Tales of the Rampant Coyote

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Halloween Film Impressions: Pay the Ghost

Posted by Rampant Coyote on October 13, 2016

pay_the_ghost_posterOkay, the next Netflix Streaming special for Halloween is: Pay the Ghost, starring Nicolas Cage.

Pay the Ghost is based on a novella by Tim Lebbon. A young child is abducted on Halloween, without a trace. His grieving parents and the police search for him fruitlessly for almost a year. Then, as Halloween approaches the following year, strange and unexplained events lead them to believe that their son… and others… may have been stolen away by a supernatural entity. They also learn there may be a chance to bring him back.

I guess I’m going to keep going against the grain of the Rotten Tomatoes consensus and say I liked this one, more than the much-higher-rated Hush which I gave my impressions on yesterday. The critics hated this one, and it admittedly has a bit of the “made for TV” (or direct-to-video / streaming) vibe to it. Makeup and hair dye notwithstanding, Nicolas Cage has trouble looking like the younger father he’s supposed to be in this show. Some of the supernatural events are inexplicable and inconsistent, and feel like they were just tossed in as an afterthought. There were some conflicts between characters that were ripe opportunities for development, but were quickly resolved or glossed over. So yeah, I get why the critics rip on this. Although, glancing through the summaries, it seems like many of of them just wanted to criticize Cage. There were lots of missed opportunities and problem areas here.

Still, in spite of the problems, I liked the story. I guess I can compartmentalize pretty well and ignore bits and pieces of suck if I like the overall show. I did. I suspect that I would enjoy the novella even more, and that may the foundation that gives the film its buoyancy. It’s creepy, the evil has a very cool backstory and reason, and the characters are interesting.  It’s non-rated for content, but would probably be somewhere around PG or PG-13 rating. We found it a worthy option for Halloween viewing. 🙂

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