Film Review: “A Town Full of Ghosts” Quickly Becomes a Failure
Written by: Adam Vaughn | June 16th, 2022
A Town Full of Ghosts (Isaac Rodriguez, 2022) 1½ out of 4 stars.
At first glance, the latest film from Isaac Rodriguez (Deadware) seemed like a fun and fresh new edition to the found-footage subgenre of horror. While that trope has been used abundantly in movies, A Town Full of Ghosts appeared to promise a fun and thrilling adventure, if not necessarily anything original. Sadly, a lack of decent scriptwriting, coupled with subpar direction, makes A Town Full of Ghosts an illogical and frustrating experience. As the viewer, we are launched into a nonsensical experience that detaches us from the film’s purpose to focus on continuity issues, leaving us scratching our heads.
A Town Full of Ghosts follows Mark (Andrew C. Fisher, The Place We Hide) and his girlfriend Jenna (Mandy Lee Rubio, Jurassic Tale) as they spend their life savings to buy an abandoned ghost town that is conveniently located hours from civilization. Hoping to turn the town into a widely successful theme park, Mark soon discovers strange things that reveal horrifying truths about the town’s past. With Mark’s sanity starting to decline, Jenna, Mark’s cousin Justin (Ali Alkhafaji, Deadware), and Justin’s girlfriend Lisa (Lauren Lox) attempt to escape the town, battling dark forces and a deteriorating Mark.
The film’s overall look isn’t half-bad, with some interesting found-footage moments. Admittedly, Rodriguez uses cheap writing to keep the camera on as long as possible, but overall the film’s shaky cinematography bodes well. A Town Full of Ghosts’ scare tactics are often effective, with the frightening imagery keeping the audience invested. None of this, however, is able to make up for the careless script, which gives almost every character foolish motivations and introduces plot holes in every other scene.
Ultimately, the film’s lack of dedication to its found-footage nature—with uncomfortable transitions and music cues that spell more narrative storytelling than realistic found footage—throws off the viewer at the expense of entertainment. A Town Full of Ghosts rides on convenient story points and far-fetched circumstances to get from start to finish, and the film’s ultimate conclusion is more dizzying and confusing than effective. While the movie is not a total loss, it has trouble keeping up a sense of believability or authentic narrative execution.