I prefer the Ghost Shack, a little place where we can get together.
Preteen wannabe scientist Cynthia (Ciara O’Hanlon) causes chaos in her neighborhood after setting off a rocket. As punishment, she must do community service for Mrs. Gotham (Janis Gow), the area’s resident kooky old lady. Alone in Mrs. Gotham’s house, Cynthia experiences strange phenomena and comes to believe the stories that the house is haunted. Armed with wacky gadgets provided by her science teacher, Cynthia and her two friends go back to the Gotham house with a plan to trap those ghosts once and for all.
Take a look at the cover art. See the kid to the left, with her back to the camera so we can only see the back of her head? That’s the main character. The other two are the sidekicks. That’s something a metaphor for the overall movie.
Originally titled Little Ghost Grabbers, Ghost Trap is a ruefully micro-budgeted film, clearly shot in and around ordinary homes, with inexperienced actors. It’s the acting that really drags the whole thing. The cast, both kids and adults, are more like reciting lines rather the delivering them in character. Scenes don’t really flow from one to another in a well-structured plot kind of way. There were a few moments where I thought we’d get some gloomy atmosphere from the haunted house, but it didn’t last. As for the bargain-basement CGI, perhaps some things are best left not mentioned.
The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen image is adequate, but Dolby 2.0 Stereo track is flat and tinny, and it’s sometimes hard to make out what the actors are saying. There are no extras.
I don’t like being the guy telling everyone this movie is no good. I think it’s great that writer/director/producer/cinematographer Mark McNabb managed to pick up a camera, round up some neighborhood kids, and actually get his movie made. With a little more script doctoring and lot more coaching the actors, this could have been an amusing “scary for kids” movie. As it is now, this is a step above somebody’s home movies.