Ghost House (2017) Review
Jim and Julie (James Landry Hébert & Scout Taylor-Compton) are vacationing in Thailand where Julie falls in love with photographing the Thai “Ghost Houses” that are believed to give spirits shelter and comfort. A couple of British travellers take them on an adventure to the countryside with the promise of showing Jim and Julie a ghost house graveyard where the old houses are discarded.
After leaving the graveyard with a souvenir, Julie becomes cursed and is increasingly plagued by visits from a malevolent spirit, Watabe, that threatens both her sanity and her life. After Julie is hospitalised in a state of terror, Jim must find a way to lift the curse in three days before Julie loses her soul to the ghost world forever. Through an act of desperation, Jim enlists the help of a shady ex-pat named Reno (Mark Boone Junior) who takes the couple on a journey deep into the jungle in the hope that a witch doctor can provide a solution to their problem.
There’s nothing new to see here and a number of other movies have covered the same or similar ground – such as THE RITUAL, RINGU and its US remake, and JU-ON: THE GRUDGE – and often done better. It runs out of steam and seems to forget that it’s a horror flick once Jim, the lead male character, begins his search for a ‘cure’ to his fiancée’s symptoms.
Director Rich Ragsdale knows how to wring tension and the odd effective jump out of a wear-worn yarn. It’s a shame that the writing doesn’t match the talent calling the shots behind the camera. The characters are not strong enough to care or route for but the events that unfold around them ensure that, whilst unsurprising and generic, you have a mildly diverting hour-and-a-half’s entertainment.