THE LAST GHOST HUNTERS (aka GREEK FIRE – DEMON SPIRIT, 2021)
Directed and written by Dan T. Hall.
Starring Moli Hall, Kelly McKinney, Ransom Pugh, Leanne Johnson, Erik Biggers, Vonda Fuhrmann, Dennis Crosswhite, Alexander D. Hall, Alberta Mail, Ricardo Montelegro, Logan Moore, Julie Powers, Harper Taylor, Amelia Wray, Mitchell Wray
A threesome of ghost hunters venture to a small town to an abandoned house whose owners disappeared long ago. The ghost hunters, lead by Mitch (Ransom Pugh), accompanied by cameraman Kelley (Kelly McKinney) and medium Faith (Moli Hall) uncover that the location houses a dark entity endangering whomever enters, including the ghost hunters themselves.
THE LAST GHOST HUNTERS has a bare bones budget, but it knows how to stretch its dollar and provide some ghoulish images despite itself. While the usual trappings of low budget cinema apply with amateur acting, low fi effects, and not the best of storylines. Still, filmmaker Dan T. Hall is able to provide some decent scenes flashing back to some of the home’s more diabolical memories with quick cuts through disturbing and shocking imagery. These scenes are done with either haunt house level practical effects or rough CG, but both are only flashed to on the screen, so the image doesn’t linger around enough to be picked apart. There are some really effective little moments that set a very dark mood as the ghost hunters prepare their investigation. It works in that it causes a sense of unease—like the ghost hunters really are venturing into someplace dangerous and dark.
That said, this is a rough pill to swallow. Instead of trying to play things up as a real ghost investigation, everything is hyped to 11. But honestly, what is a real ghost investigation? The back-patting schmaltz of ScyFy’s GHOST HUNTERS or the dude bro stoogery of GHOST ADVENTURES are I guess, top of the heap, but they are far from feeling legit. In THE LAST GHOST HUNTERS, all of the usual tricks like EVP’s and flashlight signaling are used. Since it is the ghost of a little girl they are attempting to communicate with, they use a toy ball to try to contact her. While these tools of the ghost hunting trade parallel the methods seen on the TV shows, they seem to work too well and almost immediately.
What is really distracting and annoying is the introduction of mystic powers to the mix. I understand that some ghost hunters incorporate people who believe they are mediums in order to read feelings, sensations, and auras. But Ghost Hunter Faith (Moli Hall) goes full on Doctor Strange here, utilizing all sorts of powers to hold back demons, put up barriers, and concoct potions to do battle with the paranormal. The original title of THE LAST GHOST HUNTERS was GREEK FIRE – DEMON SPIRIT. It refers to the MOAB of herb hardware against evil spirits, but unfortunately sounds like a cooking show, so I understand why they changed the name.
While the buck is stretched effectively and the filmmaker was able to create a spooky mood, THE LAST GHOST HUNTERS gets wonky with the actual story and takes quite a few goofy liberties with ghost hunting in general. I’m glad they went with a cinematic route rather than the found footage format, but this is just for the ghost hunting completists out there, if there are such things.