• RELEASE DATE: Now Available on DVD (Click Here to Purchase a Copy)
  • WRITTEN BY: Gautier Cazenave
  • DIRECTED BY: Gautier Cazenave
  • STARRING: Florie Auclerc-Vialens, Ruy Buchholz, Morgan Lamorté

When a gaggle o’ goofs hailing from a variety of countries decide to break into an abandoned house in the French countryside you just know you’re going to be treated to equal parts accents and anxiety…or maybe not; who the fuck knows. I mean I assume there will be some nerve racking parts; it’s a fright flick after all. Anyway, here comes GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE (which won’t confuse search engines when you go looking for it since you know there’s been about 4,000 flicks with that title…or two or three…whatever; I couldn’t find it after an exhaustive 15 second search).

As stated above, reckless young folks break into an abandoned house, but shit definitely goes sideways when they discover an s-load of video cassettes after a “cleanin’ up tha house” montage (which also features half-hearted aerobics). Well wouldn’t you know it, they can’t watch any of the tapes because the house has no power. The end. Wait, what’s that; the VCR that they found along with the tapes can play without electricity? Yeah, nothing bad will come of that. After viewing the tapes (all presented through the wonder of glorious stock footage of public domain features), our heroes discover that the films are starting to produce new films that are combinations of the films they watched the previous night. Sure, why not?

In the positive column I have never seen this premise in  fright flick before…and that’s about it…for now…

As for negatives; this movie dicks around like no bodies business; there’s endless amounts of chit-chat, wacky goings on (scored with equally ludicrous whimsical music), over-explanation of what a VHS tape actually is (my lord; is that really necessary…yeah, I guess it is…man, I’m old), and countless scenes of these assholes watching fucking movies…oh, and let’s not forget ping pong.  Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, happens in this movie (outside of the tapes multiplying) until about the hour mark…then shit gets interesting!

After some admittedly cool trippy visuals, creatures begin emerging from the cathode ray tube…and it’s done with a pretty kick-ass visual flair with a heaping helping of “creepy a.f.”! Then there’s the mayhem the camcorder causes…which makes the tedium of the previous sixty minutes a real shame.

In the end, I’m not sure what to think of GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE (whose original title was the much better HOUSE OF VHS); it has a fun, almost TWILIGHT ZONE (or TALES FROM THE DARSIDE at the very least) premise; and the final fifteen minutes or so contain a pretty cool flick in there somewhere; but the bloat of the first hour really kills any momentum the finale brings forth. All in all this would have been one hell of a short film.





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