Director: Uli Edel
Screenplay: Dan Kay
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Veronica Ferres
Running Time: 94 min
BBFC Certificate: 15
This is a prime example of a film that could have been better with just a little more work on it. It had great potential but yet again I find myself watching another film full of cliches and not a lot of anything new. In my personal opinion the saving grace for this was the acting skills of Nicolas Cage who brought the character of Mike Lawford. I was very excited to watch it and after an hour and a half found myself rather disappointed. Yet again the hype train has gone off the rails.
So what’s it all about then? An overworked professor takes his son to a halloween fair and as he buys some ice cream his son disappears. After one year of searching, on the next halloween he sees his son on a bus, which he chases after and boards only to find that he is not on it. He then sees a phrase on a wall saying ‘pay the ghost’, the last words of his son before he was abducted. This leads him on a search through the occult and brings up the question what lengths will a parent go to to save their child. This film just about works and is worth watching at least once but to make it a bit more enjoyable I recommend the cliche drinking game. Each time they have a cliche like people appearing and disappearing behind the main character or something like that then you take a shot. I’m sorry it lead to drinking games but it’s the best way to enjoy this film the likes of which are ten a penny these days.
So who is in this mediocre film? First up we have Nicolas Cage (The Rock, Con-Air, Kick-Ass, Face-Off) playing the distressed father. This yet again shows that if you have difficulty creating an engrossing film there is still hope if you can get some great actors and actresses in to bring a level of decency. I feel I must point out that this is not the first time that he would have saved a movie from the pit of mediocre oblivion, bearing in mind his acting in my eyes saved the film Ghost Rider. Next in our cavalcade of stars we have Sarah Wayne Callies portraying the mother of the lost boy. she is best known for her wonderful acting in the Walking Dead as Lori and yet again she does not disappoint. She actually made me believe her character’s fears in this film and admittedly even made me jump at times. Finally I would like to mention the superb acting of Jack Fulton as he plays their son Charlie in this film. He is a young actor who has starred in twenty four roles so far in some amazing productions including Hemlock Grove and a small part in Pixels. I will be looking forward to seeing how well he does and wish him the best of luck.
Normally at this part of my reviews I would tell you my personal opinions on the movie but this time I think I’ve said it all already. I had such high hopes for it but like many before it this movie has dashed them. I hope it’s not too much to ask to want some originality. A movie that stands out as a beacon to the genre, letting them know that it is ok to be different. Unfortunately this is not it.