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I am a Ghost

The opening scene shows us a Victorian home and zooms ever so gradually in on a wood carved antique front door. There is a truly insidious sound effect, sinister in its low bass rumble. We enter the house in a series of stills as the rumbling continues. Awesome impact. 

This is an effective way to create atmosphere in a horror movie. Also an effective part of the intro is the typeset or overlay of the credits. I’m seeing this a lot in the last decade. On a macro level, most people have seen Tarantino’s movie set in California Western times. It has those sort of overlays. It creates verisimilitude in this film and I was taken back to the days when things were simpler and scares were possible from atmosphere without jump scares. Has anyone else out there relished the spooky feelings they’ve had over a horror movie?I hope that’s what you come here to Riley on Film for because I am forsaking all others for a good long while. Atmospheric Horror is the name of my horror reviewing game! This film is knee deep in that category. In this review I plan to take you through the parts that create the most atmosphere. I hope you enjoy.

We see our presumed heroine in the kitchen first cooking. Her looks are pleasant. She’s wearing a white ruffly dress that doesn’t reveal much. She turn her head though and seems quite attractive as a brunette, farm beauty type of woman. The actress’ name is Anna Ishida. She has very little listed in IMDB. It appears she is all by herself wandering aimlessly around. I don’t mean this is a sexist way but it would be nice if all she is going to do is walk around that we might see her figure. Movies are appealing to the visual right? Just saying, sorry if that offends anyone. Nonetheless, I am convinced she is quite beautiful in my imagination as well as onscreen.

Dressing up in the mirror sort of shows she has large breasts. LOL. Sorry again. This part is a bit dull. I’m not sure what the point of this drawn out scene is. Would be a first for me though. People like my wife and otters get pots way before me, probably because I have a low patience threshold. The kitchen table is highly visual and pleasing. It has that country kitchen look to it and it adds to the suspension of disbelief that this was made in 2012 and not 1812. 

A voice begins to speak to her, Emily. She talks to Emily like a parent or doctor. She even sings Emily a bedtime song before asking her to repeat the phrase “I am a Ghost” over and over. At this point the voice is attempting to remind Emily she is a ghost. The voice is a medium hired by the owners of the house to rid the ghost (Emily) from the house. It’s a bit of a “Groundhog Day” scenario. When Emily leaves the room she loses all memory of what the medium is trying to do with her. It repeats.

I find it highly clever what the director is doing here. H.P. Mendoza has given us a ghost film from the perspective of the ghost. Instead of waiting to be suddenly spooked, the story gives us an extended creepy feeling without the need for jumps or gore. While it wasn’t exactly the mood I was hoping for, meaning it was too timid, in a mild way it created atmospheric horror.It was thick with it though. I think this director is quite good for that.

My conclusion is this film is a 5/10 Boring but it will score higher for fans of this actress and director. I Was immediately interested in the lead but I didn’t get to see her figure much. It was powerful when she repeated “I am a ghost.” Wish I could recommend it more highly. It does deliver a certain degree of atmospheric horror but loses the mystique as it progresses.

By Damien Riley

Professor/Tutor/Dad/Husband/Son. rileyonfilm.com. My favorite horror movie is probably going to be a toss up between Tusk and Insidious. Atmospheric Horror is my favorite subgenre. I also post news articles on politics and the occasional blog post on things other than horror movies.

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