FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: Last night, I saw “Pay the Ghost,” which stars Nicolas Cage (Left Behind , The Wicker Man ), Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead [TV series], Colony [TV series]), Jack Fulton (Closet Monster, Roadside Picnic [TV series]), Veronica Ferres (Hector and the Search for Happiness, Kilmt), Lyriq Bent (The Book of Negroes [TV miniseries], Saw IV), and Lauren Beatty (Flashpoint, Poison in the Water). It is directed by Uli Edel (The Little Vampire, Time You Change), with the screenplay being written by Dan Kay (I.T., Timber Falls). Based on a novel, this film follows a man named Mike (Cage) who loses his son on Halloween night. A year later, desperate to find his kid, Mike stumbles upon folk lore that may have a connection to his son’s disappearance, as well as other children who have gone missing on Halloween.
‘Twas a Friday night before Saturday, many days before Halloween; the Juicy Reviewer was hoping to analyze something scary, in a genre he rarely sees. Searching around Netflix, many titles to choose; he found a Nicolas Cage flick, what could he possibly lose? Well, apparently, my movie night. Hello everyone, and welcome back to yet another Nicolas Cage review. It’s been a while since I saw “Left Behind,” and something inside of me was yearning to see another Cage flick. Being as how it’s October, I thought I’d watch some suspenseful films, and luckily I found a little feature called “Pay the Ghost.” I’ve known about this movie for a long time now, but never got the chance to see it. Nic Cage is playing a father once again, his conflict involves a cult of some sort, and he has to trace clues to figure out where his child went. It’s basically the love child of 2006’s “The Wicker Man” and “National Treasure”; except this time, there’s ghosts! I will tell you all that this movie isn’t as bad as the trailers, posters, or Nic Cage reputation promote. Yes, it has idiotic moments and a confusing choice of title, but it wasn’t trash. It was a mediocre “horror” flick that should provide enough entertainment for a fun night with friends. Breaking it apart, the story was interesting, but poorly executed most of the time. I understood what was going on and will admit that there were a few freaky scenes, however the tone of this movie shifts towards the end, opting for an out-of-this-world supernatural feel, which didn’t coincide with whatever realism was displayed at the beginning. On top of that, there were quite a few moments that I either laughed or scratched my head at. Fortunately for this film, it wasn’t as hysterical as most Cage releases. Another issue with the plot is how it crams many clichés found in your typical horror flick. I haven’t even seen really any horror movie and yet I knew that the content used in this has been overdone. One of my friends even went as far as to say that this ripped off “Insidious.” For me, this wasn’t a terrible problem, but I can see where avid horror moviegoers would get bored since its stuff they’ve seen many times before. The acting in this was decent, with a surprisingly good Nic Cage performance. He had a few glitches here and there, but overall I was impressed. The other actors did well too, though they weren’t that special. All of the performances were enough to push the story, with a few really good scenes here and there. I think the best aspect of this film would be its cinematography. I liked the look and feel of this release, as the director knew what he was doing in terms of visuals. Granted, there were a few times where the special effects looked too animated, mainly the vultures, but everything held up rather well. In the end, this movie wasn’t that grand nor noteworthy. Nic Cage turned in a decent performance and the cinematography was done well, but the story itself was that of a typical horror feature, offering nothing that exciting to the table. FINAL SCORE: 68%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: