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|Index||17 reviews in total|
The opening set-up isn't bad. An Old West town in 1866 is invaded by
some ruthless gunslingers, who just happen to be cultists. An out
gunned sheriff, and a minister stand in their way, winding up with
bullet holes in their chests along with everybody else in town. The
dying Christian minister, who (ready?) practices Wickan beliefs (hey, I
didn't write this thing) leaves a message in blood on a window.
Finally, the cultists shoot themselves.
Then the film disintegrates. Modern day: noisy teens arguing. On a bus. You'll know exactly the order of deaths from how stupid they each act in this scene. The ghosts make the bus and everybody's cell phones stop working. How come ghosts from the 19th Century always seem to understand modern technology? Soon, the old smooching couple in a hayloft getting attacked routine becomes the first cliché. There's a lot of jabbering about pentagrams, Friday 13th, and other stuff, but not much point to why it's all happening. The only reasons I could see for the ghosts' wanting to blast everybody would be either: 1) the teens were transparent one dimensional characters that were simply annoying, and/or 2) most of the cast sorely needed acting lessons. Whatever their reason was, these ghosts kill creatively; one guy even meets his end spitting up motor oil.
There's enough weirdness in this to make it an OK watch. But don't expect a whole lot from it.
After their bus mysteriously gets lost, a bunch of college kids find
themselves trapped in a Wild West Ghost Town inhabited by evil spirits.
Not awful by any means, as these budgeted TV productions go, it has some inventive death scenes (death by gasoline vomit a personal favourite here), Billy Drago as a venomous Cowboy spirit and some canted angles used for good atmospheric impact. Hell! The blending of maths stars and jocks, which while not original, makes for an interesting group dynamic and lets the writer (Andy Briggs) set up a decent finale as the remaining youngsters try to work out a way out of hell by using brain and brawn.
Unfortunately director Todor Chapkanov seems to think that jitterycam is the way to go at every given opportunity, something which really hinders the atmosphere trying to get out. Then there is the MTV "R" US musical score/soundtrack that booms out inappropriately like proof was needed that noise does indeed annoy. While the town itself looks like some left over mock up from an American Adventure Theme Park.
Filmed in Sofia, Bulgaria, it ultimately comes down to a bunch of pretty looking college kids (one of whom looks like Vin Diesel) getting killed amid angst, bullying and sexual yearnings. But like the characters in the story, the film seems stuck in a filmic purgatory, not really sure if it wants to slash, spook or yeehaw its way into our conscious. But as Syfy Channel time wasters go it just about passes muster. 4/10
Busload of annoyingly stereotypical teens, stranded in a ghost town inhabited by murderous outlaw poltergeists, attempt to survive their stay without "freaking out" while also solving the mystery behind their spooky surroundings. Jittery, witless low-budget thriller, barren of substantial ideas or honest scares. TV-buffs should enjoy seeing Gil Gerard again (playing the preacher), but the movie doesn't have an ounce of originality. The poor bus driver throws up motor oil in the most ludicrously-derived supernatural sequence (actually a quasi-steal from "Poltergeist II"), while the long-in-the-tooth students banter back and forth so vacuously that one is apt to sleep through "Ghost Town" without so much as a shudder. NO STARS from ****
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I happened to catch a portion of this movie on the Sy-Fy channel about a year ago and since it looked pretty good at the time I decided to procure a copy recently. Having now seen this movie in its entirety I can honestly say that it wasn't too bad. Essentially, "Reb Halland" (Billy Drago) is the leader of an outlaw gang back in the days of the old west who has made a deal with the Devil for immortality. "Preacher McCready" (Gil Gerard) is a mystic who comes to the town of Hope Springs to protect it from Reb Halland's gang by erecting 5 Wiccan totems in various places. His plan works to perfection until a man comes along and pulls one out of the ground. When that happens all hell breaks loose as Reb's gang kills everyone in townon a Friday the 13th no less. They then commit suicide and wait for an opportunity to kill again. Fast forward to the present when a bus carrying students from Carmel College find themselves in this same townand it just happens to be on a Friday the 13th. Now rather than reveal any more of the film and risk ruining it for those who haven't seen it I will just say that for a made-for-television movie it had decent special effects and enough suspense to keep things somewhat interesting for the most part. Likewise it didn't hurt to have two attractive actresses in Jessica Rose (as "Jenna") and Annabelle Wallis ("Serena"). Again, while it certainly wasn't the best horror movie ever made I found it to be enjoyable enough and I rate it as about average.
Ghost Town did have a good idea to start with. With the opening sequence, which sets the tone very well, you'd think it would be a decent movie at least. Unfortunately, it very quickly descends into amateurish tedium. I have seen worse-looking movies, but the crude editing, often dull lighting and the rather slapdash(though I have seen far worse) effects does make it a film where the low-budget really does show. Even the make-up has a real lack of originality. The music is too obvious, a large part of why the scares and such weren't done so well, and nothing really stuck out as memorable. The dialogue is terrible, it all feels hackneyed and it gives a very unnatural flow. The story is one that tries to be a slasher movie, a western and a ghost movie. It doesn't do either of those well at all. Much of it is worthless filler. With slasher scenes, you'd expect scares that make you bite your nails and a feeling of dread. With these scenes, it has gore but little else. I like westerns just as much as the next person, but there is nothing exciting or adventurous on display here. Likewise with the ghost aspects. The ghosts had real potential but are not menacing and not used well. It all reads of them giving nothing to do that is worthwhile other than predictable things, and as a result the spooky atmosphere is low on the radar. Even episodes of Scooby Doo was scarier than this entire movie. And when are SyFy ever are going to do their research, the worst was in regard to Wicca, which didn't exist until the 20th century which is the opposite of what Ghost Town implies. I hated the characters just as much. Whether they are stereotypical or not doesn't actually doesn't bother me, a large amount of movies has one stereotype at least. But it is an entirely different matter when the high school kids are so annoying that you'd finish them off given the choice and no thought whatsoever is given to the villains, with only the character Reb Halland given anything that is of note. The acting is atrocious, the kids can't act their way out of a paper bag, most of them are wooden, with one even slipping into what sounds like a New Zealand accent that is somewhat disconcerting, and none of them show any genuine sense of fear or tension giving their predicament. Billy Drago looks intimidating but has little to do other than sneering reasonably effectively. All in all, Ghost Town had an opening sequence that was decent but any potential was wasted to the point that you actually question what was the point? 2/10 Bethany Cox
Before being commissioned for producing films for Syfy, UFO
Entertainment were perhaps the preceding "mockbuster" company to The
Asylum, although their movies actually weren't that obviously inspired
by current films. Some people would call "Dragon Storm" UFO's analogue
to "Reign of Fire". They're sadly mistaken.
"Ghost Town" would be the aforementioned analogue; it doesn't outwardly resemble "Reign of Fire" but there is one connection; it's more boring than anyone could possibly expect.
A debate team and hockey team are heading towards home when they somehow find themselves under attack from ghost cowboys. Unfortunately nobody remembered to bring any personnality on their trip and nothing else provides any reason for audiences to be interested.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Normally, cable TV movies are lousy and too predictable. I will be
honest, I originally watched this solely because Billy Drago is in my
Top Five list of absolute favorite actors. I love him! In this movie, a
busload of college students on the way home from a sports event and a
debate match is suddenly on a dirt road and leads into a ghost town
from the Wild West. They at first believe it is one of these life-size
museums that teaches tourists and field trip kids about how people
lived then OR one of these haunted-house theme parks. However, they
soon realize it is not either of these places and find that there are
ghosts of five outlaws (four men and one woman) who had killed the
entire population back in the Wild West era. Now they return every
thirteen years to kill anyone who gets trapped. The more they kill
people, the stronger they become. The students die off, one-by-one,
until the last few figure out what to do and are able to break the
curse. As the last three leave the town, one of the totems that broke
the curse burns away. This may be insinuating a sequel, but this has
I found this a good movie, especially for those who scare easily since this is not a "super-scary" one. It is moderately scary, but it's one that I can watch right before going to sleep with no nightmares. I recorded it on my DVD recorder and watch it at times and always on Halloween. (I have several movies for Halloween watching).
I do wish SyFy would put this on DVD. They did with that awful Sharknado movie, but not this much-better than that movie.
The actors were mixed; some were good actors and some were awful actors. The special effects were quite good. Despite a few plot holes, it can be enjoyable. It is a good Saturday night "there-is-nothing-on-TV-to-watch" movie. Or it can be a good one to watch on Halloween or on a night you want a little chill in your spine.
Even if this were a lousy and bad movie, Billy Drago makes anything watchable.
Well, this isn't a movie I would go and choose to rent and take home or purchase .... so kind of glad it was on free to air TV! The acting was ... well, they did the best they could with the script they had I guess! lol... Sorry to the writer - it could have been a lot better than it was - however the basic outline wasn't bad. The special effects (for the most part) and camera work made it watchable - but but is not a movie I would go 'oh yes I want to watch that again).... I am guessing that the cast and crew enjoyed the experience and the editing was well done - everything was pretty smoothly put together. It was what I would have expected of a B grade semi-horror/thriller movie... good effort guys... despite my comments - it was a reasonable way to pass a couple of hours (by the time free to air TV sticks in the adverts!).... :D
Stranded after a debate match, a team of students find the ghost town
they're stuck in is home to a gang of devil-worshiping cowboys and must
find a way to get out alive.
There's a lot to like with this one. One of the better elements in this one is the rather exciting and frenetic action scenes in this one, which are spread throughout this one so it really gets rather fun and exciting. The enhanced pace of this one is due to the fact that the attacks in here are constant and spread throughout so there's plenty in here to keep this interesting. Whether it's brief attacks like the bus driver or the flashbacks to the other people to have been stuck in the town throughout its' history, or the extended attack scenes such as the saloon trap or the barnyard encounter, there's more than enough action within this one that keeps it buzzing along nicely. Each of this actually works quite well in keeping this going by having specific reasons to work, as the shorter scenes are a quick, suspenseful bit leading into the shock jump scene while the longer scenes get the benefit of having the fantastic action scenes get played out really nicely. That makes for healthy quantities of both variety and quantity to make this quite exciting and thrilling, which also plays into the other factors here of being a rather impressive body count with all the confrontations here as well as getting in a lot of good points with the Satanic imagery present that accounts for both the creepy back-story of the ghosts as well as their specific actions later on that make the finale so much fun. These manage to overwhelm the few flaws in this one, which is mainly the fact that the ghosts themselves aren't on-screen all that much. They tend to stay off-screen for most of the first half and have only sporadic screen time until the finale, including being curiously absent while the group engages in the one activity that can finally end matters once and for all, a scene that should contain their presence in the least. Along with the weak CGI in the blood and gore, it's the one flaw in this one.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Language and Brief Nudity.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Reb Halland, who lived in the era of Wild West, has made a deal with
the devil to gain immortality along with his gang. Preacher McCready is
trying to protect the small town by placing five totems around it in
the shape of the pentacle. One day, a collector passes by the town and
sees one of the totems pinned to the earth, and he decides to take it.
When the man takes the totem out of ground, Halland and his gang
arrives and starts killing everyone, then commit ritual suicide. The
film moves to the present day when a group of college students, who are
driving back home from another city after a debate contest, suddenly
find themselves at this town. Soon, they start to be murdered one by
one, and it will be up to them to find the secret of the town and
destroy Halland and his gang. (Written by Mrk7337)
Ghost Town features a creepy setting and impressive special effects (When you take into account its extremely low budget), unfortunately what drags it down is the poor script, sub-par acting, and those typical "Oh you have got to be effin kidding me" moments expected in a SYFY channel original movie. Worth a Rental, but nothing more than that.
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