If you’ve read the Joe Hill novel Heart-Shaped Box, you’ll have a general idea of what’s going on in Ghost Note. The two projects aren’t connected, but they share a very similar theme of a spirit of a musician haunting a couple. Unlike that novel, though, this film is filled with bland and boring characters, and a vengeful ghost that really doesn’t do a hell of a lot until the films finale.
Back in the early ’70s, our main character’s grandfather, a preacher, managed to capture the spirit of the evil Eugene Burns, a blues musician that sold his soul to the devil to create the perfect album. The preacher performed an exorcism, but couldn’t rid Eugene of the demon inside him, so, instead, he locked him up to save others from his wrath. Ghost Note tells the story of Mallory, and her attempt to survive this evil spirit that she accidently set loose on the world fifty years after its initial capture.
Ghost Note is shot decently well, and the editing isn’t too bad for a low budget film. Sadly, writer/director Troy Hart isn’t able to get a halfway decent performance out of any of his actors, and the stilted dialogue hurts matters more.
Ghost Note opens with a torture porn-like segment, before jumping to the present day where our “teen” lead – who I thought was at least 24 years old – is visiting her grandparents on a summer vacation. It plods through a bunch of character beats until she finds the infamous “Ghost Note” album hidden in a pot, or somwhere similar. Upon listening to it, the ghost possesses people, and then people die. Frankly, this premise is just silly, and also reminiscent of The Lords of Salem, but nowhere near as good.
I actually watched the trailer for this before seeing the film, and the trailer does a good job of setting the tone you can expect for the whole film. The problem is that none of the good bits start to happen until about an hour into the movie, which is too late. Even with an hour and forty minute runtime, Ghost Note just feels way too long because of the poor pacing.
I’d suggest giving the trailer a watch, and if it seems like Ghost Note might be up your alley, then by all means, give it a viewing. This guy, though, was bored, and ultimately unimpressed when all the pieces start to finally fall into place. If Ghost Note had a tighter script, better direction, or more polished editing, it might be a film worth recommending. Unfortunately, as it stands, though, I have to give Ghost Note a hard pass.
Ghost Note (2017) is available digitally August 1st, 2017 on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vimeo, Xbox, Steam, Vudu, and YouTube. It is also available on DVD exclusively on Amazon MOD on August 1st, 2017. Cinefessions was provided a digital copy of Ghost Note for review purposes by Brain Damage Films.
Chris was raised on horror films, which gave him a deep love for the genre, especially its most quirky and offbeat titles (like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). This love quickly turned into an obsession for cinema in 1997, when he decided he needed to see every major theatrical release. Video games (JRPGs), reading (anything but fantasy), and reality television (Survivor) are just some of his other passions. He’s been with Cinefessions since 2013, and has been writing reviews all over the internet for the past twelve years.