Starring Léo Lins, Danilo Gentili, Murilo Couto, Dani Calabresa
Written by Fabrício Bittar, Andre Catarinacho, Danilo Gentili
Directed by Fabrício Bittar
This review contains spoilers
Reader, let me preface this review by saying I derive no pleasure in writing it. In fact, I went into Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary (Exterminadores do Além Contra a Loira do Banheiro) with high hopes for a midnight movie romp, something bloody, chaotic, exciting, and a pure delight. While I may have gotten the blood, this movie offers nothing else. It is a damnable mess from beginning to end.
Much like last year’s Deadtectives, Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary follows a group of paranormal investigators who are in it for the fame and money, faking their way from one video to another, hoping to strike YouTube viral glory and earn themselves a TV deal. They’re hired by the principal of a local school where there are strange occurrences that are seemingly tied to a local Bloody Mary urban legend. Once they arrive, things, as they are wont to do, go supernaturally awry.
While Deadtectives had characters that were flawed yet entertaining, ones that grew as the story progressed, this group, who have dubbed themselves “Ghoulbusters”, are chock full of some of the most unlikeable and offensively stupid characters I’ve seen in a long, long time.
With flashes of misogyny and racism, Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary powers itself with toilet humor, swearing, bullying of other characters, stupid jokes, and unending geysers of blood, usually achieved through projectile vomiting. There was not a single point in the film where I cracked a smile, much less laughed. Instead, I found myself groaning aloud, rolling my eyes, throwing my arms up in despair, and even committing a movie-going sin: checking my phone. And that speaks to the core issue that Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary has, which is that it’s surprisingly boring. For a film that has enough blood to rival a Sam Raimi flick, there’s just no heart or energy. So much time is dedicated to the “Ghoulbusters” squabbling, arguing, and talking over each. When they’re not doing that, they’re indecisively wavering between helping each other or run for the hills. Considering their unending stupidity and cowardice, I’ll let you guess which option they take nearly every single time.
While the characters recognize that their name and logo are cheap imitations of Ghostbusters, that doesn’t stop the movie from trying to pay homage to the classic Reitman movie. For example, a scene in the library sees Dewey Decimal cards shooting out of their drawers, much like the New York City Public Library from the first film. This moment could’ve been charming in a different movie but here it feels like a desperate attempt to stand on equal footing, a lofty goal that is nigh-well unattainable.
Juvenile humor is the name of the game and it includes a security guard who has bowel issues and must fight a demonic turd that sprays him with shit. There’s also a specimen jar baby that, and I’m not joking here, masturbates furiously mere inches away from Jack’s (Genitili) face before unleashing a stream of urine everywhere. I guess a baby jacking off is okay but a baby ejaculating is going too far?
Not just content with making the “Ghoulbusters” unlikable, every other character is just as irritating and wasted. Professor Helena (Bárbara Bruno) spends half her time screaming and the other half getting in the way of the “Ghoulbusters” due to misplaced empathy to Bloody Mary. All Principal Nogueira (Sikêra Junior) does is scream at the “Ghoulbusters” and anyone else in the nearby vicinity.
Mattheus Ueta plays Daniel, aka Legendary Thanos, a student at the school where all the shenanigans take place as well as a commenter on their YouTube videos. While he offers some constructive criticism, he also has no issues writing how much he’d like to see Caroline’s breasts. It’s a shame because his character could’ve been used as a vehicle for growth and change in the “Ghoulbusters” themselves. Had he stuck to just constructive criticism and been a genuinely good character, the script could’ve allowed them to recognize that he wanted the best for them and to see them evolve. But no. He’s just as annoying, self-centered, and immature as everyone else.
The horror elements are relegated to tried and true cliches but even those can’t be done with efficacy here. Jump scares don’t cause even a twitch and the ghost sequences are yawn-inducing. Predictability is the word of the day and it may as well have been written on a chalkboard over and over Bart Simpson-style.
The cinematography is confusing and chaotic. Flashlights aim directly into the camera, washing out the majority of the frame, while poor lighting in other areas leads to confusion as to what’s what.
So where does Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary work? The gore. That’s really about it. Fountains of blood jettison with glee while heads explode gloriously. But even the gore is used to ill-effect, such as when bit character Professor Renata (Marcela Tavares), who was used as the butt of unwanted sexual advances left and right, attempts to walk out of a room when she suddenly stops, gets possessed, and then her head detonates off her body into the lap and arms of Professor Ricardo (Antonio Tabet). He then screams shrilly while juggling the head, nearly dropping it a few times only to bring it in closer so that the visual gag lasts longer. An interminable time later, he finally drops it scurries off to his own terrible fate: being beaten to death by gym balls in a silly and overly long haunted game of dodge ball.
The creation of a movie is nothing short of a miracle. Coming up with a concept, writing a script (and going through countless drafts), finding investors, hiring a cast/crew, shooting the film, post-production and all that process entails… It’s a Herculean feat that cannot go unappreciated. Unfortunately for Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary, the fact that it exists is the only thing I’m able to commend it for. Everything else is an insult to the audience.
Paint your house. Weed your garden. Anything at all. But for the love of all that’s holy and unholy, don’t waste your time on Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary.