Starring: Nicolas Cage and Sarah Wayne Callies

Pay the Ghost

Pay the Ghost

Director: Uli Edel

Rating: 2/5

Pay The Ghost tells the tale of Mike Lawford ( Nicolas Cage) a university professor whose job is taking all of time away from his family which is putting his marriage under considerable strain.

On Halloween he takes is son, Charlie, to the local carnival to enjoy the last few hours of festivities to apologise for missing out on trick or treating.

While queueing up for an ice cream- Charlie disappears.

One year on and Charlie's still not been found, resulting in the dissolution of Lawford's relationship with his wife Kristen ( Sarah Wayne Callies).

Living apart from his wife gives Lawford time to think and investigate into his son's mysterious absence. He suspects something more than a kidnapping as Charlie told him to 'pay the ghost' the moment before he disappeared. He begins to experience messages and images he can't explain and as he delves further he unleashes a legend that will not stay hidden in the past where it belongs.

Sarah Wayne Callies was the standout performance for me in this film- her role in The Walking Dead prepared her well for this part. The mother-son relationship between her and Charlie (Jack Fulton) was both convincing and heartfelt and was reminiscent of the scenes with her on-screen son, Carl in the popular TV show.

Sadly, this was the only highlight for me. Horror is by far my favourite genre and unfortunately we have seen all the cheap scares recycled in this film before.

The 'something at my window' idea has been overdone as has bringing in a clairvoyant to check the house, children in scary masks and setting it on Halloween. To polish off the cliché ubiquity, Lawford predictably meets random people along the way who reveal more about the plot for those who have lost interest. Their monologues were both exhausting and overly rehearsed in juxtaposition to the rest of the script.

The appearance of the giant bird from the beginning was intriguing but spoiled by the poor special effects.

I'm not a big Cage fan and he stayed true to form and played the same character as he always does. His saving grace was his shift in choice of genre, but it didn't help him that much.

The final scene is again ruined by too many poor special effects and the reveal was unimpressive given the liner storyline.

The film left me frustrated to say the least. It's about time we had a horror film that breaks the mould. One that uses new ways to scare the audience rather than rehashing stuff that worked first time around and then instantly lost its appeal.

If you're looking to tick it off the list and watch a horror movie that doesn't require a lot of thought- then this may be one for you. On the other hand, if you're seeking out a new take on the genre you will be sadly disappointed.