Midnight Releasing has given us an incredible number of genre films ranging from Mother’s Day Massacre to She Who Must Burn and Knucklebones and while they’ve released some comedies such as Australians they’ve never tried their hand at the family friendly market until now, with the supernatural teen rom com Teenage Ghost Punk.
Amanda (Grace Madigan), has just had her life upended as her newly divorced mother (Adria Dawn) relocates her and her brother Adam (Noah Kitsos) to suburban Chicago. Her boyfriend wastes no time replacing her with her best friend. And to top it off she’s convinced the house is haunted, and she’s right. Brian (Jack Cramer) was punk guitarist back in the 80s who was struck by lightning while practicing on the roof. An odd romance forms between the two which is threatened both by her mother’s concerns as she begins acting strangely and by an inept group of paranormal investigators out to rip the neighborhood of harmless spirits.
In some ways resembling a youthful reboot of The Ghost and Mrs Muir, this is a surprisingly good film that manages to be cute and sweet without being overly cloying or sappy. Even the eventual revelation of a link between Brian and Amanda’s mother doesn’t seem to forced. There’s even a little message about dealing with life, (and death), and moving on.
The film has some great performances and well written dialogue to thank for a lot of it’s charm. For only his second feature writer/director Mike Cramer shows great talent for crafting believable sounding dialogue, indeed he won the 2015 Geneva Film Festival “Best Emerging Director” award and he deserves it and more. Getting me to sit through a teen romance film isn’t an easy task, and he made it enjoyable.
Teenage Ghost Punk is available from Midnight Releasing via VOD and digital download and on DVD from Amazon.