North American Motion Pictures // 2008 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 10th, 2009
This legend is reality.
Some idiots go to a creepy hotel to film ghosts and get killed.
A group of five friends journey to Nevada with their camcorder, hoping to capture some awesome, real, and terrifying video footage of ghosts in action. Apparently, there's a scary hotel with a dark secret and, if any place is going to cough up the supernatural goods, it's Goldfield. The manager of the hotel (Rowdy Roddy Piper, They Live) seems to be hiding his own shifty secret and, when his face appears in one of the girl's ghostly nightmares, it's obvious he has something to with the haunting.
Not much to talk about here. Ghosts of Goldfield is a sub-mediocre horror outing. It takes its sweet time getting to the murderous ghosts, opting to fill the bulk of its runtime with dead-end character development, while attempting to build suspense that goes awry.
Falling into the much-traveled trap of a-bunch-of-college-students-go-to-a-creepy-domicile-in-the-middle-of-an-ambiguous-rural-location-only-to-be-menaced-and-evenutally-slaughtered-by-an-evil-force genre of horror film, Ghosts of Goldfied foists upon the viewer a selection of protagonists no one cares about. There is much time devoted to cultivating these people, in an effort to make a) their deaths matter, and b) play their personalities against each other when the female ghost shows up at inopportune moments and screws with everyone's heads.
For example: a girl and guy engage in some faux-intercourse (you can tell it's make-believe because the lady is wearing some kind of skin-colored nipple covers, which apparently does nothing to halt his libido), the ghost girl swaps places with her which freaks the guy out, the first girl comes back just in time for the boyfriend (or girlfriend, can't remember which) to walk in a flip out, and the seeds of emotional chaos are sewn.
Amongst heavy-duty dramatic power-lifting like that is the steady unveiling of the central mystery and a whole lot of talking about it. Seriously, it's a snoozer.
Things pick up in the last twenty minutes or so, as the ghosts get murderous and the make-up department starts burning through their small budget. The props guys get into the action too, throwing out some decent gore gags, once the killing spree starts.
Is it enough to salvage the experience? No. There's just too much sub-standard stuff going on here, like the forgettable characters, an unfulfilling mystery, and the utter waste of Roddy Piper, who looks like he may have been semi-conscious throughout the entire shoot.
The DVD is no-frills, sporting a workable 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, a 5.1 surround mix, and a photo gallery.
Nothing worth seeking out here. Move along.
Guilty of...sorry, I lost interest in finishing this review.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: North American Motion Pictures
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Rated R
* Photo Gallery