Main cast: Michael Koltes (Jack Donavan), Paul Flannery (Jonathan Blazer), Lisa Livingstone (Rebecca Donavan), and Steve Weston (The Mysterious Man)
Director: David Ryan Keith
The art for the DVD of Ghosts of Darkness doesn’t look too bad, right? That’s why I decide to give it a try. Not to mention, the premise sounds interesting. Two paranormal investigators spending three days in a haunted mansion – how bad can that be? Well, think of everything bad that can be, and most of that will be in this movie. That’s this movie is a nutshell. Or nutcase, perhaps.
Jack Donavan is the equipment kind of paranormal investigator, mostly using his gizmos to debunk charlatans who claim to be able to see and communicate with spirits. Jonathan Blazer is the kind of psychic he normally works against – he claims to do those things that he debunks pretty regularly. A mysterious fellow – this movie can’t even bother to give him a name because it wants me to think, “Ooh! Maybe he’s the devil himself!” or something equally played out – offers them $25,000 upfront and another $25,000 after they have spent three days in a mansion infamous for its brutal history of deaths and murders. And those two have to agree to be in – the deal is off even if only one of them wants to do it. So in the end, the two blokes have to stay in that house, and naturally, the ghosts and demons all come out to play.
The movie’s first mistake is to hire Michael Koltes because, my goodness, the only thing he does well in this movie is to impersonate a wax statue. Was he stoned during the filming? He has only one expression – stupefied blankness – and speaks in near-monotone. Compared to him, Paul Flannery is an Academy Award winner – the man at least tries to make his character resemble a human being, which is more than I can say of the other guy. And the problem is that Jack is central to the whole plot, what with his dead wife thing and him being a skeptic due to the dead wife.
Actually, “skeptic” isn’t an accurate description for Jack – he’s an asshole. If you want to watch this movie for who knows what reason, you will realize that his assholery drove his wife to suicide, and he then proceeds to apply that same assholery on everyone around him since in order to vent his rage about his wife’s death. So, an asshole in and out. Why should I care about this asshole, especially when he is played by a wooden fence post?
Jack treats Jonathan like an asshole. He’s always sneering and insulting Jonathan’s methods even when Jonathan proves that he is right, and no matter how often Jonathan makes a valid case of being right, Jack always goes something like, “Whatever! You’re still wrong! Because!” He’s also always wandering off to be molested by apparitions, and yet, he won’t tell Jonathan anything that would make made the two men figure out things faster because, you know, asshole plot contrivance in action. Because Jack is always being antagonistic for no reason instead of communicating with Jonathan, I end up rooting for the demons to crap on these two.
The two men are morons anyway. They are supposed to be the best in their respective fields, but my goodness, they are such incompetent bozos here. Then again, they don’t even research the house before going in, so they end up flailing around like blind leading the blind. Why again am I supposed to root for these two?
The only thing this movie does right is towards the end – when Jonathan is forced to kill Jack so HOLY HALLELUJAH BABY HE IS DEAD PRAISE BE THE LORD – but that’s after I also have to sit through some of the worst CGI effects ever. I know, money is tight and they probably had to hire some high school kid to help out with the computer graphics stuff for cheap, but the bottom barrel-tier special effects in last thirty minutes or so are really embarrassing. I suppose by that point too much money had been invested so they might as well push it out and hope enough suckers will rent or buy the DVD to give back some return of investment. It’s just too bad that no one will be able to give me back my time and money wasted on this turd.