Ghost Light Review: Good, Clean Fun for the Theater Crowd

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The Haunted Comedy is a genre that probably reached its height in the 1940s with movies like Abbott and Costello's Hold that Ghost.

There was another wave of them during the 1980s with Haunted Honeymoon starring Gene Wilder and  Gilda Radner, and High Spirits with Steve Guttenberg and Daryl Hannah.

Ghost Light Sossoman

To be clear, a haunted comedy is not the same as the horror comedies of the 90s like the Scream spoofs of the Scary Movie franchise. 

Ghost Light is a comedy first, and one that deals with the goofy antics of the theater crowd.

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It's through their idiosyncracies and superstitions that the haunting gets explored.

If you didn't know, one of those superstitions is that the play, Macbeth, is cursed. You can't say the title lest the entire production get cursed.

Ghost Light Riley

Quoting lines before the production is also verboten, especially when noting the witches incantations. 

As Ghost Light focuses on rehearsals for The Scottish Play (Macbeth), and the players encounter a ghost light that must remain lit to ward off spirits, well, you can imagine what a lot of creatives might get up to.

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Ghost Light features a fantastic cast including Roger Bart, Tom Riley, Shannyn Sossamon, Danielle Campbell with Carol Kane and Cary Elwes. There are some brilliant comedic minds amongst them to be sure.

Ghost Light Elwes

Riley plays Thomas, an understudy to Elwes, a former soap star named Alex who is in a relationship with Liz (Sossamon).

Thomas, who is determined to get his chance on the stage, also plays second fiddle in love as he engages with Liz off-stage.

Together, Thomas and Liz find themselves on the stage after hours, and they dare utter the forbidden term thereby releasing the curse.

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It's fun watching as the curse travels through the cast which was already on edge.

The irony is that despite their earlier trepidations of the curse, once it's unleashed, they don't immediately recognize its relevance in each other if they do recognize they're morphing into their roles.

Ghost Light Kane

There were a couple of surprises in terms of who does what when, but it veers into the predictable.

That's OK, though, as it allows you to sit back and just have fun with the silly repertoire company instead of banging your head against the wall worrying about what comes next.

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Even the haunting doesn't necessarily scare as much as it messes with the minds of the company and ultimately allows the company to turn in one hell of a performance of The Scottish Play.

The Massachusetts set and filmed movie is written and directed by John Stimpson who shares writing credits with seasoned producer, Geoffrey Taylor (Moon Over Parador, Down and Out in Beverly Hills).

Ghost Light Campbell

Elwes and legend Kane share the screen for the first time since The Princess Bride.

Campbell provides a link for the younger crowd to engage with the cast, and Bart is enjoyable as the tart and frustrated director.

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Ghost Light never gets too serious, nor does it get overly scary.

You'll get a few giggles out of it, and if you're a theater person, you will appreciate look into the difficulties surrounding the production of Macbeth. The cast has a good time, and some even get to prove they're up to the challenge of the Bard's work.

Ghost Light Bart

If you're looking for a light comedy and enjoy the thrills of hauntings, you're bound to find something to enjoy in this lively film.

Ghost Light will be available on Amazon, Vimeo, Google Play, Vudu, Fandango Now, Xbox, PlayStation, and DirecTV among other VOD services on Tuesday, June 18.


Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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