With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Thursday, July 26, 2007

ACF 038: Ghost Gate

Don't bother with this movie.
There you have it in one simple five word sentence. However, since I spent the 90 or so minutes it took to watch the whole thing, I might as well offer a few comments. Feel free to read on, or to check out another of my postings. Frankly, I suggest the latter, but here goes.
Ghost Gate is a recent J-Horror release about five youths, three girls and two guys, who enter a mansion where a murder took place fifteen years earlier. A famous novelist's female assistant/secretary had been killed in a locked room, and the novelist had disappeared at the same time. The youths hope to solve the mystery and to claim the large reward that's been offered.
Of course, they start dying one-by-one. And of course, there's a female ghost with long straight hair, though at least it doesn't hang down in front of her face.
The main problem with this movie, which was shot on video and has a standard TV 4:3 aspect ratio, is that it isn't the slightest bit scary! The film also violates the second most important rule for this genre, which is that the young females must show some skin! Not nudity necessarily, but at least some flesh for us horn-dogs to feast upon. Alas, all three girls, while nice looking, are ultra-conservatively dressed.
Beyond that, the dialogue - to use the term loosely - totally sucks. For example, upon entering a room, one character asks, "Where are we?" You're in a room, dummy!
At another point, one of the guys asks one of the girls, "Why'd you ask me that question?" The female replies, "What question was that?" And after a pause, the guy says, "Yes." Scintillating!
And take my word for it, the "acting' is on a par with the dialogue, totally amateurish.
Somewhat amusing was the inconsistency of there being cobwebs that the youths have to brush aside, yet all the surfaces in the house were totally dust-free.
Info about this horrible movie is hard to come by. The film is not listed at imdb. I did come across one indication on the web that the director is a Makoto Yamaguchi, whoever he or she is. There are three people by that name listed at imdb, but it's not evident if any of them are this director. One of the actresses is Miho Yabe, who at least has a listing at imdb, though it's pretty minimal.
The DVD of Ghost Gate is being distributed by Laguna Productions, a company that specializes in releases for the Latino market and that is obviously looking to expand into other genres. It's not likely that this release is going to help in that regard.
If for some bizarre reason you're interested in checking Ghost Gate out, be advised that some info, including the Laguna website and amazon.com, indicate that it's in Japanese with English subtitles. However, the screener I received from Laguna was English-dubbed only, so I have my doubts.
The one thing I don't have a doubt about is that there are way more better things that you can spend your time and money on. Just because I squandered 90 minutes watching this in its entirelty so I could be sure about it, you don't have to to.
Ghost Gate gets a 1/2 out of 4 star ACF rating; strongly not recommended.

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