Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary
ghost killers vs bloody mary | fabricio bittar | andre catarinacho | danilo gentili | dani calabresa | leo lins | comedy | brazil | nightmares film festival | nff | murilo couto | ghost | possession | possessed | haunted | haunted house | bacalhau | bem-te-vi
Film: Ghost Killers vs. Bloody Mary (Exterminadores do Além Contra a Loira do Banheiro)
Director: Fabrício Bittar
Writer: Fabrício Bittar, Andre Catarinacho and Danilo Gentili
Starring: Dani Calabresa, Léo Lins and Danilo Gentili
This film I had no idea what it was about aside from reading a brief synopsis before it started when I attended the Nightmares Film Festival. I figured from the title and when it was shown that it probably would be lighter as the two films before it were heavier. It was actually the regional premiere so that was a cool aspect as well. The synopsis is four YouTubers with expertise in a supernatural events are seeking recognition from the audience whilst solving the urban legend of the Bathroom Blonde Case.
We begin with a small group of children that go into a bathroom and perform a variation on the Bloody Mary mythology. Instead of saying that name, they use the person’s real name and it seems they successfully summoned something supernatural.
It then shifts to seeing a video for a show about Ghoulbusters, a knock off Ghost Hunting shows. We see that they’re not very good at what they do and it seems like they never discover ghosts. It is a trio of Caroline (Dani Calabresa), Fred (Léo Lins) and Jack (Danilo Gentili). Behind the scenes is Túlio (Murilo Couto) who is the producer and does a little bit more than that as well.
We then see how well they’re really doing. They’re living in a building that belongs to Túlio’s uncle. The uncle actually runs a butcher shop and he’s not happy about it as they’re behind on rent payments. The group is hoping that they’ll make money off their YouTube channel, but it hasn’t happened yet. They also hope it will be picked up for a pilot. Caroline is a psychic and thinks that an important call will come soon. That does end up happening as they’re called to Thomas Edison High School.
Director Nogueira (Sikêra Junior) is looking to hire them, but he doesn’t believe that it is haunted. He wants them to do what they do, pretend to defeat the ghost and to do a photo opportunity. Jack really pushes for more money and it backfires to them not getting the job. Nogueira changes his mind after an incident in the bathroom though, but not giving them the full amount they’re asking for.
We then see what they really do and that they’re frauds. The problem though is the bathroom seems to be really haunted by Bloody Mary (Pietra Quintela). They need to figure out how to defeat this ghost and her back-story might have help in that. This becomes a bloody ride though as people are possessed and others are killed during this battle for survival.
Now I’ll be perfectly honest with you, this movie is definitely a dumb comedy. That is not to say that I didn’t enjoy it though. I really like them mocking the whole idea of these Ghost Hunting shows you see all of the time. I personally do not believe that ghosts are real so I think these shows are really just bunch of frauds like we are seeing here. This group is over the top with it, which definitely makes it even better as well. I also like that they’re doing their own twist on the Bloody Mary urban legend. Much like Candyman, I’m sure that we all heard our own variation on it from where we grew up, it just crazy this film is from Brazil and that it extended that far down.
We definitely get a feel of a partial found footage film here as well. Since these guys are on YouTube and filming themselves, there will be times where we get to see the footage they’re making. This didn’t have the highest budget, so we do get a lower quality feel to the movie itself, but I personally think that adds a bit of the charm. There is the built in reason why these guys continue to film when things go bad, as they need it to make money and it captures a sense of realism.
If you know me though, horror comedies are definitely hit or miss for me. I will be honest, I feel that it hurts the tension building in this since every time I start to worry about the characters, that tension is alleviated by comedy. What is interesting though, I wasn’t sure if they were going to survive though or if they were even going to defeat the ghost. I will give it credit there and that it actually made me laugh out loud with some of the gags here. The ending was definitely something that I thought was hilarious with the turn that went as well. There is a slight social commentary with one of the teachers that I wasn’t necessarily expecting, but it actually fits the climate of things in the United States with children and bullying. I like their take on it though.
This takes me to the acting of this one, which as a comedy it is over the top. Since that is the tone, I do think that the actors really do fit what they needed there. They’re all distinct, which is definitely a solid move as well. Calabresa is pretty attractive, but she doesn’t have the biggest role. Lins and Gentili are somewhat similar, with Fred a bit more over the top as their ‘leader’. On the other side is Gentili as Jack who’s the weapons expert. Couto is quite funny for the fact that no one listens to him and ignores any sort of plan he puts out there. I like how this night seems to break him and force him to be more assertive. It gives good character building. Along with the rest of the cast, they really do round out this one for what is needed.
I’ll shift this to the effects. This one didn’t have the biggest budget and they really did go CGI heavy here. I’m not going to hold it against the film too much, as some of it really looked good. There’s some green-screen that I can do without and some of the creature effects are a bit wonky as well. I will say I like what they did to enhance the possessed eyes, there’s some practical effects that really work and the there’s actually quite a bit of blood that also looks good. I’ve also kind of touched on it already as well, the film is shot well and I think the found footage aspects really do work.
Now with that said, this film is a bit cheesy as a horror comedy, but I dug it. I thought the idea of taking these wannabe YouTube stars that have a ghost hunters’ type show going up against a real ghost, especially since their frauds. I do really think that the acting couples with that and quite a bit of the comedy worked for me. There’s a bit of social commentary with bullying here that I didn’t mind. The pacing of this was good, it doesn’t stay too long and it did keep me interested. The problem is just that the comedy aspect does hurt building real tension. The soundtrack didn’t really stand out to me, but I did like the voice of the ghost we got here for sure. Overall I’d say this was an above average film that was quite fun. I will warn you that this is from Brazil, so I watched it with subtitles on. I do know it’s a bit jumbled early on and then during the ending credits sequence, but other than that, it just felt natural.
My Rating: 7 out of 10