Judge David Johnson saw a ghost in his underwear drawer last night. Or maybe it was his hamster.
Our reviews of Ghost Hunters: Season Five, Part One (published March 12th, 2010), Ghost Hunters: Season Six, Part One (Blu-ray) (published September 17th, 2011), and Ghost Hunters: Military Investigations (published May 21st, 2010) are also available.
Plumbers by day, paranormal investigators by night.
It may be the grand-daddy of so many other paranormal reality shows, but as far as I can tell Ghost Hunters is pretty much the same old, same old.
Facts of the Case
The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS) strives to uncover all manner of hauntings and things that go bump in the night, and they've turned their passion into a runaway hit for Syfy. Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson are former plumbers who scratched their ghost-busting itch after hours. Their subsequent TV success freed them from poop duty and six seasons later here they are, schlepping all around the country scanning for specters.
Ghost Hunters: Season Six, Part Two's thirteen episodes includes a Christmas special, a live Halloween investigation, and a ridiculous crossover with the Real Housewives of Atlanta.
The scariest thing about this season? When the Real Housewives show up.
Look, I'm happy to tip my cap to the Ghost Hunters for the ground they tread, bringing dudes wandering around in black and white night vision jumping at every sound they hear. If you've seen any ghost tracking show, you're familiar with how these episodes play out:
1. The TAPS investigators are briefed about a haunted location.
2. They pile into their awesome black vans and drive.
3. They talk to a person connected with the location and listen to anecdotes about people's encounters with the ghosts.
4. When night falls, they get onto the premises, turn out the lights, and fire up the night vision.
5. They shine their flashlights, listen for strange sounds, use their digital recorders, and experience sensations and sightings the viewing audience can't see.
6. To wrap up, they talk to their contacts and unveil their evidence.
Again, familiar, but I'll cut these guys some slack since it appears they've been hacking away at the game plan for more than a few years now. As has been my experience with all of these shows, you'll likely gain more entertainment out of it the more you subscribe to the belief that ghosts are running around old mansions tipping over candlestick holders. I'm not going to rule anything out, okay, but my problem remains: if you were a damned soul cursed to haunt vestibules, wouldn't you do more than mutter unintelligible words or creak a floorboard or two?
For their part, Jason and Grant are earnest, fairly lifeless investigators who seem to really believe in the job. The multiple spin-offs (e.g. Ghost Hunters Academy!) hurt the credibility of their noble pursuit. The presence of the Real Housewives doesn't help much either.
Image's Blu-ray set is basic, starting with the 1.78:1/1080i HD transfer. Though it's not in the magical 1080p sweet spot, it's still a fine-looking visual treatment and a definite improvement over its standard-def counterpart. Sound is a low-impact 2.0 stereo and there are no extras.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
It's not all squeaky, off-camera noises. Several times the Ghost Hunters' flashlights blink on and off (hmm…) and doors mysteriously open (double hmm…). Make of it what you will.
The pedigree is there, but I'm not seeing much of a difference between Ghost Hunters and the legion of also-rans. Minimal Blu-ray here.
Do you believe? Not Guilty then. No? Just walk away.
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