A film so buried I might be one of the first reviewers!
Prime changed the layout, so I had a hard time finding a show to watch. Desperate for something, I decided to look for the most recent stuff, and this is where I found The Phantom Cemetery, which is another docu-horror flick. No reviews, though, so I might be trailblazing here.
Before we go into the film, am I the only one who thinks that cemetery should have an “a” in it? I am going to have to rely on spellchecker for this one.
If you’re curious about checking this one out, be warned that this is another nano-budget horror film. IMDB doesn’t even have a page for it, and I am willing to bet that most of the cast and crew are one in the same. Now, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. Bad Ben (the first on anyway) was a bit of fun, and did show that with some dedication just about anyone could make a horror film. Further, I would rather watch films from people who care about the product rather than a paycheck. However, does this one stack up?
Well, not really.
Our host, whose name I do not know, but sports a rad comb over, green screens himself in front of numerous other clips, and this is distracting. We have a very serious tone about a supposedly actually haunted graveyard. We also get repeat footage, which is just a weird decision.
Editing, lighting, and so forth are rough, but not out of line in what we should expect from a film of this budget. Basically, we are following a few folks as they plod around the graveyard with some creepy music played over. The team is wisely doing this during the day—I can’t imagine they had the setup for night vision.
I find myself a little hesitant to tear apart these passion projects over big budget catastrophes, but this is really little more than a plug for the Travel Channel. We will go walk around nature and talk about positive and negative energies, and smells (seriously). We get the same static nonsense EVP crap you will see on Ghost Hunters, and the same pondering looks, questions, and talking about the feels.
On the one hand, this isn’t any worse than any other ghost hunting show. It follows the same steps through and through, so if you enjoy that sort of stuff you’ll probably at least be entertained by this. On the other hand, I think part of the reason those series work, and even some films can work, is due to more dynamic characters. I get that this stuff is supposed to be real and raw but let’s be real shall we? A certain charismatic quality is needed to make these sorts of shows interesting or suspenseful. While I must applaud this one for not having any unlikable characters, it doesn’t really have any likable ones, either. The host seems okay, but his passive nature makes the whole thing feel more like a historical nature walk.
The goddamn “ghost box” crap that has become popular in these shows and movies more or less ruins the entire thing. Before this segment, it was at least a sleepy film you could have on in the background, but this static garbage has no place in any medium. It is annoying, obviously fake, and just annoys the hell out of me.
Overall, it is just boring at best—annoying at worst. I think for passive entertainment there is certainly better. Maybe this team could pull it off next time, but I have my doubts on that one. For hardcore ghost hunting fans only.
Post watch note:
So I decided to look up the host, Chris Halton, and he is in a ton of these half-baked-no-budget snooze fests. If this one would have been a single attempt aiming for something more I might have been more prone to say: eh, it isn’t the worst, but knowing this is an actual series—don’t waste your time with this one at all. 2/10.