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An American Ghost Story


A pile of sheet.

Rod Lott August 23rd, 2013

Here's how ludicrous the protagonist of An American Ghost Story is: He still uses American Online. Here's how ludicrous An American Ghost Story is as a whole: It uses AOL's once-ubiquitous greeting of “You've got mail!” as a scare.

amerghoststory

The Breaking Glass Pictures release is not to be confused with the FX hit series American Horror Story, although I'm sure Breaking Glass won't mind if any potential renters do. Early in the no-budget picture, the main character tells his girfriend, “Anything to do with paranormal activity is really hot right now,” and that feels like the movie's entire reason for being: a cash-in, not unlike The Asylum's soundalike mockbusters. This Story certainly has no grand tale worth presenting. (Another telling line from our hero: “Well, this sucks.”)

Paul (Stephen Twardokus, also the screenwriter) moves into a rent house solely because it's rumored to be haunted. See, a previous tenant once killed his wife and kids there, and Paul — a self-described part-time ad writer for a newspaper — is so inexplicably obsessed with the crime that he wishes to recreate the home as it once was because “it's supposed to make the ghosts more active.”

If that sounds stupid to you, let's form a club; I'll make membership cards. It is almost sad how dull An American Ghost Story is, how little it tries, how poorly the dialogue is delivered, how lazy the amateurish performances are. Director Derek Cole's idea of scaring viewers is to SUDDENLY CRANK THE VOLUME! The (anti-)climax has Paul battling a guy in a bedsheet — not an exaggeration. —Rod Lott

 
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