Nicolas Cage is fast becoming the new ‘Steven Seagal’ i.e. making a huge amount of films and most of them heading straight to DVD. Rather like Seagal not all of them are a waste of time and amongst them the Oscar winner has made a couple of gems, but get me started on that cinematic travesty known as ‘Left Behind’.
Pay The Ghost is Cage’s venture into the supernatural thriller genre complete with scary looking apparitions and moody camerawork. Our story begins when college professor Mike’s son goes missing when he takes him to the local Halloween carnival. The police have no clues, a year passes and Mike is still desperately searching for his son. He then thinks he sees him on a bus and when he gets on board, there is nothing. Is he going a bit mad? His son uttered the words ‘Pay the Ghost’ shortly before his abduction and Mike sees this spray painted on a building. He enters the building and inside are a bunch of homeless people and when talking to a blind tramp he hears a blood curdling scream. Mike’s estranged wife Kristen is also seeing weird stuff and after witnessing a vision of people being burned on a stake, Mike and Kristen begin to dig deep into Halloween folklore and the possibility their son is trapped in the Netherworld.
This movie is a bit of a return to grace for Cage, he is very good and restrained as the tormented Father and doesn’t go into crazy overacting mode. The Walking Dead’s Sarah Wayne Callies is good support as his wife and one of my favourite character actors Stephen McHattie has a small but pivotal role as the blind homeless dude. Director Uli Edel stages the scare scenes well and in particular the Halloween carnival is atmospherically shot.
It won’t set the horror cinema world alight with sparkling originality but it is very watchable and quite creepy in places.
- Starring Nicolas Cage Sarah Wayne Callies Jack Fulton Kalie Hunter
- Director Uli Edel
- Distributor Arrow Films