Directed by: #NeilGeorge
Film review by: Brian Penn
If there’s something weird and it don’t look good, who you gonna call: Ghostbusters! Well actually no, if you live in San Francisco you call Ghost Searchers. What’s more you won’t get Dan Ackroyd and Bill Murray dressed in grey boiler suits with ghost zapping weapons. Instead we have motley duo Matt (Max Doubt) and Jeff (Jonny Lee) armed with a camcorder and paranormal activity device. With a stream of accumulating bills they are desperate for work, and excitedly rush to the home of Robert (Dylan Terrill) who has a problem.
After spending the night in said property they are convinced a ghost is in residence and begin researching its history. They enlist the help of Katie (Ashley McIntosh) who has a previous connection with the property. But can they rid the house of what lurks (or doesn’t lurk) under its roof?
With a paranormal story heavy reliance would usually be placed on CGI and special effects. However, for a short feature such luxuries are affected by a limited budget with screen time carefully utilised. Neil George uses a series of simple but highly effective visual tricks to create a sense of anticipation. More importantly these tricks enhance the narrative without consuming it.
A deeply engaging tale emerges from the kookiness of Robert’s original call to Ghost Searchers. It cleverly plugs into the apathy that many feel for paranormal activity; but also shows how it can be too easily dismissed. Whilst the film plays with our imagination, it recognises there are sides of life yet to be fully understood. This genre can provide many examples for the purpose of comparison. It comes out of the test extremely well and quickly gets away from the Ghostbusters premise.
The four strong cast perform admirably with the right mix of scepticism, humour and drama; but it’s the performance of Ashley McIntosh as Katie that rightly stands out. Her reactions are spot on as she runs the full gamut of emotions. A smartly observed and well constructed piece that delivers a satisfying outcome.