The Ganzfeld Haunting (2014)
This movie, which tries to keep your attention by having the word 'haunting' in the title is really not about a haunting. This movie advertises itself as a ghost film, but is actually a rather bad, no wait, really, really horrible film about what might or might not have been a paranormal experience. I vote not.
And it was not called the Ganzfeld Haunting, it was called the Ganzfeld Experiment. AND every movie synopsis I found couldn't even correctly count the number of students involved. They said five, there are only four. Since this movie was so incredibly stupid, we might as well learn a little history. Ganzfeld is simply German for 'entire field'. Basically, it is the study of parapsychology or, if you want to keep it short and sweet, crap.
Through the headphones, the subject hears white noise, or static. They are left this way for up to half an hour. The experimenters observe a randomly chosen picture such as a number or a shape, and try to pass this information on to the test subject by thought. The results are recorded by the experimenters, either by tape or by taking notes. The results are then judged, and the determination of whether a person has ESP or not is supposedly confirmed.
So again we are talking about FOUR college students, not FIVE as all the descriptions state. Now the experiment (according to the movie - the actual experiments just need the subject to be isolated) has to be performed in a neutral place. This neutral place happens to be a house that belongs to the parents of one of the students. It has been abandoned for years.
As soon as that was said, my horror movie worksheet (patent pending) was pretty much filled. A house belonging to the family of one of the students that they can't sell and has stood empty for years. That's neutral? What do you think? Of course, something must have happened there that will surely mess this up, you can bank on it.
There are a lot of drugs in this movie. Any stupid experiment, whether real or pseudo-science is going to be screwed up by a bunch of coked-up kids in an abandoned house.
This film reminded me of another film called The Men Who Stare At Goats. It's not that much worse. It's absolutely horrible, but not that much worse. In fact, please do not go to see the movie The Men Who Stare At Goats. It's completely embarrassing to believe that Americans would perform this incredibly stupid type of experiment with government money and drugs, supposedly for years.
Especially since anything to do with parapsychology has long been considered a pseudo-science. It has failed to produce any kind of solid results and/or proof in over 100 years of study. Parents, if you are paying for this 'cause your kid says this is the course they're taking, you are probably more likely paying for your child's new car, drugs and alcohol. Wise up.
I love how the supporters of parapsychology say they 'only' explore the 'serious' paranormal events. This apparently does NOT include Astrology, UFO's, Bigfoot, Paganism, Vampires, Alchemy, or Witchcraft. Oh, that makes soooo much more sense!
But here we are talking about college students. That's right parents, that's what this movie wants you to believe. You are spending your hard-earned cash on your children so that they can perform dangerous experiments with their minds. Oh yeah - and drugs. Drugs and ESP experiments. You should be proud.
What's that you say? The University Of Arizona offers courses still? Okay... well, check it out first. You'll find they have LECTURES or courses but you're not going to get a certificate (unless you print it yourself) or degree because, as it is said, it is a field with tons of experts and no evidence or funds.
Let's talk about the drugs for a second. This is supposed to be cocaine, like this is the 80's or something. One small problem, however. The drug is a powder, cut by credit cards just like in all the movies. I guess that's required. They roll up dollar bills in order to snort it. This is where the problem comes in, or should I say the stupidness takes over.
Apparently, since of course they did not want them to really take drugs, they filmed the snort scenes in reverse. How do I know this? Because the dollar bill is at least an inch away from the powder which miraculously comes off the surface into the rolled up bill and into their nose. Now, unless this is some magic powder, which I doubt, this is physically impossible. But it was briefly entertaining.
This movie was so terrible, that it tried to keep the attention of teenage boys at least, by having a totally unnecessary lesbian scene in the middle. I'm not trying to make a statement about sexuality. I'm making a statement about using what moviemakers apparently think is a substitute for story, substance, pacing, or acting - by having two chicks make out. That should be insulting to anyone.
If I had one more big problem with this movie, and believe me I had many, many problems with this movie, it would be the sound. What is it about moviemakers that they think that their viewers are so incredibly stupid that they can not identify when a set is actually inside a soundstage, as opposed to an actual room.
Do they think that we do not notice the echoes, the increase and decrease of volume, and the general suckiness of what we are hearing? At one point, the sound becomes so incredibly bad that it actually sounds as if someone is on the phone talking to a radio station and they have their radio turned up too loud. The echo is just that bad. And then the soundtrack of the version I was watching went off about two seconds - so that's a double piss off.
Of course, immediately the actual experiments start to go bad. And that is no surprise to anyone. Especially me. While they are trying to use simple symbols such as playing cards and shapes, what the students watching the monitors see are strange scenes of violence, taking place in the very house they are in right now.
These scenes seem to involve children. These brain-dead - oh I'm sorry - these college students notice that this is not what they were expecting. Despite the pounds of coke they have already ingested, they still have enough brain cells left to see that this is a little bit strange.
One of the test subjects sees images of his dead father but only from about the nose down to the neck. He is babbling about something but I really wasn't listening. I hadn't looked at the list of actors and actresses in this movie, but one look at those lips, and I knew his father was being played by Billy Zane. I know my lips. When the girl whose parents owned the abandoned house is in the hot seat, she sees a child being murdered. She believes it to be her sister. She didn't mention having a murdered sister in the beginning of the movie, but all of a sudden she has one now.
In one particularly stupid paranormal-like scene, the coked out students look in on their equipment and find it all broken apart and on the floor. Yet not five minutes later, when they returned to the room, all of their equipment is now back where it was before and the mess is never mentioned again.
Now paranoia starts in. Oh, now I get it - this is a paranoiamal movie. Actually, with as much drugs as they have ingested, it probably started way before this. They are convinced someone else is in the house. The two guys take a fireplace poker. Why is there a fireplace poker in an abandoned house? Do we really care?
Point being, they are just killing time now because there is nothing else in this movie for them to do. They've shown the drugs, the lesbian interaction, the pseudo-experiment that has gone terribly wrong, and thus the only thing left is for them to die a horrible death. We hope.
In an attempted stab (no pun intended) at a paranormal theme one person opens a closet door and finds a knife buried in the floor with blood dripping down the walls, just like in The Shining, except since this is really really cheap, there's only a little blood, and only a little closet.
Speaking of blood, the amount of coke taken by a two of the students has apparently been so massive that they are now bleeding from the nose, but don't seem to care. They don't even use a Kleenex. The blood stays on their upper lips for the rest of the movie. This is not to scare us, this is just lazy.
Eventually, we see that the so-called paranormal entity in the house is a girl about their own age. She's in a dress and wearing a fur. What the hell? Is she from the 40's? We eventually find out that the dead father had kidnapped children and brought them to this house, murdering at least one of them. He then committed suicide. So, not only was this house not a neutral place to use, but two of the students knew each other when they were small children. And we don't care. I could have told you that about 50 minutes ago.
But wait, there's more. In a further reveal, now the movie says that the father did not kill the small girl, but during a 'play date' his son, one of the test subjects, did. This caused his father for whatever reason to commit suicide. Unfortunately, this does not mean the end of the movie yet.
So you know what's going to happen now, right? The girl whose sister was killed in this house by the son of the guy appearing on the monitor is going to take that knife that was given to her conveniently by the mystery girl with the fur and stab the college kid who, as a child, killed her sister. <Takes a deep breath> So who is the girl in the fur?
At this point it is my belief that the moviemakers have probably snorted as much, if not more, cocaine than it shows the students doing in the movie. Why? After the male student is stabbed in the stomach by the older sister of the dead girl, the dead mystery girl appears and is apparently the ghost of her sister, all grown up. Gee, I didn't know ghosts grew up. That's a new one on me.
She also says something very bizarre. Please don't take my word for this as being 100% accurate, because by now I am so tired of this freaking movie that she could have tap danced in the nude and I probably wouldn't have noticed. What she says, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. She tells her living sister that there is no afterlife, that what comes after death is oblivion. Umm what? She is a ghost of a little girl that grew up as a ghost, but there is no afterlife. Where the hell did she come from?
You know what? I just don't care. We now see the house owner's daughter sitting in the bathtub with water running over her feet calling 911. You know, for a house that has been abandoned for years, it has electricity, water, working fixtures, and a nice brand-new shower curtain on the bathtub. Massive DUH.
The film cuts away and we see that it is now morning. Examining the house, the police find massive quantities of cigarette butts, soda cans, empty alcohol bottles and a small empty glass vial. Uh, what? These guys snorted massive amounts of cocaine out of plastic baggies and yet they find one small glass vial? Uh-huh. These pseudo-police officers also obviously do not know how to preserve a crime scene. If that is what this is.
They tramp through the house. One of them even scoops some of the cocaine and snorts it before saying you've got to love kids and their crack. Those words aren't exact, but good enough. And you do not snort crack.
The police look through the house - not very well - and not very fast. They find three bodies and the fourth body who is the girl still in the bathtub. She is foaming at the mouth, but alive. The boy she supposedly stabbed over and over, has not a drop of blood on him.
In fact, since there seems to be no violent activity that has taken place, the police conclude that this must have been a suicide pact. Which gives us the questions. Did these kids kill themselves with their minds? Did they all just die because of too many drugs? Did any of this movie happen at all? And the most important question of all, why me, Lord?