“Ghost of Goodnight Lane is a bit of an enigma. It feels like a film that just shouldn’t work, yet for some strange reason it does.”
by Nav Qateel
Director Alin Bijan’s comedy-horror Ghost of Goodnight Lane is a film that by all rights, I simply shouldn’t have liked. But thanks to Billy Zane’s deadpan humor–whose deliveries hit their mark perfectly–I found myself laughing heartily throughout the film, however, I suspect not everything I found amusing was actually meant to be funny.
Ghost of Goodnight Lane tells the story of a small indie film studio that turns out to be haunted by the resentful ghost of a young girl. Said young girl died about the same time Flower Power was drawing its final breath, and now her spirit is on a killing spree. The ghost became deadly after learning director Alan (Billy Zane) planned to sell the studio, which will then be demolished and a parking lot put in its place.
Billy Zane plays the owner of the small film studio, and he and his crew are in the middle of shooting a horror. The editor dies in a freak accident and there are loads of strange goings on–like things moving around and doors opening and closing by themselves. After an old woman mysteriously turns up claiming to be the previous owner of the building, who warns them the ghost is unhappy, the crew begin to investigate. This is the best I’ve seen from Zane in quite a while and his performance actually made a huge difference to the film, for without Zane doing his thing, I doubt I would have enjoyed Ghost of Goodnight Lane half as much.
The rest of the cast handled their characters well enough, with Scream Queen Danielle Harris playing one of the actresses, but in a relatively smaller role than we’re used to seeing the horror-movie regular take on. The talented Lacey Chabert played Dani, one of the film crew who starts to piece together the story of why the building is haunted. Chabert and Harris had an amusing scene together where they were punching away at one another’s faces. Ouch!
Director Bijan tossed in everything but the kitchen sink (perhaps the kitchen sink was edited out?) when it came to giving us horror, as if he had a list of every popular horror ever made, which he ticked off as he went. From Evil Dead to Paranormal Activity; from Chucky to The Ring, Bijan basically threw in the lot, and amazingly it paid off. There were a few items that didn’t really work, like when Micah (Brina Palencia) was cutting away at herself with broken glass while under the influence of the ghost, but the parts of the film that did work, helped gloss over the rest.
There was a notable lack of nudity, which was underlined when the lovely Christine Bently managed to strip off and take a shower, all the while retaining her modesty. This was achieved by her long hair being ingeniously glued to her nipples. I wonder if it was painful to remove!? The practical effects were clearly limited by the budget, but the production team and makeup folk did a good job with what they had. Ghost of Goodnight Lane is a bit of an enigma. It feels like a film that just shouldn’t work, yet for some strange reason it does. It’s a lot of fun and very entertaining. Nuff said.