Saturday, May 24, 2014

An American Ghost Story (2012)

Paul and his girlfriend Stella move into a house which is supposedly haunted, and where a family was murdered years ago.  They've both hoping to see something paranormal, and Paul is planning to write a book about his experiences in the house.

Although both went into it knowing the house was haunted, Stella loses her mind when all the doors open on the cabinets in the kitchen. Paul convinces her to stay the night, saying if she still wants to leave in the morning, they can talk about it. Whoa there Mr. Sensitivity, how very big of you to talk it over, even though you've found Stella curled up in the corner, staring like she's in shock.

Since Stella is smarter than Paul, she makes good on her intentions and leaves.  But Paul's kind of stupid and after three months, his experiences are almost none. This is  because he tends to sleep through the actually activity.  So  the only experiences Paul has involves a basketball thrown at him while he was outside in the garage, some noises in the middle of the night that he can't pinpoint, a chair in the wrong place, and a very heavy stuffed bear that sat on a bed in the children's room.

Paul knows this house must be haunted, but when he calls a list of old tenants to get their stories, they  hang up on him, which he thinks is rude. He never considers that maybe he should identify himself prior to just launching into asking them about the house, or that they may be traumatized by what happened. Lucky for him when he finally finds someone who will talk, it's the one person who's been driven insane by her experiences and blames the house for her troubles.  She also ends up practically hanging off his leg while warning him the house is trying to kill him.

Aside from Paul being a bit dense and looking like Shia LeBouf if you stepped on the side of his head, there are some decent scares. Honestly, sheets in people form are freaking creepy.

This is a low budget film but it looks better than many films in this category - other than it appears they either didn't have a makeup artist, or had one who wasn't very good.  Paul's face usually looks greasy and Stella appears to have no make up since her face is all blotchy.

There's not a lot of action in this, and almost no tension.  It takes its own sweet time to get going and even then you keep wondering if Paul is ever going to see anything paranormal.  The ending is predictable and even though I knew exactly what was going to happen, it still made me jump.  There were some other times I jumped, as well as some cheap scares. Overall, you'll have lots of questions at the end.  Who are the ghosts? Are they the murdered family?  Why does the ghost only show itself to certain people?  Why does the ghost take so freaking long to do anything when Paul is awake? And why doesn't Paul turn on the damn lights?  Also if you're outside and someone throws a basketball at you, it's more than likely it's not a ghost.

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