The Ghost Lights (2022) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Ghost Lights (2022) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on September 22nd, 2022 | Movie Review | Road Trip, Supernatural, Sci-Fi, Thriller, Mystery, Desolate, Paranormal Proof

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It's about a journalist who returns home after the death of her father and discovers a cassette tape describing mysterious lights appearing in the skies of West Texas. She sets out on a cross-state road trip to discover the truth.

The Ghost Lights was directed by Timothy Stevens and stars Ryan Bijan, Billy Blair, Madison Calhoun, John Francis McCullagh, Katreeva Phillips, and Timothy Stevens.

The Ghost Lights (2022) Review

The Ghost Lights, written and directed by Timothy Stevens, makes up for its low budget with plenty of heart. The Ghost Lights is a ghost story that's both well-written and surprisingly good.

We see a photographer strutting through some ruins in what looks like a deserted town or area in the American Southwest. The opening credits are in black and white and are very creative.

The film introduces us to the protagonist Alex (Katreeva Phillips), a journalist from the city who is on her way to a funeral. Instead, she discovers she's already missed. Along the way, she experiences both work and family drama.

She ends up in a suburban area decorated for Halloween, at the empty home of her deceased father, who was a journalist. She finds some of his belongings, including a notebook and a cassette tape labeled "The Ghost Lights - October 15, 1978," which is "today" in the film.

Alex is listening to a tape of her father, Arthur 'Art' Bennett, interviewing a man named Mario. Mario is a resident of Terlingua, a ghost town in West Texas just outside the Mexico border.

Soon after the title sequence, we learn that the photographer is the protagonist's father.

Mario tells his daughter about the ghost lights, a phenomenon he first saw when he was 10. He describes them as eerie and says they spooked him when he was a child. His daughter becomes scared and runs outside after she thinks she hears some noises.

Alex listened to the tape as she waited for her flight back to the city. She was surprised by how much she enjoyed it.

Mario and Art are talking about the strange lights they've seen lately. Mario speculates that they could be aliens, Nazi spies, gas pockets, or Apache warriors' spirits. Art isn't sure what to believe, but he's intrigued by the possibility of what they could be.

Mario's mother was reluctant to talk about the lights because people who got too close to them would sometimes disappear. She didn't want to give them power by speaking of them, so she just told her family that they were dangerous.

Mario tells Art he knows about the disappearances of people in the area because his father was one of them.

Art's daughter is curious about her father's past and decides to investigate. Her father's friend, Mario, may still be alive, and she decides to use his story for her magazine.

Alex promises to finish the story her father started when she visits his grave. She then sets off to find Mario, with some fun music to accompany her on the trip.

The film's score creates a chilly atmosphere, which works well for the movie.

We are about to learn that Mario believes his father's disappearance was unnatural. However, the scene then changes abruptly to what sounds like Art being interrogated by someone unknown.

Art is interrogated by someone who believes he knows something about a crime. Art insists he knows nothing, but his interrogator presses on, saying he already got some information from Mario. The situation becomes more intense as Art addresses his interrogator by name directly and says, "Don't tell them anything."

An unknown person is interrogating Alex about her past. The interrogation briefly turns into a flashback, during which Alex realizes a man is following her in black.

The woman rests in a gas station restroom but is quickly found by her pursuers. They tell her that they know about the tapes and will get her. She decides to take action. She decides to continue listening to the recordings - in the restroom. It was an odd decision, but maybe they could offer clues on how to deal with her pursuers.

The protagonist is listening to a tape recording of her father's interrogation, and she feels courageously determined as she hears her father's defiant tone. Unfortunately, the tapes don't offer much more information, but the protagonist is encouraged by what she hears and continues toward her goal.

After a long day of driving, Alex and her friends decide to stop at a hotel for a shower and a nap. However, Alex is quickly awakened by the sound of her father's ghost typing on his typewriter. The message he types is quickly interrupted by the presence of the killer, who is now knocking on Alex's door.

I'm not going to complain that the protagonist spends the following few scenes in her underwear. Some people might see that as a problem, but I think it's just body positivity.

The directorial choices in the film have been questioned by some, including the use of still photographs and video glitches to accentuate dialogue.

I'm not sure what Art's accent is, but those Southern twangs can be pretty tricky to pinpoint.

But that's it as far as minor issues go.

Worth Watching? 

The Ghost Lights is a low-budget film that, despite its shortcomings, is quite enjoyable. The ending is satisfying, and overall the film is worth watching. This movie isn't terrifying, but it's got a good story and a fun, twisty ending. Give it a watch if you're into slow-paced films with short runtimes.

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