With Halloween quickly approaching, I was delighted to hear that one of my favorite guilty pleasure actors would be starring in an upcoming Halloween-centered thriller. Whether you love him or hate him, everyone knows who Nick Cage is. He’s no stranger to horror movies (or any genre for that matter), but Pay the Ghost is Cages’ latest entry into the horror/thriller realm.
Although I was instantly excited after seeing the trailer, I went in level headed and unbiased. Nick Cage performs as you would expect. He puts a lot into it, and some of it is definitely over the top. But in a film where a man is desperately searching for his son, it sort of works. Another strong supporting role is filled by Lyric Bent. His role as Detective Reynolds is pretty spot on for someone who’s been working for a year straight to crack a case. Especially when the case involves a fanatic parent constantly breathing down your neck. But hey, who can blame him?
The mystery starts off slow, but picks up steam as it takes a turn into the supernatural. There are a handful of cool visuals and set pieces throughout the film. Such as the Halloween Carnival and a homeless refuge later in the film. On the other hand, there are a few parts that feel kind of short and hollow. I feel as if there’s a similar setting borrowed from another famous film. An abundance of jump scares are sprinkled throughout the film. Some feel a little cheap, but most are done well enough.
With Pay the Ghost coming out as a limited release and VOD release later this month, how does it stack up? I would honestly place this as a horror-themed National Treasure. What exactly does that mean? I see National Treasure as the perfect family dinner movie for background noise. It’s good enough to hold your attention throughout it if you want to escape the family for a few minutes, but it’s also something you can play and movie watchers of all ages can tag along for the ride. Pay the Ghost is very similar and could be used for get togethers around Halloween. Whether you can forgive him for The Wicker Man or not, Pay the Ghost is pretty solid and would be a fun weekend rental. Give Mr. Cage another shot for your favorite genre.