6 days ago
Friday, February 08, 2013
Everyone Should Believe In Ghosts
Benjamin (Ricky Mabe) is in his mid teen years and loves to play pranks on younger students in his boarding schools. Notice I said schools. Benjamin has been thrown out of boarding schools because of his pranks, which apparently have to do with ghosts. His current school is no different. We first meet Benjamin as he is telling a couple of younger boys they story of a ghost that is set up to scare them, but they are found out. Once again Benjamin is kicked out of school. Having enough of it, his father decides to send Benjamin to live with his grandfather while his parents go on vacation overseas. Having only met Jason (Jan Rubes) twice in his life, and only for short periods each time, Benjamin is unsure how things are going to go. Jason is upfront with his grandson, telling Benjamin what is expected of him while he is there. Did I mention that the family is very rich? Anyway, it isn't long before Benjamin starts to see a woman outside, but no one at the house will talk about it. Following the ghost to a cemetery, Benjamin meets Katherine (Elisha Cuthbert), who was doing the same. She has seen the ghost at her place as well. They become fast friends and decide to try and figure out who this ghost is, and what she wants.
Believe turned into a nice little surprise for me. I ended up loving it and wish I could watch it again soon. It isn't without its share of problems though. I enjoyed the overall story by the writers and director Robert Tinnell. It is a good story, and the main reason that I ended up loving this one so much. About midway through the film, it gets a little sidetracked. It turns out that Katherine's parents had passed away, and she now live with her uncle. A couple of guys at her school have decided to pick on her for being an orphan. This leads to Benjamin wanting to scare the guys, which would give Katherine something to tease them about. Things go off into this direction for a bit, while the ghost story gets left behind. Once this gets resolved, they the ghost story returns. For me, I could have done without this part of the film since it feels like a way to extend the film more than anything. Sure the guys never pick on her again, at least I guess we are to assume that they don't since it is never brought up again. It was also a little silly to show that Benjamin just happened to have all this expensive equipment to pull this off. The writers throw in a line that it is because his parents are never really around so they buy him anything he wants, but it was still silly that he had everything that was needed.
Outside of some ghostly effects, like someone quickly disappearing, there is nothing to report. The acting was pretty good. It was a surprise for me to see Elisha Cuthbert's name pop up in the opening credits. I'm not a big fan, but I do remember her from the show 24. This movie was slightly before that show, which is what made her famous really, so it was nice to see something before she became a big star. I thought she did pretty good with her role here. There was times I didn't get into her acting a whole lot, but overall she was pretty good. I thought Ricky Mabe was slightly better though in the lead role. I was somewhat impressed by him. I noticed that he has been in at least a couple of more recent horror films, so I will have to check them out sometime to see if I still like his acting. Another surprise was seeing Ben Gazzara as Katherine's uncle. While he has been in a ton of films, I only remember him from Road House. I've always hear the expression of phoning in a performance, but I never felt very comfortable using it until now. That is how I felt Gazzara's performance was here.
I was back and forth with Believe for a while. It really wasn't until the end of the film that I fell in love with it. It wasn't just how things wrapped up with the ghost, although that was a good part of it. There was also questions that Katherine was asking that got to me as well. Not ashamed to say that I had a few tears flowing by the end of the film, in more than one place in the story. If a film can get that kind of response from me, it is doing something right. So I didn't love everything about Believe. I can probably say that for every film that I have ended up loving. Still though, there was a little more than the usual for Believe. It is directed more towards a family type film, but I still enjoyed it a lot. This would be a great film to watch with kids who are curious about horror films, but aren't big into being scared. I love Believe because of the messages it brings with it at the end of the story. It might be hard to find, but worth it if this one sounds like one you would like to watch as well.
4 out of 5 Who knew ghosts give such good advice!