‘Pay The Ghost’ – Review
By Lynn Sorel
Rating: 6 out of 10
Synopsis: Oscar winner Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas) stars in this intense and chilling thriller about one man’s desperate search for his missing child. One year after his young son disappeared during a Halloween carnival, Mike Lawford (Cage) is haunted by eerie images and terrifying messages he can’t explain. Together with his estranged wife (Sarah Wayne Callies, The Walking Dead), he will stop at nothing to unravel the mystery and find their son—and, in doing so, he unearths a legend that refuses to remain buried in the past.
Our Thoughts: ‘Pay The Ghost’ is an interesting supernatural thriller about a child being abducted on Halloween. Mike’s son is abducted from right under his nose and goes missing for a year before clues start to develop.
Before he was taken, his son Charlie said “Can we pay the ghost, dad?” Mike finds this same phrase in graffiti on a building and investigates. The homeless people living in the area are afraid of the screeching woman they hear every year, but don’t know what it means. After, that he starts to see his the ghost of his child, appearing to try to contact him. At first his wife, who left him after their son was abducted, didn’t believe him, but then she began having the experiences too.
As they look further into it, they find out that children taken on Halloween were much less likely to be found than children who went missing other days of the year in NYC. The story unfolds and is much bigger than any of them could have imagined. The climax is done well, however, a portion of it is unresolved and leaves the viewer hanging in a way. While some viewers may not feel one way or another about this or even like it, I felt that there was something missing.
The effects are very well done, and the film obviously had a decent budget. As a seasoned horror fan, I didn’t’ find the film as scary as it was attempting to be. Though, it was sufficiently spooky in atmosphere and I did like the ghostly effects used. All of the actors gave believable performances. Nicolas Cage gives a heartfelt performance as distraught father Mike. Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead) is also very good as the heartbroken wife. However, it is Maxwell McCabe-Lokos (Land of the Dead) who gives a standout performance as Mr. Moldanado, the drug addicted father of another missing child. Despite only having one scene, he leaves a lasting impression on the viewer.
Overall ‘Pay The Ghost’ is an interesting Halloween horror film. While not one of the best films I’ve seen lately, it will appeal to fans of Nicholas Cage as well as those into horror that is heavy on ghostly mysteries.