Chasing Ghosts Reviews
I watched it till the end just because of curiousity but it wasn't that strong type of a film
When I first saw the trailer, I was expecting something a bit like Usual Suspects. It was nothing like that. The idea was there, but it was quickly clear why this film never made it to the cinemas here. Also very clear why it was not nominated for any script-writing awards.
One Star id for the efford and one is for Michael Madsen.
Starring: Michael Madsen, Corey Large, Shannyn Sossamon, Tom Wright, and Michael Rooker
Director: Kyle Dean Jackson
A week before he is to retire, corrupt homicide detective Kevin Harrison (Madsen) finds himself in pursuit of a serial killer while trying to train his replacement (Large). It soon becomes apparent that all the murders are somehow tied to the mysterious death of Harrison's old partner (Rooker), an officer who after death was largely blamed for Harrison's crimes. Will all of Harrison's past come back to haunt him?
"Chasing Ghosts" is a low budget crime thriller that should be required viewing for anyone thinking about making their own movie. The film is so well put-together that is a more successful effort than similar films with ten times its budget. Unfortunately, it also suffers from the same problems that many films with ten times its budget have, namely a "twist" that is so obvious that any member of the audience who is paying the least bit of attention will have figured out at least half an hour before "the big revelation."
Aside from that obvious script issue, the film is pretty decent. The characters are mostly stock, but the actors portraying them do good jobs; the mystery aspect of the film is well structured, even if the plot of the "criminal mastermind in the shadows" is a bit like a Rube Goldberg Machine [as in a bit over-complicated]; and even the slightly sideways redemption story that peeks out from the innards of the film is nice and believable.
There is a slight problem with some of the lighting and camera-work, though. For reasons I don't quite get, most outdoor scenes are shot with a tinge to them--not so much that it looks like a bad attempt at passing day-for-night in the shots, but enough to make it seem like the scene is happening during the early dawn or late twilight. In the scenes where it is indeed early dawn, the coloring makes sense, but there are others where it doesn't. (This is a minor complaint, though. Overall, the camera work and lighting is very competent and serves the drama of the film well.)
"Chasing Ghosts" is probably worth seeing for huge fans of the "surprise revelation" genre, or if you want to see an example of what can be done by truly talented filmmakers who understand how to make the most of a limited budget. Anyone else can safely pass on it.