The Ganzfeld Haunting (2014) – By Baron Craze

This low-budgeted horror film has three screenwriters, strangely attached to director Michael Oblowitz (The Breed (2001)) creation, first Theodore Gildred III (his only horror project) and then writers from The Devil Complex (2015) Caroline Riley and Michael himself. These writers served to present and develop multiple plot lines a tad too ambitious for intended audiences of oversexed teenage boys, especially involving one particular scene with girl on girl suggestions.

First, one figured this film had a connection to perhaps a Nazi-horror film, since Ganzfeld was a real German experiment directed to individuals for their extrasensory perception testing. This avenue of real history more interesting than the drivel on the screen, and although, the experiments occurred in the 1970s, never stops anyone from having ancestry connections to evil; but alas, that never occurs rather a handful of students with some psychological background need to venture into an abandoned house, and stay awake for 48-hours in order to test the Ganzfeld experiment, the biggest first off, that no professor nor any supervisor presents themselves on site. The lead professor always presents themselves in some aspect, from Zombie Isle to Scary Movie 2, their devious motives, sadly not here, and that leads to vast never depleting amounts of cocaine and endless supply of whiskey.  A seamless realm of partying and carnal indiscretion, the drugs angle overplayed cliché in trying to break through another mental dimension, in order to advance the parapsychological dynamics. The film makes unbelievable leaps, and while Taylor Cole (Becket), Ryan Donowho (Eliot) and Rumer Willis (Lucky) who steals scenes, with her inherited acting skills from her parents, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. Willis’ acting skills shows her likely to become another Jamie Lee Curtis or Drew Barrymore, although Cole brings the scream to the horror tale. Oblowitz’s plot pits the college students against past the memories of their lives, and previous horrors witness in the house, as the ghosts of nasty murders grow increasingly violent with more insanity directed to the living. The ghosts of the past influencing the past memories of the students, to uncover their connections to each other from their childhoods, the mind, known for creating walls to block out traumatic events, may not hold against Ganzfeld, in there lies the wisp revengeful ghosts.

The roles of Willis and Cole become more exploitative with their suggestive and perhaps coherence scene of girl on girl action, mostly kissing, and nothing too adventurous, yet directed at the teenage boy market. This scene has no connection to the experiment nor the haunting it is merely carnal candy for a segment of the audience, which enjoys some creative T&A, but if that what one desires, then switch over to the kissing scene in Cruel Intentions (1999). As the location fits the scene, a broken down house, the secrets of the cast seem to drive this film, or least what the director intended. However the cast works hard with the limited materials and confusion from the script, that translate to the viewer, in the genre of horror the concept of the project make it easy to understand, connect the dots, while a three dimensional character assists, the haunting experience needs a straight-forward approach. If one revisits the classics, The Uninvited (1944) and The Haunting (1963) to The Changeling (1980) and The Others (2001), the scares, thrills and chills come naturally, herein none exists. The jumps of logic vastly undermine the production waste the creepiness of Billy Zane’s voiceover, each time the sense of more unnerving situations develop the performance of the actors  keeps pace, but that wanes on the viewers.  A film especially in this genre needs a steady pace, with peaks and valleys and yet always heading in the same direction, a familiar journey with increasing new scenery, sadly that reveals itself easily to the views.

Oblowitz’s The Ganzfeld Haunting, needed more time to review the plot lines, before embarking upon this venture, the haunting elements, elude often with only glimpses of ghosts, and the these specters don’t stand a ghost of chance in haunting the audience.  In the end, one wonders what they saw, and if they can categorize the film properly, to nestle the film in the ghost story realm, might be to advance for this production.  This movie, hits the intended market, quite well, complete with the necessary skin exposure and for those seeking more scares move along into the next film that provides bumps in the night.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1956655
http://www.screenmedia.net/project/ganzfeld-haunting