Nicolas Cage Birthday Special: Pay the Ghost

2015 horror mystery movie

Rating: 11/20

Plot: A college professor, distracted by a windsock man, loses his son on Halloween and tries to figure out how to pay the ghost because that's what the movie's title told him to do.

Hey, it's the Great One's birthday! Well, it was several weeks ago. I celebrated, like I have every year for the last few years, with a Nic Cage movie. I had low expectations for this one, and they were met.

I doubt this will be a good Movies-a-Go-Go. I apologize in advance.

It's the 17th Century, and and there are devil symbols! We’re off to a bad start here.

Modern times now because kids didn’t have dinosaurs on their pillows in the 17th Century. This kid, by the way, has a meticulously decorated room. And I think it might be the size of my entire house.

Hey, it’s Sarah from Prison Break. Nic Cage is hitting that? Way to go, Nic!

I always thought she looked like a Scientologist. I'm not sure if she is or not. 

Nic’s an intellectual fellow in this one. You can tell because he’s got his super-serious face, sideburns,  and a sweater vest.

What should Nicolas Cage be for Halloween? Man, that’s definitely not a question to be considered lightly.

I don’t understand the sweater vest. I’ve owned them, but I still don’t understand them. The preferred wardrobe for people who have cold abdomens but feel like their arms are going to be ok, I guess.

Crotch grab! Nic’s about to get some! Hiyah!

Nicolas Cage is reading Goethe to college students like it’s a Dr. Seuss book.

“Pretty good, huh?” Book slam! That’s how I’m going to end everything I read to students in class from now on.

He said “shit” at the end of his lecture. And that’s why he got that round of applause from his students. I’ll have to try that, too. I can't remember the last round of applause I got from my students that I didn't actually demand.

Nic’s son is riding is scooter around their house like he’s Danny in The Shining. That’s a bad sign for everybody. Ghosts are going to have to be paid.

He’s only got tenure because they heard about that round of applause after he said “shit” in class.

Sarah from Prison Break is also dressed as a pirate. Oh, man, I like where this is going.

Danny just spotted a CGI eagle!

You’d think that Nic could get in touch with his wife and son and join them for trick or treating since this isn’t the 17th Century and they do have technology.

Is that the shadow of a windsock man coming from the carnival? Oh, man, I like where this is going.

“Dad, you’re a cowboy!” Well, he sort of is. He’s about the best cowboy that Nic Cage can make.

Well, I know one blogger who's going to watch the rest of this movie with a boner. 

Sarah: “We will celebrate tonight.” He’s getting some two nights in a row then? This is very unrealistic.

Now, this is some happening Halloween carnival!

Nicolas Cage mirror scene--a wacky carnival mirror--but he doesn’t do anything remarkable in it.

Danny’s about to get lost. Heads-up here, Nic.

Is a fucking CGI bird going to whisk Danny away? (Note: His name isn’t Danny in this.)

Danny just said the title of the movie! Unfortunately, it makes no sense in this context.

Danny (actually, Charlie) has vanished, and a Nic Cage freakout is going to happen in 3-2-1. . .

Yes, there’s the windsock man! Bam!

Yes, I took a picture with my phone, emailed it to myself, downloaded it to my drive, and then uploaded it here. That, my dear readers, is dedication. 

Nic’s at his best when he gets to scream all his lines.

Oh, this is a sad discovery on Cage’s birthday. He may now be too old to run in movies. That was an awkward gait from the big guy.

It looks bad even in a still.
Two unfortunate things about this missing child thing that other bloggers wouldn’t even bother mentioning: 1) That was six dollars spent on an ice cream cone that was just wasted money. 2) Nic probably isn’t getting the sex alluded to earlier now.

I know losing a child is frightening and devastating and all that. But imagine going through that while dressed as a pirate and a cowboy.

I’m having a tough time taking any of these emotions seriously when they’re dressed like this. I’m sure the acting is fine here, but the wardrobe isn’t doing Sarah or Nic any favors.

Cage just woke up on the couch. I think he should still go upstairs and say, “Hey, still want to celebrate?” It’s at least worth a shot.

I can't stop thinking about this. 

Their home is like the Tardis. It’s much bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside.

Oh, good! Danny’s back!

Nevermind, false alarm. Just a dream sequence and an excuse for another jump scare.

Bottom-of-screen-words: “One year later” and then “3 days before Halloween.” Were both of those necessary?

I hope that windsock man somehow factors into all this. This could wind up being my favorite movie.

How’s this for a movie idea: A family of windsock people that does everything normal people do--has a house, goes to work, etc.--tries to live in a non-windsock world. Pixar, let’s get on that.

You can staple flyers all over the place if you want, Nic, but milk cartons is the way to go. (Note: I should not be joking about this, but I’m currently watching a scene where he’s chasing a bus on foot because he thinks he sees his son--still in his pirate outfit with his painted-on eye patch--on it. So if the movie’s going to treat child abduction like this, I can make light of it, right?)

Pay the ghost? Pay the bus driver!

Vultures on a dumpster. What this movie really needs is to be in the dumpster, probably on fire.

Ok, that was a cheap shot. The movie isn’t really that bad so far, and Nicolas Cage definitely isn’t the problem with it. It’s uninspired and heading into nonsensical territory, but it’s not a dumpster fire.

OK, now Nic is asking subterranean mole people about graffiti. Maybe the dumpster fire is right around the corner.

Oh, I like blind “Cover the fires!” guy!

Hey there, Sarah! That was not a “stupid fair.” It had a windsock man and six-dollar ice cream!

Wham! Another jump scare, this time with a kid who has a sack on his head.

Are we switching vantage points here? All but the trick or treating scenes have been from Nic’s character’s point of view. Unless he’s creeping around his wife’s house here, this is a wrong move.

Now she’s going to tell him that she saw his scooter moving around by itself. He just say, “What? You’re crazy!” and make her go away. Come on, Nic! Play “hard to get” a little here.

Nic’s getting all whispery now.

Bob Barker’s version of this movie would be Spay and Neuter the Ghost.

No, Nic! Don’t pay the scabby meth addict! Pay the ghost!

Forget it, black cop. It’s Chinatown.

This sure is a lot of film dedicated to watching Nic set a table and pour wine. I think there are more important things to address here.

Like the trio of sack-headed people who just burst into flames outside. Or the children who randomly appeared and made you drop your glass of wine.

And now we’ve got ourselves a psychic! And for some reason, our first introduction to her was her well-toned calves.

Is the psychic sniffing things? She’s good. Get ready to pay the psychic, guys.

Ok, nevermind. The psychic was just killed by a storm. Now you have to pay somebody to clean up your dead psychic.

So they’re taking a dead psychic out of the house without taking the couple in for questioning?

Another jump scare! What’s that screechy string sound that accompanies those? That horror cliche has to have a name, right? Does anybody know what I'm talking about?

Did she just cut a piece of hard candy on her arm with scissors? Pay the tattoo artist next time, Sarah from Prison Break!

That’s not the appropriate attire for a traditional Celtic Halloween party, guys. You need to be dressed like a cowboy and a pirate.

Yes! They’re walking into an Eyes Wide Shut outdoor orgy scene!

Nic: Do you recognize this symbol?
Teacher from Bayside at the Celtic Halloween party: Why, yes. That’s a piece of hard candy in a wrapper.

I’m going to have to check to see if there’s a Bayside School in New York.

There is. 

Did Nic just answer the phone with “All right”?

I’m no history professor, but this whole mother-in-the-17th-Century-getting-revenge-because-she-had-to-watch-her-children-being-burned-at-the-stake thing is something I could have figured out. Maybe it’s because I watched the beginning of the movie. But maybe it’s because I’ve seen other movies.

I’m not sure why the ghost is going around killing random people who are trying to help Nic and Sarah pay the ghost.

Nic’s running again. But it’s into the carnival, so I’m hoping for another shot of that windsock man.

That ghost is looking pretty ragged. Somebody should Oil of Olay the Ghost!

The blind dude again. He kind of reminds me of Tommy Wiseau.

Here’s a question: Why would a blind man be carrying around a flashlight?

Let’s see. He paid the Hispanic gentleman five dollars for information. Just how much would you have to pay a ghost anyway?

That endless sea of missing children dressed up for Halloween certainly is a creepy image. I like how the color has been drained out of this thing.

Have I spoiled the entire fucking movie? 

I wonder if these kids at least have costume competitions down there?

What does “Aaaaaiiiiiiieeeee!” mean in Celtic? Is Celtic even a language?

And now here come the rest of the kids, apparently they’re thinking they just came out of the ark in Raiders.

“Let’s go home.” A poor delivery of a poorly-written line. Also: Nic’s hair is a little too perfect after that ordeal.

Oh, crap. The kid’s not even going to know that he just lost a year of his life. But shouldn’t he wonder why his dad isn’t dressed up like a cowboy?

Wait, that’s really it?

Oh, not quite. More shots of that vulture. I guess it sets up the whole thing for multiple sequels. Pay the Ghost 2: There Was Interest is my guess at the title.

Happy birthday, Nic! 

No comments: