Spirit Hunters, (aka The End of the Road), is a great example of a good idea totally ruined by poor execution. It takes one of the most cliched of plots, a ghost hunting reality show filming in an allegedly haunted house and one of the cast is killed by paranormal activity. Then they give it a hard twist by revealing it wasn’t a ghost but a human. What was supposed to have caused a nasty fall caused a fatal one and the producers will do anything to cover it up since the thought of having footage of a ghost killing somebody fills their head with dollar signs.
At this point it turns into something of an action film as the rest of the cast and crew try to escape from the producers who are willing to kill to keep the secret. And as an added twist the killing seems to have awoken some actual ghosts who are not happy about what is going on. And then with one last “twist” they ruin it.
I don’t usually do this, but I need to talk about the ending, so if you don’t want to see spoilers you may want to stop reading here
It’s all revealed to have been a hoax, the killings and ghostly activity were all faked. The show is actually something along the lines of Punked, an elaborate prank on the unsuspecting cast members. It’s the equivalent of the “It was all a dream” ending. It didn’t work in the original April Fools Day and it doesn’t work here. It did somewhat work in Return to Horror High, but that was a spoof, this isn’t.
Apart from totally spoiling what has gone on before it simply doesn’t make sense from a practical standpoint. For example how did they deflate and hide the airbag the actress fell onto before anyone got outside and saw it?
There’s also problems with the action scenes themselves, the choreography could have been a lot better and the fights are pretty repetitive. They also don’t make much sense. Obviously the characters that are in on it won’t hurt each other but why don’t the ones who think they’re fighting for their lives kick the shit out of them when they have the chance? Or be content with disarming them and not try to grab their gun? It makes no sense and really gets annoying quickly.
This could have been an excellent film if done right. Once everything was set up and the first twist sprung it could well have played out as a fight for survival against both human and non human foes. Instead it limps along through limp action scenes and a horrible cop out ending. So much potential wasted.