Monday, December 19, 2022

Things You See In a Graveyard (providing the lighting is good enough)

I want to be very clear, particularly during the holiday season when negativity is the last thing anyone needs: I don't like trashing low budget movies. I've never worked in the industry, and I fully respect the incredible amount of hard work that goes into crafting a full-length film, particularly without a lot of resources. 

At the same time, if this website only covered studio-produced 7-digit budgeted films, we'd miss a lot of gems. As a lifelong horror fan, I've spent decades sifting through muck and vow to never stop.

Even when it means I watch a movie like Ghost In the Graveyard. 

Quick Plot: High school senior Sally has returned to Mt. Moriah after a mysterious 9-month vacation. Her history in the town has always been rough: ten years earlier, her best friend Martha died in front of her falling into an open grave while playing the film's titular game. 

Now, things are...strange. And incredibly confusing. Sally's dad (a shockingly normal Jake Busey) and older brother Billy welcome her back with open arms and tea (everybody here drinks a lot of tea) just in time for the town paperboy to be brutally murdered by Martha's grave. The town sheriff casts some suspicion on Sally, who's also struggling to fit back into high school amid visions of ghost Martha and the hive of mean girl Zoe and her maybe boyfriend Reed, who's also been Sally's penpal during her mysterious sabbatical. 

Oh, and maybe Sally had a baby?

I don't know how to properly explain just how confusing Ghost In the Graveyard is in terms of its narrative. First, there's the odd age of actors that left me trying to figure out how Billy fit into the family (it took me several extra scenes to confirm that he wasn't Jake Busey's brother or boyfriend, but actually, his son). Zoe starts off as typical head Heather, only to actually be (spoiler, if you can decipher) a willing or unwilling evil witch. And most notably, Sally's absence is never explained, nor is the random infant that occasionally shows up as a seeming member of the family ever actually explained. 

It's...folks...this is weird.

Also, not particularly good, though first-time writer/director Charlie Camparetto is clearly trying (and based on the number of times "Camparetto" appears in the closing crew credits, so was everybody related to him). Between the Book of Revelation prophesying and Da Vinci Code plot twists, the script isn't's just bad. Tones shift wildly from scene to scene, backstories are dangled without any explanation, and the grand finale is so weirdly shot that we barely know what's happening (not that we did by following the story anyway).

Is this more competently made than, say, Grandmother's House? Certainly. The cast is clearly doing what they can, but goodness, they are working with reheated leftovers of a meal that wasn't very good to start with. 

High Points
I'm reaching here, but I guess I'll throw out a bit of "huh, didn't see that happening" shoulder bump to the brutal murder-by-way-of-baseball of a child 10 minutes in

Low Points
Seriously, I spent a fair amount of time scouring the internet to make sure i wasn't the only viewer who watched this movie and said, "BUT WHO THE HELL DOES THIS BABY BELONG TO?" and yup, the handful of actual posts about Ghost In the Graveyard all ask the same question

Lessons Learned
Going away for 9 months as a 17-year-old will bring you back with terrible hat style

A surprise perk of being the descendent of the Virgin Mary is that everyone wants to make you tea

Live long enough so that your tombstone isn't titled "Little"

Ghost In the Graveyard is not good by any real definition of the word "good." Yes, there are far worse things out there, but I say that as someone who spends far too much time looking for them. 

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