I am always looking for a new, good horror-comedy. For me, a movie that toes the line between disturbing and hilarious makes the jokes funnier and the scary parts even more horrifying. Hulu advertises Ghost Team as an energetic comedy about a group of amateur paranormal investigators. The movie actually is a lowkey indie ensemble drama about friendship and escaping the drudgery of everyday life.
From the title, you can probably guess the basic premise of Ghost Team. Louis is a thirtysomething owner of a print and copy shop, who feels like he is wasting his life. Living on Louis’s couch is his best friend Stan, who was left at the altar by his fiancée and truly believes that she was abducted by aliens. When Louis’s favorite paranormal investigation show, Ghost Getters, has a contest that gives whoever submits the best paranormal footage a permanent spot on the team, Louis knows he has to try. He gets his opening once an old man comes in asking for no trespassing signs because he keeps hearing strange, inexplicable noises in his house. Determined to win the competition, Louis gathers Stan for backup, his nephew and electronics store clerk Zak, for equipment, his work friend who he has a crush on, Ellie, for research, TV psychic Victoria for communing with the ghosts, and overzealous mall cop Ross for security. Once they get to the old man’s remote house, chaos ensues. One by one, team members go missing. It’s up to Louis and Ellie to save their team.
Based on the trailer, I thought this movie would have a lot of jokes. I also kind of assumed that it would have the same absurdist comedic tone of the lead actor’s best known movie, Napoleon Dynamite. Instead, the movie took on a pretty serious tone. I could count on one hand the number of times I laughed while watching this movie. Furthermore, the start of the movie actually made me pretty sad. I felt bad for Louis, who clearly wants more from his life, and for Stan, who is now living out of his car. None of the jokes were over-the-top (except for those regarding Ross, Justin Long’s character), so it was really clear how dissatisfied every character was with their life. In my opinion, this also added to the heart of the movie. Each character had realistic motivations, and it made sense how they all interacted with each other. I just wish that the ads for the movie marketed it less as a straight-up comedy.
Good Things About It
To me, the funniest actor in this movie was Justin Long. Even so, every single actor gave a fantastic performance. I mean, David Krumholtz made me feel empathy for a delusional conspiracy theorist (and you cannot convince me that he and Jake Johnson aren’t long lost twin brothers). I also thought that Melonie Diaz, playing Ellie, was a standout. Another thing I liked about this movie was the aesthetic. The film is very stylized, which is best highlighted by a montage at the beginning that shows how boring Louis’s life is. The scenes in the house during the investigation were just nice to look at. I found myself taking a lot of screenshots during this movie, which I don’t usually do. I wish more ghost movies took this route, rather than being very dark and poorly lit. Finally, I think the ending is extremely clever.
Ghost Team had a lot of heart. It had a great aesthetic, solid performances, and a unique twist ending. Unfortunately, this movie just did not live up to my horror comedy expectations. It was never too funny or too scary, which overall made for a pretty lackluster film. Still, if you have Hulu and are looking to kill some time, maybe give Ghost Team a shot.(3 / 5)