WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from the ungodly experiment that is the B-Horror Blog, it’s that anything the Asylum can do, Syfy can do a thousand times better (except for those few times when the Asylum makes the Syfy movie). They’re both good staples: The Asylum if you want a movie that’ll be easy to throw insults at, and Syfy if you want some guaranteed cheese. Ghost Storm will give you everything you need so far as cheese factor is concerned, and it even throws in a little soft science just to make the final product that little bit more saccharine-sweet. By the looks of things the people behind this movie had a fairly decent budget to play around with, and gradually these people seem to be coming to grips with making CGI monsters that aren’t so bad they’re insulting. I recommend hanging onto this one for one of those really rainy Sunday afternoons when you want to chase away the approaching Monday blues.
What is it in a teenager’s genetic structure that draws them to creepy cemeteries like moths to a porch light? Science should really look into that. Anyway, as you may have guessed, our story begins with a group of bored teenagers in a dark and spooky cemetery – during a lightning storm, no less. Wherever the hell their hometown is, it would appear to be on a tiny little island, so I guess you gotta get your kicks where you can. Everything’s going absolutely fine (guys scaring girls, ominous thunder) until a bolt of lightning strikes the memorial for the people who died during the town’s now-infamous mass-suicide. The lightning, through means I should check with my Occult Specialist, releases the angry spirits of the departed, who quickly go about turning one of the teenagers into a grey piece of human jerky.
Thankfully, Officer Dad (AKA Hal, father of Daisy, one of the girls that was out in the cemetery) is on the case. There must be a logical, rational reason why Daisy’s 18-year-old boyfriend’s corpse went from looking like the Crypt Keeper to being a pile of mulch in a matter of hours. Of course, the problem here is that they’re stuck on an island, and how exactly would you report this kind of incident to the authorities back on the main land? This of course is only the beginning of the town’s problems – you see, these aren’t your regular pissed off, vengeance-seeking ghosts. These ghosts are smart – why hunt individually when you can join together, form a supernatural storm system and blight the inhabitants of the island all the more faster?
So, with the angry spirits swirling around the island in a giant, lightning-filled vortex, it’s up to Hal, ex-wife Ashley, and Daisy to come up with some kind of way to defeat the ghosts before they turn the entire town’s population into little piles of dust. They will be aided by a seafaring ghost hunter who happened to rock up on the island just as the storm formed. They will need a combination of a lot of random electrical equipment, some occultist knowledge, Ashley’s meteorological know-how, a lot of salt water, a fire extinguisher, an old diary with some town secrets, a weather balloon, a gun, a lot of jumper cables, some cans of silicon gel, half a dozen rolls of duct tape, an ancient talisman and a cellphone tower if they’re ever going to be able to stop these ghosts. Then, of course, there’s the mysterious old priest, and Ashley and Daisy’s old, but not forgotten, family history that ties into the whole affair…
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Lightning storms are a tremendous turn on for randy teens.
- The new iSpirit app is very useful for knowing when there are vengeful spirits in the area.
- Exhuming bodies is nothing but good, small town fun.
- It’s very expensive to build a machine that’ll let you speak to a storm cloud.
- Salt water is the best thing to use to soak up spilled evil.
- A good old-fashioned witch hunt usually eases the tension when you’re being held hostage by ghosts.
- Always make sure that your ghost complies with regulatory electrical standards.
GHOST STORM TRAILER
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Year of Release: 2008
Genre: Horror / Mystery
IMDB Rating: 5.7 / 10
Level of Awful: Low
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Again! Like the recent Vanishing on 7th Street and Plague Town, this movie was just SO close to being amazing! It has all the right elements: fundamentalist Christians, the dark arts, people who can act and Grudge-esque ghosts, but sadly these things are not used to their best effect. I think that the message it conveys is very topical: when taken to fanatical extremes religion, no matter which one it is, will result in people doing stupid, crazy shit. In that way I feel like the movie was more focussed on the aspects of the various religious nuts than on the actual horror aspect, which left me very disappointed. Never the less From Within is a very watchable movie and, given its IMDB rating, some people out there must like it. I’m not sure if I wanted the religious nuts to be even more crazy or if I wanted more horror / terror so that I would be genuinely frightened but, when all is said and done, the movie just left me wanting a little bit more.
Welcome to Grovetown, your standard little Anywhere USA. The skies are blue, the lawns meticulously mowed, the shops are quaint and the folk genuinely care for one another. It’s the kind of place you would want to raise your kids. If you wanted your kids to be white-supremacists with radical Christian beliefs that believe burning the witch is still your best possible option, that is, and that really is the bulk of the town’s population. The only one with her head screwed on right is Lindsay, a follower of the church but who believes that people should live and let live. She lives with her alcoholic and mouse of a stepmother Trish who has frequent visits from her somewhat-pervy truck driver boyfriend Roy. Lindsay also happens to be dating Dylan, the son of the town’s resident pastor who is about as extreme a religious nut as you can get. Her world becomes a little more complicated when she picks up Aidan (literally – Dylan beat him to the floor), the town’s local pagan. Understandably an outcast from the rest of Grovetown’s cliques Aidan has lived with his brother ever since the townsfolk burned their mother alive for being a witch. Burning the witch is about to come back to bite Grovetown in the ass.
Something very strange is starting to happen in Grovetown. While sitting on a hill overlooking the town one night a young emo couple reads to one another and tenderly embrace. 2 minutes later the guy blows his brain out. The girl, presumably a little shaken by this, runs back into town to her father’s dress shop (hip and happening designs in Grovetown, Amish paradise anywhere else) screaming that some woman is after her. Lindsay and Trish are also in the store and when Lindsay walks away from the girl the doors slam shut. When the group manages to open them they find the girl with scissors rammed in her neck. This is the beginning of the suicides that will stalk the town for the rest of the week. Gossip will be exchanged, accusations will be cast, witch burning brunches will be planned.
As the suicide rate in Grovetown begins to climb and frequent church meetings do little to solve the problem people are starting to get a little anxious and are looking for a solution. What they are unaware of is that their beautiful little town has been cursed. While they do know about the deaths they don’t know that they aren’t actually suicides. You see just before various young teenagers and assorted older people are killed they see something that truly horrifies them: themselves. Now this isn’t the ‘wake up, look in mirror and realise you look like crap’ kind of terrified; this is ‘I’ve just seen my evil doppelgänger and it’s coming to get me’ variety of terrified. Since the entire town’s stock answer to any problem they face is ‘burn the witch! cleanse the earth with fire!’, it falls to Lindsay and Aidan to figure out what’s happening and how best to go about sorting it out. They will face fierce opposition, attempted exorcisms, angry mobs and a deranged son of a preacher man, but the fate of Grovetown and the rest of the world now rests on both their delicately feminine shoulders.
My only question, and this crops up in more movies that you’d think: if you are ‘different’ and know you are going to be an outcast and piss dumb people off, why live in a town full of them?
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- You can either be Christian or a witch. There is nothing in between.
- A preacher should never be allowed near a troubled man. It will only end in confusion and heartache.
- Christian men should only ever wear plaid shirts.
- Christian women should only ever dress in a way that would make the Amish feel like they are showing too much skin.
- Pagans should always be sarcastic, dark and twisty.
- Saying the voices spoke to you one day makes you clinically insane. Saying that God spoke to you one day makes you a devout Christian.
FROM WITHIN TRAILER