Review : Ghostquake (2012)

Ghostquake, also known as Haunted High, is a made-for-TV movie which aired on the SyFy channel in 2012. The story takes place in a private high school which is visited by a demonic dead headmaster, causing mayhem and killing students and teachers who stayed after hours for different reasons : some are working late, others are decorating the gym for the upcoming prom while another group breaks in to hack the school computers. They have to team up with the school janitor, secretly the guardian of the school, to fight the ghosts. Sounds silly ? It definitely is !

Ghostquake is low-budget but above average for a SyFy movie. The special effects are good, though some work better than others. The effects were, in my opinion, quite good in the beginning of the movie but gradually worsen with some looking straight out of PhotoBooth. It works in some scenes, adding to the fun cheesiness of the film but looks terrible most of the time.

I was pleasantly surprised by the performances of the entire cast and found most of them quite good for a movie such as Ghostquake. Danny Trejo has a smaller part than expected but Marc Donato steals the show in my opinion. A nice surprise was seeing Shawn C. Phillips as the geeky, scared computer hacker. I had only known Shawn C. Phillips through his online content, having been subscribed to the coolduder Youtube channel since its early days in Maryland. While being over-the-top in his early scenes, his performance improved through the film and he was overall pretty good.

The lack of budget shows in a disappointing aspect : the kills are never shown and take place off-camera. The ghost plot was quite weak and the ghosts themselves were not scary so I feel they should have added some necessary blood to elevate the thrills.

While being a bit underwhelming, Ghostquake is overall an enjoyable watch and has some decent production value for a SyFy film, which have a reputation of being quite bad. Its cheesiness makes the whole viewing experience fun so, if you have some spare time, give this one a chance !

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