The Ghost Note is the story of Eugene Burns (Kenny Gardner) an old blues guitarist from Deep Elum, TX who gained immortality by selling his soul and attaching it to his album known as The Ghost Note which is believed to just be a legend. While playing his possessed guitar he caused audience members to kill themselves until being captured by a preacher and shut in behind a brick wall. Years later Mallory (Alicia Underwood) a practicing Wiccan and granddaughter of the preacher stumbles upon Eugene’s guitar after holding a seance with her cousins after Thanksgiving dinner. After stirring up some bad mojo it is up to Mallory and her childhood sweetheart Rodney (Justin Duncan) to set things right.
The Ghost Note is a decent full-length debut written and directed by Troy Hart. Nowadays horror audiences are treated to an abundance of jump scares and horror comedies instead of a horror movie that scares you with a well-constructed story. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a good horror comedy but sometimes I want a straight horror film with an atmosphere that keeps me thinking about it days, months, and years later. For the most part that seems to be getting lost. While The Ghost Note is not amazing in these aspects it is a film in the slasher genre of horror with a decent storyline and a creepy antagonist. Unfortunately, the scariest part of the film was the acting of our two lead characters. Alicia Underwood’s portrayal of Mallory was a bit over the top with her teen angst; this may have been better served if we had gotten to see some more character development from her past. Rodney had an issue that caused him to try to commit suicide a few years earlier, this subject was touched on but served no purpose to the film other than a hissy fit he threw when asked about it. Duncan’s portrayal of Rodney was a bit stiff and robotic.
The Ghost Note does have its faults and inconsistencies. One such example is the touching of the possessed guitar. When touched everyone had ghastly visions however it caused some of the victims to kill themselves and others but it really had no effect on Mallory or Rodney. Also, the cut scenes went to a black screen for a few seconds, it made me feel as though a commercial was about to be shown.
Where The Ghost Note did succeed was in Kenny Gardner’s portrayal of Eugene Burns. He was a big, imposing figure that did not require a lot of makeup to make his character creepy. Burns with his light blue contacts and torture device placed around his face that really served no purpose other than aesthetic effect mashed and bashed his way through the last part of the film until he meets his demise. The creepy Blue’s music played on a single acoustic guitar added a layer of creepiness to the scenes it was used in.
The Ghost Note will likely not make my top 10 list for 2017 but it is a reasonably enjoyable first full-length effort for Troy Hart. My favorite thing about the film was the sweet ‘73 Dodge Charger.
The Ghost Note (2 / 5) on the Thug Meter