Reviewed by Melissa Bostaph
Starring Peter James and Fiona Horne
Directed by: Charles Adelman
Distributed by Anthem DVD
You know how when you’re sitting in the theater enjoying a big bag of popcorn and hit that random hideous piece that tastes like burnt asshole? That momentary assault on your taste buds is enough to make you put the bag on the floor and reach for your drink. Well, for me that same type of reaction can be brought on by a number of things. It all depends on what I’m doing at the time.
When it comes to movie watching there are a few things that put a bad taste in my mouth instantly, and it can stay there for the rest of the film. Bad CGI: For the love of everything horror worthy, if you can’t do it right don’t do it at all! Random acts of masturbation: I’m sorry but Wrong Turn 2 didn’t need to show me a redneck retard ringing his own redneck. And when it comes to anything that is trying to take “Ghost Hunting” seriously … A séance or channeling will have me reaching for the remote faster than a buffet disappears at a Jenny Craig convention. All credibility flies right out the window.
That silly parlor trick used to work on me when I was young, impressionable, and naive but now I just find it annoying as all Hell. Unfortunately, Ghost Encounters is one such film. This documentary style 60 minute film tries desperately to compete with the likes of Sci-Fi’s Ghost Hunters and falls miserably short. The DVD cover touts that “There has never been proof that ghosts exist until now!” and “No special effects of any kind have been added!”…Well, No Shit Sherlock…what was your first clue? I’ve experienced more paranormal activity scratching my ass! And proof? What proof? The only thing unexplained in the whole film is the entity on Peter James’ upper lip. There hasn’t been a moustache that epic since Mark Twain’s!
Peter James and his moustache are accompanied by Fiona Horne to host Ghost Encounters on the long thought to be haunted ship The Queen Mary. Along the way Peter gives lengthy backgrounds on the history of the ship and its hauntings. He goes as far as to give exact numbers of spirits, names, and reasons why they are still on the ship. He explains why ghosts are here and what they think and how they see humans, and tells us that ghosts don’t know they’re dead and blah, blah, blow more smoke up my ass and I’m turning this shit off!
The man speaks as if he has sat down and had long conversations with each and every spirit on the ship, and the scariest part of the whole thing is I truly think he believed what he was saying, which made him very convincing to his multiple celebrity co-hosts. While they were eating off his spoon … I was gagging on it. My eyes rolled progressively with every turn down a new corridor, which was always announced by wanna-be creepy editing and digital effects that gave me a sea-sick feeling without having to step foot onto the boat, as did the celebrity reactions throughout the film.
The more James talked the more I was reminded of listening to my grandparents telling stories when I was a kid. Each time you hear the same story it gets more fanciful and dramatic, especially if there’s a new set of ears around. Peter James was no exception. He seemed to thrive on the fact that his present company was captivated by his every word and was more than obliged to deliver additional tidbits of misinformation to the eagerly waiting suckers in his midst. So seeing him bust out in an impromptu possession wasn’t a surprise. That doesn’t make it any less ludicrous, annoying or unbelievable, but it didn’t surprise me in the least.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of personal paranormal or unexplained experiences during my lifetime, and I do believe in such things, but after being the butt of more than one spook-spoof I have become jaded against individuals who just happen to become “sensitives” when the mood suits them. I just can’t swallow it.
EVP’s scare the living shit outta me because they’re really on the recording … but you have no idea why or who or how. But any moron with vocal chords can drop their head and change their voice in order to pretend to channel spirits. Hey if it’s real and you can prove it to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that these people can really allow the dead to communicate through them then fine, but until then all I will ever see is a charlatan.
Ghost Encounters could have been mildly entertaining if it hadn’t been for the host himself, but once he starts weaving his yarns into elaborate tapestries of colorful, fictitious dribble … I lost interest. The ship’s history was extremely fascinating, but coming out of Peter’s mouth I wasn’t even sure if I could believe half of what I was hearing. There was no way for me to filter the truth from the tales.
This is the reason why it was difficult for me to put any stock in the disembodied voice of a little girl in the pool area of the ship, or the metallic banging sound heard in another region of the Queen Mary. It all seemed very theatrical and scripted to me.
The Ghost Encounters’ DVD includes the 60 minute documentary-style program and a scene selection. It also contains a laughable special features selection that gives you an on-set photo gallery with cast and crew. There are no “ghostly images” or even a frigging dust speck being passed off as an orb. There is also a “Real” Story section that caused me to LOL at its absurdity. To say that Peter James’ approach to the paranormal is straight forward and based on science fact because it’s based loosely on a theory about not being able to destroy energy is like saying Roseanne will look good in a G-string just because she has an ass-crack!
The only apparition you’ll get with this DVD is the ghostly remains of your interest the deeper you get into the hip-wader worthy content within.
1 1/2 out of 5
1/2 out of 5