Travel Channel // 2011 // 645 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 28th, 2011
More investigations. More lockdowns. More shocking evidence.
The Travel Channel's stab at the lucrative ghost hunting market brings its third season of globe-trotting and spinach-green night vision. Three discs, fourteen episodes and a bonus Valentine's Day special of Ghost Adventures: Season Three.
Who's taking these adventures? Three friends, led by Zak Bagans, apparently a "renowned paranormal investigator." Bagans is an earnest, macho dude who looks like he splits his time between power squats at Gold's Gym and watching The Ring on repeat. He allegedly had a personal experience with a specter and that propelled him to pursue his ghost adventuring.
What follows is essentially the same playbook as all these paranormal investigation shows. Our protagonists head over to a location that is rumored to be haunted (e.g., an asylum, a lighthouse, an abandoned penitentiary, an opera house, a couple of mines and a sanatorium), they weave a history lesson, interview witnesses and finally go into lockdown. That is, the three of them enter the cursed environment, bar the doors, turn off the light, break out the special audio recording equipment and flip on the night vision. Then it's all about listening for odd sounds, freaking out when they happen and deciphering mumbled static from the recorders.
It's all very exciting...well, at least the ghost adventurers find it exciting. I am, unfortunately, not terribly swayed by their findings. I don't know how you could wander through a dilapidated penitentiary and not hear strange sounds. The voice recording are weird, sure, but they're almost impossible to make out and most of them don't sound much like the subtitles that are flashed decoding them. Also, what exactly are these devices that pull these phrases out of the white noise?
Apologies for my douchebaggery, believers. I suppose I've seen just so many of these types of shows and I can't quite get on board with the idea of ghosts communicating from their accursed plane of existence through random door slams and scratchy audio gobbledygook. And for all of Zak's heartfelt determination to expose those ghost bastards, he just comes across as goofy. Who tells a demonic presence that it's "met its match?!"
Straightforward DVD set: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 2.0 stereo, and that super-sized Valentine's Day episode as the bonus.
There might be value for fans of the genre, but Ghost Adventures flatlines for me. Guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Travel Channel
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 645 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Episode