Posted: 12/21/2009


Ghost Machine- Worth the 90 Minutes


by Alicia Ayoub

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If you can get past the cheesy title and lose the expectation of a B- rated horror flick, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Ghost Machine is a great melding of horror and sci-fi. Think The Ring meets Strange Days. The creepy factor is high, combined with riveting cinematography, gorgeous opening shots, and decent effects. The ambience is nice and dark as inspired lighting and camera work give the audience chills down the neck. The visuals are raw, smooth, and realistic without being jarring to the eyes, just to the mind.

The movie posits a solid concept as military operatives wander off base to engage in an unauthorized SIM of a combat mission. They participate in the renegade game in a prison in the U.K. which was used to hold post- 9/11 prisoners. The stakes are raised when they encounter the ticked- off apparition of a tortured cyber- terrorist who lost her life in the dingy prison. The lines of reality in this psycho- thriller are blurred as the ghost transplants herself in their game and their rules are thrown to the wind.

Rachael Taylor and Luke Ford turn in solid performances. Sean Faris’ character who is, ironically, named Tom, conjures up memories of Tom Cruise’s “Maverick” as he plays the arrogant techie who is the main brain behind the SIM. Luckily, for his character, this works.

If you like to be creeped out, this is a good, entertaining 90 minutes. While the accent was a little difficult for my American ears at times, there is really not much to complain about. Due to its graphic and sexual content and rough language, it earns its R rating. This movie is not for the squeamish. But it is a smart concept that evokes interesting, yet arguably overdone, twists. Ghost Machine definitely delivers the fun!

Alicia Ayoub is a writer, director, and theatrical stage manager.

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