Obviously with films like Ghostbusters (oh, what the heck - all of them) The Frighteners, even the Ghostfacers from Supernatural, there is a strong enough tradition for comedies about ghost hunting. I’m not sure why this particular subject lends itself so well to jokes, but there is no sense in fighting it at this point (and also, why would you want to). And here comes yet another entry - Deadtectives. The difference is this one is very difficult to sit through.
The film focuses on a team of phony ghost hunters who use special effects to play up their exploits for a formerly popular reality television show. With ratings at an all time low, an executive brings in new blood to sensationalize the show and sends the team to a supposedly real haunted house in Mexico. Once there, shit hits the fan and the team must hunt down some ghosts for real, or die trying.
That all sounds fine. Unfortunately, Deadtectives immediately settles into a hyperactive tone that constantly grates nerves. It’s not just that the film is unfunny, it is unfunny at an extremely high volume. Every line read, every physical movement is cranked up to eleven. It’s like spending 90 minutes in a room full of eight-year-olds doing Ace Ventura impressions.
There are some smart ideas here. One team member tinkers with equipment he thinks will never get used because ghosts aren’t real. Upon finding this to be untrue, the team’s biggest loser suddenly becomes its greatest asset. Furthermore, the death of another teammate does not end his participation but rather gives the team a ghost as an ally, which is a really novel angle for a movie like this. If only he weren’t totally annoying along with everyone else.
In other words, there is enough here to enjoy for those who can get past the presentation and grating tone. For the rest of us, however, no amount of cool ideas will make Deadtectives easier to endure. Sadly, I find myself firmly settled in the latter category.