Movie Review – Ghost of Goodnight Lane

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Movie Review – Ghost of Goodnight Lane
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Comedy, Horror
FTG Media, Media World Solutions
Distributor: Inception Media Group
June 10th, 2014
Release length: 1:36:00
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Since the release of Paranormal Activity and paranormal reality shows, the number of ghost-themed Horror movies being released each year have quickly climbed. While there have been a few impressive films here and there, there’s also been a number of cheap cash grabs. One of those entries into the field is a Ghost of Goodnight Laned Ghost of Goodnight Lane, a Comedy/Horror movie that literally appeared out of nowhere. But is this random contribution to film a surprise gem that should be seen immediately, or is it better considered the mentally handicapped brother of the modern day pioneers of the style?

Right away, Ghost of Goodnight Lane‘s story just doesn’t make any sense. The film revolves around a family that obviously lived in a house on Goodnight Lane. A girl named Jeannie had gone missing for about a year sometime in the sixties or seventies (the period not really established at first other than the hippy clothing). She had joined up with a small cult, living with them for quite some time before escaping due to a pregnancy and giving birth sometime after getting home. With the birth of the daughter, Carly, people in the house slowly began to die, and Jeannie’s mother moved out.

Recently, that house was sold, and the buyers turned the building into a small production studio. They noticed odd things happening the longer they stayed, but for the most part it was all minor things like objects being moved and lights going off and on until one of the crew’s editors is found dead one morning. As the others involved with the company grieve and try to figure out what happened, they need to reshoot scenes for a music video and already invited the talent and dancers back once more. The bizarre occurances begin to happen again as the ghost of Carly haunts, stalks, and eventually forces the residents kill themselves through telepathic Emo powers linked to the father, the leader of the aforementioned cult that, upon hearing who it was will have you shudder from the increasinly generic plot points this movie gives way to.

Ghost of Goodnight Lane

Ghost of Goodnight Lane is a very sleek and modern looking film, and, sadly, that’s about all it has going for it. The story itself is fairly weak, relying more on the name of a cult leader who perpetrated one of the most infamous acts of brutality in American history more than anything. Most of the scenes that are meant to build tension are your typical Paranormal Activity style things such as locking one of the employees in a room and not letting him out while trying to drive him mad with disembodies voices, right down to just randomly moving things around. The scenes involving reshoots for a music video are engaging enough through some general silliness that tries to keep you mildly interested in the film before Carly finally appears and starts making everyone kill themselves.

On top of that the acting is decent at best. There isn’t a single person who stands out in this film other than Carly’s Grandmother who basically acts as the film’s Dr. Sam Loomis (Halloween) to shed background on why they moved, why this is happening, and literally stop Carly by giving her a time out. Not one single person really stands out, not even Alan, the main owner of the studio played by Billy Zane (Titanic, Back to the Future), was anything more than eye candy for the early male and/or female teen demographic this production seems to be geared towards. Of course it doesn’t help that every character in here seems to be brain dead idiots who probably would drown in a dry paper bag considering they have the evidence of the editor’s death on camera, and quickly ignore it, even after watching it. And come to think of it, with the camera filming right across the room from the corpse, why didn’t the cops take it? Even they seem fairly useless in this world of people who seem to have an intellect smaller than that of broccoli.

Ghost of Goodnight Lane

One of the biggest gripes to be had about this movie is the promotional text scribbled on the box. A random nameless quote claims this film is a Horror lovers dream film, while another set of words claims this film plays up some of the most well known deaths in Horror movie history. Rarely am I tricked by marketing, but after seeing those two things and (obviously) being conned by fake or paid for reviews building this film as something that it simply wasn’t during my due diligence of researching opinions on this disaster, I had no reason to question any of it. After watching this film it’s easy to say that each and every death here is generic, and given that Carly herself is often not even really on screen, just shows a bunch of people overacting as they pretend to kill themselves against stock computer effects or a cut away shot. There’s also no rating on the case either [upon proof-reading this review I have learned some on-line retailers have given this a hefty R rating], leaving you to consider this to be an underground film with a team who stuck their middle fingers in the air to the ratings board. Instead it more than likely was to avoid being classified as a film approved for general audiences. Even the scenes that play up drugs and sex are wildly toned down including a shower scene that is a nod to the eighties Slasher genre, the one thin you can say viewers of this genre would enjoy, which is ruined by the incredibly obvious poor taping of hair (or hair extensions) over the nipples to prevent any on screen nudity. This isn’t something a film should be built around but, in this case, a few nip slips would have been a nice treat for sitting through this mess.

Ghost of Goodnight Lane

There is very little to be said positively about Ghost of Goodnight Lane other than it looks pretty. Everything about it otherwise just feels cliche, stock, or forced in to try to make it the slightest bit interesting. Had someone randomly thrown a pie in the middle of the story Ghost of Goodnight Lane would have at least made you chuckle once and ease you back in hoping for another pie shot (mature themed or food based) that would never show up. The worst part, however, is the absolute waste of potential in that none of the deaths have anything to do with the “renovated” studio and gear they have other than the one instance of being trapped in the audio recording studio. Ghost of Goodnight Lane is a poorly scripted, acted, and all around executed fairy tale you tell your one to five year old child to get them to go to bed. Whether or not this was supposed to have any Comedy to it like most sites list it as, the only thing funny about it is that I paid to own this, as well as sat through it to warn you all not to waste your money. Much like Dante’s Inferno and the descriptions of Hell, this is a pain that never seems to end and only intensified the longer I stay…

Overall Score: 2/10
Physical review copy of this release provided by personal funds.