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Ghost House (2017) - Movie Review

3 starsDirected by Rich Ragsdale and shot on location by Pierluigi Malavasi, Ghost House will win over its audience through the use of its creepy visuals alone.  The sight of a skeletonized finger plunging into the open mouth of Scout Taylor-Compton (from Rob Zombie’s Halloween series) probably won’t soon be forgotten.  Neither will the exotic Thailand surroundings that flood the senses with beauty and haunted atmospheres.  All of this works in favor of this haunted tale of possession.

Our creepy tale begins at the start of the “amazing” vacation of Julie (Taylor-Compton) and her soon-to-be fiancé, Jim (James Landry Hébert).  She is so happy to be outside of the States that we know, from the very beginning, that this trip is destined for the shitter.  And then Jim proposes all but confirming our suspicions.  Yup, this vacation is headed straight into darkness.

Ghost House is open for business.

Of central focus to this one (and permanently tied to it) is the idea of spirit houses.  They are thought to protect homes, families, and businesses.  But the spirits inside must be appeased.  If they are not, then supposedly they go into beast mode.  Found in the Southeast Asian countries of Burma, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand, these ornamental miniature houses are usually placed on corners of properties; they can be omens of good or carriers of evil.

And one should never disrespect a spirit house.  This is precisely what our foolish Americans abroad do, too.  For shame.  To be fair, though, they were baited by a couple of dudes and conned into a rather frightening situation.  To trust complete strangers is a risky idea.  Damn foolish, too. 

Based on an idea by Ragsdale, screenwriters Kevin O'Sullivan and Jason Chase Tyrrell, weave a spooky little yarn that balances its foreign surroundings with enough strange images – including disjointed skeletal movements from the ghost – to keep the edge of the seat within range.  A couple of jump scares later and we have a pretty solid offering for a Saturday night.  It's not monumental horror but, in a pinch, it'll do.

We aren’t exactly in a familiar setting as the wonder of Thailand rolls out in front of us.  There are some new locations to enjoy in the city and customs in the rural setting, too.  Some of those foreign locations – a good example being the forest our newly engaged couple get left at – are downright disturbing.  There is an air to this spook show which suggests that anything could happen.

With the help of their driver, Gogo (Michael S. New), and American expat Reno (Mark Boone Junior), these two travelers are quickly in over their heads as an evil omen finds a new host to terrorize.  Ghost House may not big-budgeted horror but, as it keeps the doors of its horror self-contained, it’s damn effective. 

One night in Bangkok indeed.


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Ghost House (2017) - movie review

MPAA Rating: R.
89 mins
: Rich Ragsdale
Kevin O'Sullivan, Jason Chase Tyrrell
Scout Taylor-Compton, James Landry Hébert, Mark Boone Junior
: Horror | thriller
She Will Never Let You Go
Memorable Movie Quote: "Vacation is going to be so amazing."
Theatrical Distributor:
Vertical Entertainment
Official Site: www.facebook.com/ghosthousemovie/
Release Date:
August 25, 2017 (limited)
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available.
Synopsis: A young couple go on an adventurous vacation to Thailand only to find themselves haunted by a malevolent spirit after naively disrespecting a Ghost House.


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