Reviewed by: Brett Willis
|Featuring||Lukas Haas, Len Cariou, Alex Rocco, Katherine Helmond, Jason Presson|
|Distributor||Vista Film Co.|
This is a strange film with a hybrid style. It includes ghosts and a serial killer of children, but has quite a bit of comic relief (including silly scenes at the beginning, when the audience doesn’t yet need relief).
Frankie Scarlatti (12-year-old Lukas Haas) is locked in a school closet as a prank. While there, he witnesses the ghost of a little girl “reliving” her own murder. A minute later, her killer enters the closet to retrieve a piece of evidence from the murder, which took place ten years earlier. Is this an ordinary example of fantastic movie coincidence, or a teaching of “fate”? In any case, Frankie has now been “chosen” to unmask and expose the killer.
There’s some profane language. There’s also sexual talk, such as when Frankie and his brother have a fight that includes a groin kick, followed by a reference to having to skip “self-abuse” for a while. Frankie’s stereotyped Italian family has “conversations” that some people would not view as appropriate.
Despite the comedy, this film is intended as a serious ghost story and is more effective than most. The pre-digital-era special effects range from crude to very good. Overall, a first-time viewer who “gets into” the story could come away very frightened. If you can’t watch this type of film without getting emotionally involved, you should probably rent something more worthwhile.