By: Sean Brickley
Ghostlight opens with a woman singing on a stage in an empty theater. As she continues her performance, suddenly her throat is slashed by an unseen force and she ends up gasping on the floor. She awakens in her bed. Everything is fine. It was just a nightmare. Her husband Andrew consoles her but she still appears to be terrified over what she has seen and experienced.
The next morning, Andrew is anxiously listening to the radio, desperate to find out who won the local radio station’s contest. As luck would have it, Andrew has won. What has he won exactly? He’s won the chance to spend a night in a local abandoned theater that is rumored to be haunted by numerous ghosts. Should he stay the entire night, he will win fifty thousand dollars. Andrew doesn’t believe in ghosts so he sees this as an easy opportunity to score some quick cash, which he and his wife Mira need in a major way. Mira, on the other hand, has tremendous reservations over the idea. Andrew is quick to tell her not to worry.
They head on over to the local theater so that Andrew can meet the owner, Mr. Black, and do a walkthrough of the theater. Mira chooses to wait outside after seeing apparitions in two upstairs windows. While she waits, she talks with her daughter Emma, who states that she saw the apparitions as well. Inside, the owner shows Andrew the various parts of the theater while they talk the theater’s notorious history of death. It is around this time that it is revealed that Andrew and Mira’s only child died and that Mira hasn’t been able to effectively communicate to anyone since then. This means that Emma isn’t really alive and that only Mira can see or speak to her, which becomes more evident throughout the movie.
After they leave the theater, Mira begins seeing the apparitions more often and is more hesitant about Andrew spending the night at the theater. He brushes it off and eventually heads to the theater. Soon after entering for the night, he begins experiencing unexplainable occurrences while at home, Mira is also having supernatural issues of her own.
I have to be blunt here, folks. This movie couldn’t have had more of a Lifetime Channel air to it even if Oprah gave me a new car when the credits began to roll at the end. Don’t get me wrong; I fully understand the need to evoke a sense of sympathy for Andrew and Mira for the loss of their daughter, but the sadface music every 5 minutes did more to take away from whatever scary ambiance was trying to be built in every other scene. I spent so much time watching Mira cry that I just wanted to reach through the screen, shake her and tell her to take a Xanax.
Andrew doesn’t get off the overacting hook too easily either. The amount of confidence he exuded was overbearing to the point of me simply thinking that he was just an asshole. Honestly, if Mira wasn’t spending so much time moping around, she probably would have told him to get over himself.
The other characters weren’t too bad, despite the fact that they all seemed to graduate from the same school of eccentricity. The plot and basic idea of the movie honestly wasn’t that bad and the ending seemed relatively well thought out. It just felt like there appeared to be some need to inject as much estrogen into the movie as possible, and that took away from it really being all that scary. All-in-all, Ghostlight would make a good date movie for people who need their horror watered down by the likes of Nicholas Sparks.