6:66 P.M. * USA 2017 Dir: Jim Klock 82 mins
Five years after a police stand-off ended in the suicide of a Manson-like nutjob, the cast and crew of “Ghostly Night Watch” – including a Holmesian “Investigator” and a phoney “Psychic” – stage a series of ratings-grabbing paranormal events in the same house, only to find a bonafide threat waiting for them. The haunted house comedy, complete with cowardly protagonists who scream, shriek and bolt at the vaguest hint of a ghost, is almost as old as cinema itself, though star / director Jim Klock’s film bids to update the classic CAT AND THE CANARY format by sending up tacky MOST HAUNTED-style reality shows (which are beyond parody anyway) and all of those contemporary found footage supernatural horrors with the same basic set-up.
Unfortunately, it is pitched at such a grating, shrill level from the get-go that it quickly becomes the cinematic equivalent of discovering you’ve accidentally invited a convicted paedophile to your child’s birthday party. The tone is set by the kind of gun-toting, axe-wielding, bug-eyed black stereotype you might find in Hollywood’s Golden Age of casual racism, and the cast painfully mug through a series of unworkable “jokes” about drunk drivers, Scooby Doo, goat-rape, chicks with dicks and, of course, boobs. Someone actually says the phrase “Holy tits” for an attempted laugh at one point : just one reason you should agree to anything – including having your own boobs nailed to a plank of wood – to avoid this chuckle-free zone.
Review by Steven West