[BD Review] ‘Ghost Team One’ Is An Uneven Horror-Comedy with a Horny Ghost

Picture 3

Ever since Paranormal Activity took cinemas by storm (for better or worse), there has been an onslaught of imitators and parodies. This year alone saw Scary Movie 5 and A Haunted House, both really horrible films. While it wasn’t found-footage, the recent Hell Baby managed to scrounge up some laughs – although the film overall was very uneven. And now just in time for Halloween, Ghost Team One enters the ring…

Directed by comedians Ben Peyser and Scott Rutherford, Ghost Team One is one of the best horror-comedies of 2013. That being said, it suffers from a lot of cheap, frat boy humor. There are several moments of zooming in on boobs and crotches, mimicking sex with a camcorder, and other lazy crap you’d expect from a DTV National Lampoon flick. Thankfully, not all of the comedy relies on infantile flourishes – there are some genuinely clever moments and the plot is as gleefully immature as it is original. The finale honestly had my funny bone crying uncle. Ghost Team One is a bumpy experience, but a worthwhile one.

J.R. Villarreal and Carlos Santos star as Brad and Sergio, roommates who are into getting laid and…getting laid. The two have genuine on screen chemistry, which helps make the tired sex humor tolerable. Both are trying to impress Fernanda (Fernanda Romero), a beautiful girl whose belief in the supernatural borders on the unhealthy. When Brad and Sergio suggest that their house is haunted, they go along with Fernanda’s insistence that they perform a full-on paranormal investigation (in hopes of getting in her pants). The trio soon discover that the ghost of an Asian prostitute is tormenting their home. The more Brad and Sergio become aroused by Fernanda, the more the ghost hooker makes her presence known.

C’mon, don’t even try to act like that’s not a fun plot, Professor Highbrow.

Brad and Sergio’s other roommate, Chuck, has been sober for over 200 days. To keep himself from slipping, he stays locked in his room, making video blogs about how much he hates Brad and Sergio. Chuck is absent for most of the film’s first half, but once he becomes a crucial part of the plot, the film really picks up. Playing Chuck is Tony Cavalero (who’s part of The Groundlings in L.A.) and holy shit is this guy manic comedy gold. I won’t give anything away, but during the film’s finale, Chuck manages to get more laughs in five minutes than the entire cast does in 80. This Cavalero cat is definitely one to watch.

Leading up to the finale though, Ghost Team One tends to drag its heels a bit, like they were desperately going for a feature length without the content to fill it. Something the film does do well is provide its ghost with an actual backstory. Unlike parody flicks like A Haunted House in which the apparitions are barely important, Ghost Team One gives its ghost some character. There are a few predictable jump scares in the film, but really no attempts to be actually scary. Which is fine in a parody.

In an era where horror parodies are cranked out just as frequent as the material they’re making fun of, it’s nice to find an original and fun flick like Ghost Team One. While the frat boy humor gets old very fast, once the film picks up it gets absolutely bonkers. It’s a rocky road to the payoff, but a worthwhile one.

Ghost Team One hits digital outlets and theaters on October 11.

Official Score