As my horror dry spell continues, I’m jumping around from streaming services to movie channels looking for any horror I may have missed to entertain me. So…did any of these four random finds do the trick?
GHOST LIGHT (2018)
Despite having a notable cast with a lot of comic experience, Ghost Light isn’t the ensemble supernatural comedy you might expect. It has some humor, but the cast is mostly underutilized. For instance, every time Carol Kane suddenly appeared on screen, I was like, “Oh! I forgot she was in this!” Every. Single. Time.
Essentially this is just…um…a ghost-lite film. A group of performers is doing a summer stock production of Shakespeare, and we are immediately introduced to the superstitions that can bring bad luck to a production, or in this case, conjure ghosts. And that’s exactly what happens.
There are some fun, spooky moments with thunderstorms and ghostly apparitions, but the ghost fun takes a long time to really kick in because the film is simply longer than it needs to be.
The climax delivers during the opening night performance, and there’s an unexpected twist, but my favorite part is when one guy is terrorized by a vision of one of the gay guys in the cast.
DOUBLE DATE (2017)
Talk about getting off on the right foot. It’s a horror comedy that starts with a brutal stabbing set to “Only You” by Yaz!
Double Date is about two murderous sisters that need a male virgin for their occult ritual. They set their sights on an awkward husky dude, but his cute, well-meaning buddy becomes the fourth wheel they have to figure a way to work around.
The bromance between the buddies is one of my favorite parts of the film, with the cute buddy being so secure in his masculinity that he is all over his pal while preparing him for his big date.
There are a couple of kills along the way, but the meat of the movie comes when the girls get the guys home and the truth comes out. Shit gets bloody, violent, and campy. There’s even some romance…
A DEMON WITHIN (2017)
This is PG-13 b-movie territory, so if you like girl possessed/exorcised movies with no gore, a typical plot, and cliché scares, this is a halfway decent one to check out. Personally, I had the most fun with it in the final act, when the girl starts writhing, crawling, and having all kinds of possessed playtime.
Before that, it’s a basic movie about a mother and daughter that move into a new house. Something happens when the daughter is home alone, she begins acting weird, a priest comes poking around the house, a doctor the mom is dating starts having flashbacks…
…and the girl goes all possessed on a few people in some seriously cheese “scary” scenes. The one attempt at a jump scare involving a little boy is so bad that only a ten-year-old girl might scream.
Like I said, the final act is the best, but the sudden introduction of a plot point involving a painting is introduced way too late to make sense.
THE FINAL WISH (2018)
The director of Gnome Alone brings us the usual derivative mainstream tween horror–aka, the rut horror queen Lin Shaye has been trapped in ever since making it big. Good for her, but I’d still prefer her trying to write Nancy a hall pass.
Cutie Michael Welch of Z Nation stars as our lead as the clichés begin…
– following a family tragedy, he comes back to the small town he left behind
– everyone from his past is pissed at him
– there’s a love triangle between small-town stereotypes
– he stumbles upon an object that lets him make wishes
– the wishes come true in awful ways
– he rips his hair out trying to stop the madness
– Tony Todd magically appears to reveal the chilling truth to him in an ominously mesmerizing tone of voice
– he has to visit a person locked away because they’ve already been through what he’s going through
– etc., etc.
Seasoned horror lovers might be let down by this one, but if you stick around long enough, you’ll eventually get a few glimpses of a cool demon.