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Advance Review: Pay the Ghost

Pay the Ghost takes place one year after a young boy disappears during a Halloween carnival. The boy’s father, Mike Lawford, is haunted by eerie images and terrifying messages he can’t explain. Together with his estranged wife, he will stop at nothing to unravel the mystery and find their son—and, in doing so, he unearths a legend that refuses to remain buried in the past.

Considering this movie stars Nicolas Cage, I had some apprehension. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good (or so bad its good) Nicolas Cage movie, but I have to say this one didn’t really disappoint. Maybe I set the bar low because of recent roles that Cage has taken on, but I didn’t feel like I was wasting my time here. This is one of those flicks that you can watch during the Halloween season with friends and not become that douche bag that made everyone leave their lights on because they went home and nearly wet the bed.

pay the ghost by rafy-2029.cr2

The story is slightly generic, but makes up for it with interesting side characters and believable acting. When the child is actually taken, there isn’t over the top screaming or fighting between the parents, just tears, blaming, and separation. Surprisingly, cheesy pointless dialogue is avoided. The mother is Sarah Wayne Callies and although I hated her in The Walking Dead (she is Lori Grimes), she brings a certain natural beauty and authenticity to the role.

There are cheap jump scares sprinkled throughout the story to remind you this is supposed to be a horror film, but honestly they just get in the way. I was more intrigued by the mystery of the boy’s disappearance and was enjoying the well made creepy atmosphere the movie craftily presented. There are even some extremely violent and terrifying bits that are unexpected but welcome.

Overall, this movie isn’t overly terrifying but it is worth a watch via Netflix or a Redbox movie rental. It is a typical paranormal film with predicable twists and turns, but it still enjoyable for the season. Pay the Ghost really put me in the mood for fall and Halloween.

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WICKED RATING: [usr 4]

Director(s): Uli Edel
Writer(s): Dan Kay
Stars: Nicholas Cage, Sarah Wayne Callies
Release: September 25, 2015
Studio/ Production Co: Midnight Kitchen Productions, Voltage Pictures
Distributed by: RLJ Entertainment
Language: English
Length: 94 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Thriller, Action

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Written by April Bennett
True crime enthusiast April Bennett has researched serial murder and related crimes since her first documentary about Aileen Wuornos at the age of 10. In addition to being a contributing writer on WickedHorror.com, she is also an assistant researcher for The Last Podcast on the Left.
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