24th Aug2019

Frightfest 2019: ‘Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary’ Review

by Chris Cummings

Stars: Dani Calabresa, Léo Lins, Danilo Gentili, Murilo Couto | Written by Fabrício Bittar, Andre Catarinacho, Danilo Gentili | Directed by Fabrício Bittar

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Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary (Exterminadores do Além Contra a Loira do Banheiro) is a Brazilian export from Fabrício Bittar (Como se Tornar o Pior Aluno da Escola) who also writes along with Andre Catarinacho and Danilo Gentili. It’s a slapstick comedy horror film that’s as juvenile and dumb as you’re going to find, but hey… I sometimes enjoy a juvenile and dumb comedy flick. Bring it on.

The story itself follows four kind-of-but-struggling-to-remain-successful YouTubers who, once they begin to make money on the YouTube platform start to see their subscriptions and views jumping ship and dwindling, so in order to attempt to pull back the subscribers and after a television deal, they take on the spooky case of Bloody Mary. I mean, that’s basically what this is all about. Four goofballs who label themselves “The Ghoulbusters”, on a zany adventure inside a high school. It’s really stupid, but that isn’t necessarily always a bad thing, because there’s a fair amount of actual fun to be found here, amongst the plentiful over the top performances, the pretty damn absurd plot, the knucklehead characters and the selection of gags that fall flat. It isn’t, by any means, bad. Is it good though? I’m not sure about that either. It’s okay. Sometimes better than okay. Sometimes not okay enough, if that makes sense.

The story itself is pretty shallow, there isn’t much to it, but that’s not really what this Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary is about. It’s about the mileage they can get out of the jokes and silliness along the way. The actors themselves are dorky and ridiculous and a lot of the time it works. It has the blood and gore you’d want from a comedy horror flick, and a litany of punchlines and in-jokes. If there’s one thing I would complain about though, aside from the elements of the film that ultimately fail to deliver, it’s the length of the thing. Running at 105 minutes long, or there about, Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary should have trimmed some of the fat and been much shorter. I did feel like it was dragging on a few different occasions. As for the places the film fails… it’s mainly the lack of depth to the story itself that harms things, as well as the actual lack of horror. Sure, there’s blood and body parts, but it isn’t scary. It tries to make you jump a few times, but this really is a slapstick comedy film at its heart, and little more than that.

I feel like I am being a little harsh here though, because this was fun. There were parts that made me chuckle, and the practical effects certainly appealed to my old-school horror nature. I’m unfamiliar with the actors here, but they were decent enough, some better than others. I did find the cheesy style to the performances quite fitting with the overall tone of the film itself. If you’re going to go with something this farcical, then you might as well go all the way. They did. Marcos Ribas’ cinematography is slick, certainly a plus to the movie, in fact the film is edited really well, sounds great and looks lovely. That’s certainly not an issue here.

A bonkers film from beginning to end, Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary has a fun soul and plenty to laugh at and enjoy. It isn’t without its problems, though, and fails to deliver the strongest of stories, relying on the stupidity to pull it above water. I don’t think that’s necessarily a major issue, but I would have liked a little more. The premise of YouTubers forced into doing things in order to survive (in more ways than one) is cool, though. A blood-flecked rollercoaster of a comedy-horror flick.

**½  2.5/5

Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary screened at this years Arrow Video Frightfest on Saturday August 24th 2019.

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