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Ghostkeeper (1981)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Thriller  |  1981 (Canada)
5.4
Your rating:
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 293 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 21 critic

A group of three friends on a snowmobiling trip find themselves stranded at an abandoned lodge isolated in the mountains. They discover that an old woman resides in the hotel, along with an evil entity that she is keeping in the basement.

Director:

(as James Makichuk)

Writers:

(as James Makichuk) , (as Douglas MacLeod)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Riva Spier ...
Jenny
Murray Ord ...
Marty
Sheri McFadden ...
Chrissy
Georgie Collins ...
Ghostkeeper
Les Kimber ...
Storekeeper
Bill Grove ...
Danny (as Billy Grove)
John MacMillan ...
Windigo
Edit

Storyline

A trio of friends on a snowmobiling trip in the Canadian rockies become lost after venturing up a trail during a snowstorm. They stumble upon a seemingly abandoned hotel lodge and decide to spend the night, unaware of the grave danger that they have put themselves in. Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SPINE-CHILLING SUSPENSE! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1981 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Ghost Keeper  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 750,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to director Jim Makichuk the film's money started to run out when the movie was only half shot, so rather than cancel the production altogether he decided to abandon the remaining script and make things up as he went along, hoping to at least retain the film's creepy atmosphere. He said this explains the released film's rather uneven, incoherent second half and sparse use of the plot's monster. See more »

Quotes

Marty: Some authentic country rustic. When's the whittlin' start?
See more »

Connections

References The Living Desert (1953) See more »

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User Reviews

 
All work and no play make Wendigo a dull beast…
6 September 2009 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

"Ghostkeeper" could be promoted as "The Shining for dummies", actually. For all those who didn't understand or didn't care for the psychological horror aspect of "The Shining", this is pretty much the exact same film, except that there's an actual monster in the basement of the remote snowy forest resort and you don't have to bother about any psychological mumbo-jumbo. I heard and read from several people, whose opinions are always highly valued, that "Ghostkeeper" was more or less a hidden gem of early 80's horror; a film with a reasonably solid plot and a continuously sinister atmosphere. It's one of the few times that I really don't agree with them, because all I saw was a dull, derivative, unmemorable, dark and even slightly pretentious film that nearly bored me to sleep. This Canadian low-budgeter shamelessly imitates the secluded setting and mysterious ambiance building of Stanley Kubrick's previous year's blockbuster, but attempts to interweave with the famous Indian myth of the Wendigo – a cannibalistic spirit constantly craving for flesh – and a sub plot about an estranged elderly woman living, with her sons, far away from civilization. A young couple and their luscious blond friend, three insufferably annoying people that clearly deserve painful deaths from as soon as they open their mouths to talk, are surprised by an upcoming winter storm during the snow-scooter trip on new year's eve. They seek shelter in a seemingly abandoned hotel, only to discover the place is inhabited by a crazy old woman, her maniacal son and a "thing" in the basement that turns out to be Wendigo in chains. The blond bimbo is the first to fall victim, which is logical after her extended monologue story about how she lured her 10th grade teacher into sex for money, but the hotel seems to have other plans for the quiet introvert girl Jenny. Seeing there are only three protagonists in this film, it takes an unbearably long time before something significant happens in "Ghostkeeper". The locations and scenery are very nice, and I definitely do appreciate a film that attempts to build up suspense, but this film is just plain boring. Apart from the insufferable characters (Jenny is exaggeratedly frigid and the other two are stereotypical horror lambs to the slaughter), the film completely lacks gore and excitement and it's often too damn dark to determine what's going on. The Wendigo myth is poorly elaborated. The soundtrack and atmosphere are okay, as said, but these minor positive aspects hardly make the film a hidden gem. The film is obscure enough for you to never come across it. Don't look for it, either.


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