, 2012
Rating: NR
Director: Jeffery Scott Lando

Ghostquake, better known as Haunted High when it originally aired on television, is one of those films that seems like someone put it together after a night of drinking. Does that mean the movie is so god awful that you should avoid it? Eh, not really. Does it mean that you should immediately run out and add a copy to your collection? Eh, probably not.

Set at the fictional Holloman High School in New England, Ghostquake tells the story of a bunch of random high school kids trapped inside the school. One of those kids, Quentin, finds himself brought into the basement by a teacher who seemingly has pedophilia in his eyes. Instead of raping him or trying to get him to pull his pants down, the teacher goes off on a tangent about how he knows that Quentin has a connection to Danforth, the former headmaster of the school. Danforth apparently operated some crazy cult out of the school in the 1950s. Quentin drops some old gold coins on the ground, and when he grabs them and runs, the teacher reveals that he hid one under his shoe. That coin combined with him knocking over a time capsule somehow lets the ghosts of Danforth and his assistant come back to this world.

While all of this is going on, we get a brief introduction to your stereotypical high school kids. There's the bad boy with a lecherous dad who smokes, the goodie-goodie perfect singer with a crush on her teacher, the nonthreatening lesbian goth girl with a crush on the singer, the straight A student, her jock boyfriend, and let's not forget the overweight nerdy guy obsessed with the paranormal who somehow is so good with computers that the court ordered him to never touch one again.

Once Danforth escapes, he sends his assistant to dispatch some of the teachers and students left trapped in the building. In the middle of all this, we meet Danny Trejo. He has a name, but I don't really care what they call him because he's clearly just playing Danny Trejo. The old cult members killed his younger sister, and he's remained behind as some type of guardian ever since. He pretty much just hangs around for years working as a janitor in case something bad happens. Danforth randomly kills a bunch of kids as they look for a way to escape and Danny Trejo tries to bring him down.

The copy of Ghostquake that I rented had Charisma Carpenter's name listed on the front above the title next to Danny Trejo and her picture on the back. After watching it, I want to know she owed money to that necessitated doing this movie. She's in it for maybe three minutes and has lines that pretty much amount to "who are you?" and "ahhhhh!". Being a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, it was a little unsettling to see her in such a minor role in a bad TV movie.

This is the type of movie where you see very little. The perfect singer girl has the assistant ghost (ha!) come after her and make her sing as high as she can, which causes her head to explode. We get to see her face and head getting bigger and bigger, but then the camera moves to the wall, and we see the explosion from her shadow. Another girl gets dragged down inside a toilet, and someone else gets suffocated/has her neck broken by a musical instrument. See? The movie showed so little that I'm still not even sure how she died!

I know that Ghostquake is just a television movie and that I shouldn't judge it too harshly, but damned if it wasn't bad for a TV movie.

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