Thursday, October 20, 2011

Burning Chill: Ghostkeeper (1981)

Ghostkeeper (Canada, 1981)
starring: Riva Spier, Murray Ord and Sheri McFadden

Tediousness is a word I began to use a lot, much to digress myself, but I can't use any other word to describe this movie.

Well, "slow-burning" is one...yeah, let's go with that one!

Three friends went on snowboarding to the high point of a snowy mountain only to have their snowmobile run low on fuel whilst in the middle of nowhere. Luckily, they find an inn, and decide to hide there for a snow storm is fast approaching. Inside they find the place isolated until night falls and a mysterious woman appears, who claims to be living there with her two (unseen) sons.

At first the woman just behaves weirdly, but when one of them disappears, they began to to suspect everything may not be fine with as snowmobiles turn up sabotaged and a chainsaw wielding man nearly killed one of them. To add to their misfortunes, there's something lurking inside a freezer. Something large, and very hungry...

To begin with, I applaud for the creepy atmosphere and downbeat eeriness that seems to fit the snowy premises this movie was set on. There are some chilling spots, the wispy soundtrack and near utter silence that provokes some uneasiness from me. Sadly, it's this moodiness and very empty plot that kept this film from being any better. It follows the slasher formula a bit waveringly, as it tries to be a little different, but due to budget constraints, Ghostkeeper ends up more of a film where one random scene after another just happens, with no clear or focused story.

Supposedly, this film  tackles the legend of the Wendigo (spelled "Windigo" here for some reason), a Native-American folk creature that possesses people and gives them sickly-weak appearances though possessing some cannibalistic hunger and inhuman strength. This would have been a better film had they involved the creature here in more than one scene. There was a point where it looked like they're killing off people to feed that monster, but, like I mentioned, budget cuts killed the film and the monster was never used to the full extent and remains hidden in plain imposing shots.

However, it's not all a bad movie; it's still an ambitious work and watchable at some point but it's easy to lose interest halfway through it. Considering this film's small cult status, I guess some had the patience and appreciation I lacked in this title; that being the case, i can't really recommend this title to just anyone, not just because it's a little tedious (there it is again) to watch, but also because really, really weird. But if you can work your way through films like "Death Ship" or "The Shining" then I guess you could go grab this, if you can find it.

1 female throat cut with razor
1 male pushed and falls into gate railings, impaled
1 male repeatedly stabbed on the face with machete
1 female shot with shotgun
1 male found dead in snow
total: 5

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