Step away from the ghost machine! Will the living never learn not to mess with the dead? I look at The Ghostmaker and Fear Clinic, and they make it easy to make it brief….
THE GHOSTMAKER (2012)
Any horror fan that’s been around for more than 20 years is sure to notice that The Ghostmaker is Flatliners, Ghost, and Thirt3en Ghosts all rolled into one.
A really cute guy (above, not that I needed to say it) scores a mysterious coffin from an old lady getting rid of her dead husband’s belongings. He shows his friends, and pretty soon, they discover it’s actually a machine that’s supposed to let you experience the feeling of being dead. (Super) Naturally they use it, which causes them to walk around like something from The Frighteners.
They also begin seeing this grim reaper with a machine face when they’re not even in the coffin. One of the guys—constrained to a wheelchair in real life but not when he’s having the out-of-body experience, becomes addicted to the rush the coffin gives him. His friends must stop the evil grim reaper force that’s leading him down a very dark path.
The Ghostmaker is a well done film, but it’s nothing I personally haven’t seen before—and I prefer all the movies this one echoes. However, I can never get enough of cute shirtless guys, and there are a couple of them here.
FEAR CLINIC (2015)
This one comes to us via Robert Hall, director of the Laid to Rest movies, and stars Fiona Dourif (Brad’s daughter and star of Curse of Chucky), Robert Englund, and Thomas Dekker (A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, All About Evil, the Laid to Rest movies), so things are looking up from the beginning.
Englund is a scientist/doctor trying to cure patients of their phobias by putting them in a machine that gives them hallucinations he’s supposed to be able to control. But of course things go wrong, and they begin dying while in the machine.
The current batch of patients consists of survivors of a shooting at a diner. When one of them pukes up some black goo, the doctor experiments with the substance and determines it is some sort of manifestation from the patients’ hallucinations.
Things are rather slow up to that point, but then the film shifts into good, cheesy horror mode. All the patients get stuck in a sort of reenactment of the events at the diner, and Englund turns into a hybrid of the shooter and a tentacled black goo monster! Wahoo! I’ll admit the first half of the film dragged for me, but once all this dumb monster shit hit, I was totally into it.