TITLE: Pay the Ghost
DIRECTOR: Uli Edel
STARRING: Nicholas Cage
BLURB: A professor frantically searches for his son who was abducted during a Halloween parade. IMDB
There’s nothing new here – a couple, a kid, a ghost, an unbelieving cop, a broken relationship, a psychic (shades of poltergeist) and a lot of over-acting.
Why-oh-why do I keep wasting my time on Nicholas Cage movies? With the exception of hamming it up in the National Treasure movies, he’s been playing the same character for years (himself) and this one is no exception. In fairness nobody shines in this movie and that’s probably because it visits all of the horror movie clichés.
I do have one problem with the third act though and that’s probably because I’m Irish and a little defensive. My advice is to skip this one.
SPOLIER ALERT [Don’t read anymore of this review if you actually want to watch the movie]
Despite no signposting throughout the movie, it transpires the antagonist is the ghost of an Irish immigrant woman from the 1600s who worshipped some unnamed Celtic goddess (despite the Celts being off the historical stage for about 1,000 years at that stage). She was burned at the stake for being a witch along with her children and seeks her revenge every Halloween. I can get over that. What made me cringe was a supposed re-enactment of the burning every year by the local Irish community. The vast majority of Irish people couldn’t slap a name on a Celtic goddess if their souls depended on it! I admit we Irish have even managed to turn a funeral into a party (an Irish wake) but to think a bunch of ex-pats would dress up and burn effigies while dancing around a bonfire in New York is akin to thinking everyone from the Caribbean practices voodoo.
It lets a mediocre movie down and that’s no mean feat. End of rant.