Ghost Note: A Review
by Luce Allan
The battle between a preacher and a possessed musician comes to a head in Ghost Note (2017), which takes place forty years after the successful trapping of the demonic blues musician Eugene Burns. When the late preacher's granddaughter accidentally reawakens Eugene and his cursed guitar while over at her grandmother's for Thanksgiving, she teams up with a childhood friend in order to uncover the mysteries behind Eugene's deal with the devil and save the people she loves.
Ghost Note finds success in its impressive visuals and well-paced plot. The gore is top-notch in its execution, and avoids being too sparse or gratuitous in regard to its role in the film's storyline. The jazz club scenes are captivating with their nightmarish bursts of color and masked patrons, and Eugene's aesthetic is delightfully gruesome (the latter enhanced further by the strength of Kenny Gardner's performance). The plot rarely, if ever, lapses into dull moments, and keeps a tight grip on its momentum throughout the film. The chemistry between the two leads, Mallory (Alicia Underwood) and Rodney (Justin Duncan), is convincing, and the relationship between the two characters is sweet and engaging.
Despite the expert pacing of the plot and the entertainment value, one factor that reduces some of the film's originality is its lack of surprises and twists; while there is excitement, there is also a straightforwardness to the storyline that dilutes its ultimate potency. In terms of characterization, Mallory's contemptuous teenage attitude during the first half of the film is a bit grating due to the overwhelming prevalence of this stereotype in horror movies, and it occasionally interrupts the flow of the story.
Overall, Ghost Note is a fun and generally satisfying horror movie whose positive attributes outweigh its flaws.