Pay the Ghost

I told you I was going to attempt to get back to reviews.

Can we just admit to ourselves up front that Nic Cage is going to mess up an Pagan-y theme he touches?  Because I feel like anytime I see his name in connection to a work involving folklore/mythology/Paganism that natural overacting he does gets worse and he ends up flailing around and basically making a mess of everything.

With that out of the way, I have to say this-I actually really liked this movie. I think that having suffered through Cage’s absolutely classically terrible Wicker Man remake, this movie would have had to try to be bad in comparison. In comparison to any other horror piece, I would probably be annoyed just for the sheer level of misinformation in this movie.

This isn’t Coven and its deliberate misuse of voodoo. This is, five minutes on Google and you’d be more accurate than this movie.

And yet…I like it anyway. I guess I automatically give points to any movie that can actually be bothered to learn how to pronounce samhain correctly. I think that this movie reminds me a lot of the ‘horror’ I wrote when I was a kid, when I sort of assumed I knew enough about what I was talking about to be capable of writing about it. (This is also based on a novella of the same name, so I’m not sure where the issue actually lies-if the movie went odd or the novel.

Cage plays a man named Mike, who works with American (and especially local) history. He takes his son, Charlie, to a Halloween carnival, where things go terribly wrong. Over the course of the next year, Mike begins to realize that his family’s pain is related to Halloween specifically-and a much older tragedy.

SPOILERS  SPOILERS  SPOILERS

 

This is my major issue with the film. There are two, actually. 1. There is no such thing as ‘the crone.’ “Crone” is a life phase, not a person. And in the feminine trinity it’s the dark moon, yes, but it’s not intended to carry a value judgment attached to it. But this is also Cage in a piece that drops the ball on Pagan theory. There’s a shock, right there. 2. The crone in question died under terrible circumstances, but it seems to not really matter to anyone? I understand that Mike is upset about Charlie, but the death in question seems to exist in the story line as an excuse. I would have preferred to see some level of compassion at play there-or at least, compassion that runs deep enough that I wouldn’t have potentially missed it if it’s there. Ghost-crone is insane, but this doesn’t just happen in a vacuum.

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