Academy Award winner Nicholas Cage stars as Mike Lawson, a too cool for school/college lecturer and absent father/husband. His family unit consists of darling wife Kristen (Sarah Wayne Callies) and cheerful chappie son Charlie (Jack Fulton).
The family dynamic is ruined when Mike loses their son during a hectic New York street carnival during Halloween. Charlie joins the list of several children that have disappeared during the last night of October.
Over the course of a year Mike becomes a shell of his former self as desperately exhausts every avenue in search of his son. As Halloween approaches, Mike starts seeing visions of his Charlie and he’s delivered the message – Pay the Ghost.
Based on a novella, director Uli Edel brings us a pretty general horror story of a broken family assembled of Nicholas Cage and The Walking Dead actress Sarah Wayne Callies. The film documents their desperate search, whether its harassing homeless people living underground to paying a scabby crackhead for anything info. Bringing in Medium wasn’t much help to them either!
The scares? Well it’s a mixture of jump scares, CGI vultures, creepy cabins and Ghost scooters, well ghosts riding scooters. Some of the frights come from physical effects, for example, when the lead detective portrayed SAW franchise actor Lyriq Bent is quizzing mother of missing child in a Chinese restaurant the first mention of a ghost one of the cookers bursts into flames and flares towards the mother! Yikes!
Acting is decent, can’t fault Cage, Callie and even that bloke from the SAW films all bring the intensity to their given roles. I can’t say a bad word against the casting, yeah we can all joke that it’s Nic Cage Paying His Mortgage but lets be honest – he’s done worse.
Special features consist of a thirty minute Behind the Scenes is a mixture of movie clips alongside snippets from the main cast, director and producers explaining the plot of the film, highlights casting, experiences with the director etc. It’s a throwaway piece that doesn’t really provide much to the movie from other than the cast really liked the director and the director really liked the cast – Stop being such a perfect production! Give me something interesting to write about, sake!
Overall Pay the Ghost is a throw-away horror film – it’s worth a watch online if you like to see what Lori Grimes is up to nowadays.