Ghost of Goodnight Lane (2014) **
D: Alin Bijan
C: Billy Zane, Lacey Chabert, Matt Dallas, Danielle Harris, Lynn Andrews III, Richard Tyson, Christine Bentley, Brina Palencia, Jennifer Korbin, Allyn Carrell, John Franklin
Plot Synopsis: When the staff inside a renovated film studio finds a co-worker dead one morning, the pieces of a forty year puzzle add up to an angry ghost who has let the last person step inside her house. But will they ever get out alive?
REVIEW: Ghost of Goodnight Lane feels like three movies crammed into one. So let's dissect each one, one by one. The first, is a serious horror-thriller mystery in which Lacey Chabert and Lynn Andrews III try to figure out who's haunting the indie production studio that they work for and why. Matt Dallas co-stars as Chabert's love interest. This part of the film is oh so dull. Chabert and Dallas end up being nothing more then scenery, attractive scenery, but scenery none the less. While poor little Lynn Andrews III feels completely out of place with a cast that is far more experienced.
The second film is a spoof of the behind the scenes shenanigans of an indie film studio that Billy Zane heads. In the film's best scene, Zane has called back some cast members to re-shoot scenes in his latest low budget horror masterpiece. After sitting around for what seems forever, doing pretty much nothing, Zane and his cast get around to re-shooting a club scene. Zane has his cast members outfitted in stylish costumes with lights swirling all over the place. However, Zane's character cuts the scene and proceeds to a re-take in which he informs two of the female cast members that they need to bump & grind on each other like they want to have sex while dancing with machine guns in a phallic kind of way. One of the guys, who looks like they could easily fit right alongside the cast of Jersey Shore, is given bottles of Muscle Milk to hold while dancing. He's told to convey strength and power as he dances, but to also make sure that the label on the Muscle Milk is facing forward for product placement purposes.
This scene is hilariously funny. What makes it work so well is that Zane commits to this narcissistic director role with a fairly straight face which accentuates the absurdity of the entire situation even more so. However, this scene comes so far out of left field, that it feels as though it belongs in an entirely different movie altogether.
And finally, the third film is a ridiculously over the top horror film, but ridiculously over the top in a good way. This is where the film, as an overall whole, starts to gain some momentum. It's as though someone figured out that this whole enterprise wasn't working. So they threw good taste out the window and went for the theatrics. Some of the better scenes involve an air headed actress who has a date with a fan (as in the machine) and a supporting actress (in the movie within a movie) who is forced to kill herself with shattered mirror pieces.
I think it goes without saying that the pieces are better then the overall whole. I think it's also fair to say that the film lacks an organized vision and that it fails to gel as a cohesive whole. The overall results are marginally OK. There's some entertaining bits as well as some outright boring ones. If the film had committed to the absurdity of the final act from the get go, this review would have probably turned out very differently, but it doesn't.
PS: Did I mention that Charles Manson figures into the story as well?!? [Not Rated] 96 mins.
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