User Reviews (21)

Add a Review

  • This movie had a very original concept that could have taken it way farther. The problem begins with the film's low budget. 1 million (USD)is really not much now days for a movie. Even with it's limited budget production still looked professional. The actors are no names in my book but did fairly well given this. Instead of making a long drawn out review I will say it's worth a look (especially compared to other Horror releases), and I would say that it deserves higher than its current 4.4 score. Special effects were alright but story-line becomes a bit cheesy as it progresses when it starts off with such a COOL concept and history. I would say it's worth a look for sci-fi/horror buffs!
  • This is a simple story revolving around three men, a love interest, and a mystical coffin.

    The original title was "Box of Shadows", and if you think of coffins as just boxes, and deep latent desires as shadows, then the title is great. But I like the current title, The Ghostmaker, because it is more direct and relevant when presented with trailers or synopses.

    The storyline revolves around a long lost coffin invented by a mad man centuries ago. It is soon uncovered by Kyle, a good looking college junkie who only cares about refurbishing used collectibles for resale to fund his addiction and his lavish lifestyle with girlfriend Julie. Joined by his two buddies -- Sutton, a wheelchair-bound college mate who generously sponsors his board and lodging, and Platt, a steady, down-to-earth intellectual -- Kyle uncovers hidden biomechanical contraptions while cleaning out the casket, and ropes them in to figure out the who's, whats and how-much of the treasure.

    As it turns out, the contraption has mysterious powers that give the living "occupant" a taste of the afterlife for a few short minutes. As the story unfolds, we discover how these addictive escapades unleash the deepest, darkest shadows trapped inside the kids. But their wanton abuse of the ghostmaker carries a heavy price, as the trio soon discover and subsequently attempt to outwit.

    The story plods along smoothly and at a comfortable pace, drawing the viewers into the scenes and engaging their empathy with the characters. The smooth continuity and flow helped me to enjoy my voyeuristic journey with Kyle, Sutton and Platt, to discover exactly what dark secrets and consequences lie beneath the ghostmaker. The elements of suspense and science fiction help to cast away our sense of logic and doubts, to just enjoy the movie for the simple premise that it offers: a glimpse of what is possible if we can affirm the existence of the afterlife; to experience extra-corporeal abilities; and to explore how such newfound powers can simultaneously inspire and corrupt our mortal consciousness.

    Overall, this is not a high-budget flick, but it makes optimal use of limited resources to convey an interesting plot in a simple, engaging way. The possibilities of ghostmaking are broad enough that there is even some potential left for a sequel!
  • Considering the budget these guys were working with, they seemed to handle their own pretty well. A few unthoughtful lines from the characters, but overall, It was a flick that any horror fan wouldn't walk away from, (that disappointed) I'm no "Movie Reviewer" but I know what I like, and I'd like to think I know what's good. So, with that said, I gave this movie a strong 6, because I believe it deserves a higher rating than what it has right now.

    Also keeping in mind the budget they had, made do with what they had, and seemed to me to have pulled it off rather well. The actors were well believed in the most part, except for a few lines here and there mostly from the paralyzed guy.

    Good work guys.
  • kosmasp1 January 2013
    If cool ideas or concepts would be the only indicator or rating barometer, we would talking a whole different ball game right now. But we are not, because the execution of said idea should at least be good too. Talking about good and involving anything that is shown in this movie would be a travesty. I can't judge the actors by one performance (or rather I don't want to), but they're not really helping the case delivered with this movie.

    Don't get me wrong, the whole thing is half hearted at best. The script seems to be incomplete, the characters are shallow at best and the twists are funny, if you're good humored. The effects could be called OK I guess, but only by very low budget standards. In other words: You can smell the CG miles before it hits the screen. If you can't watch things like that, don't even bother. A shame, because it did sound interesting ... which brings us back to square one!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I think of all the movies where they spend millions of dollars in Special Effects laden tricks and cheep thrills.

    This movie is a lot more effective with a small budget and stars you've never heard of than a lot of these other films.

    The plot is that a stoned college kid comes across a box from the Middle Ages that allows a person's spirit to leave their body and manifest itself in the real world. He shares it with his nerdy buddy and his handicapped roommate who secretly has the hots for his girlfriend. Hilarity ensues until Death decides to start tracking these guys.

    Again, the movie is well paced and uses what it has effectively. Definitely worth a watch.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Box Of Shadows" is a supernatural thriller that also has the title "The Ghostmaker" attached to the project. It depends on the country it is released to which one shows up. The film is directed by Mauro Berrelli and stars Aaron Dean Eisenberg, Liz Fenning, J. Walter Holland and Jared Grey. The story centers on a 15th century coffin with mechanical and very supernatural innards that allow a person to experience death for a set amount of time. In a ghost state the world opens up in ways that life could never allow. Only there are dark and fatale consequences to this devilish device. An apparition of death that stalks all who use the box tracks down the violators of nature and sets right the balance between life and death. The machine was created by the evil Da Vinci-esque figure Von Tristan. After a young college guy finds the coffin he and his buddies set out to discover the wonders and true value of the device. The movie has your standard thriller set up. A mysterious object set against friends who are more like frenemies. The production and story are written well leaving most of the suspense and atmosphere of this dark story up to the actors and audience to allow for the scares. The scares are really more subjective to the thriller element of the film as friends turn on each other and the discovery of a darker more sinister figure attached to the machine becomes apparent. The film does have some serious and edgy elements to the story that make for a more personal connection and deeper back story to the characters than most films of this sort. The overall action driven suspense and friction between the characters allow the film to be better than you would think. "Box Of Shadows" doesn't offer anything new to the film that isn't present in any other horror film. The characters are standard but just above cliché. The scares where minimal for me but the action and story were intense and dark enough with some real world edginess that I related to which held me to the film until the bitter end. The ending however was a bit cheesy but well deserved considering the intensity of the whole films multiple plots. I enjoyed the film and fill it is worth horror fans checking out.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film was originally titled "Box of Shadows." "Ghost Machine" would have been a better title, but that was already taken a few times. Kyle (Aaron Dean Eisenberg) is a college kid with a rich beautiful girl friend Julie, (Liz Fenning) and a roommate Sutton (J. Walter Holland)in a wheel chair who has an unhealthy passion for Julie. Kyle also has a drug problem and a money problem.

    While cleaning out a home, Kyle comes across a coffin the owner wants to dispose of. Kyle keeps the item and researches it with the help of a friend (Jared Grey) who adds the geek aspect to the film. This is a 15th century coffin with a music box in it. It was designed by the evil Wolfgang Von Tristem. When used, it gives a person an out of body experience, i.e. makes them a ghost.

    The film is a little like "Altered States" and a bit like "Flatliners." The beginning of the film holds your attention as they go through a discovery phase. I loved the concept, but as the film progressed I grew less interested. The drug aspect of Kyle's life seemed less believable than the ghost coffin. Still it is a cut above the plethora of direct to DVD videos out there.

    Parental Guide: F-bombs, sex/rape, girl shower nudity (If you were invisible where would you hang out?)
  • Warning: Spoilers
    My first big laugh with Ghostmaker came pretty early on. When they start up their mechanical-steampunk-death-coffin and a cute little melody plays. Wheels and gears turn inside and it's a neat little visual but it seemed very clear none of the gears were attached to anything. It was basically a clockwork art installation without any of the function, I mean whoever built it, good job but- the lack of understanding about how gears work got a chuckle out of me.

    Another laugh was when the character of Julie laying down for bed while being creeped on. She has some weird lingerie nightie on with a bra, full makeup, her hair all done and straightened, and then she lays on top the of the bed as if she's laying down int a coffin. It's a small thing but that's one of the most unnatural laying-down-for-bed moments I'd seen in a while. "What is going on?", I had to ask.

    And the movie is like that, weird moments punctuate some dumb dialogue and a half baked story. The monster (if you can call it that) has a pretty interesting visual design despite being pretty useless. The actors are clearly NOT twenty-year old college students or whatever.

    The girl had some weird moments for me. First, it's sad to see a beautiful women playing a much younger women get treated like garbage the way she does. I just kept thinking she really shouldn't have such low self esteem. I mean, she's got a pretty toned core, right? The idea of a happy ending where they end up together is vomitous. I'm one hundred percent certain our hero would have made the world a better place by shooting up some of that rat poison.

    They're super mean to the guy in the wheelchair and the fact that he turns out to be terrible doesn't excuse that fact. Also, it makes no sense that he can walk or carry people around or whatever. I can understand if his arms are in good shape, but you don't suddenly have leg-day thighs first day out of being wheelchair bound for several years. And, really? He can suddenly walk and he's going to waste his time hanging around these garbage people? why is everyone so in love with this crackhead? He S-U-C-K-S.

    There were some moments with the drug dealers I kind of liked, First, that's just a terrible place to hide your drugs. Wow, you think no one can see you put it there? You have to walk past this giant empty parking lot by yourself. And where is this trailer anyway? I did like how after the main guys rip them off they're forced to sell tainted junk. I would have liked to see more of the real-world consequences of the stuff they did with their ghost powers. It's your fault that guy died bro. The drug dealers are weirdos, at first I thought the casting was weird but it was actually kind of more interesting. It made sense they were just low guys on the totem pole.

    It would have made more sense if they used their ghost powers to get a lot more money or something but this really seemed like a waste of time for everybody. I did kind of like the actress though, she tried to make the dialogue work and that's something. Really, the performances were not bad. You get a sense of what the characters are thinking. They make do with some tricky material and I can respect that.

    It's just, stalking this mean self-destructive adult woman seems like a waste of time for our handicapable stud whose alarmingly quick to go without his shirt. And buying crack and using your powers to be even more of a garbage human kind of sucks. That guy's good looks, they're headed for some hard road if he doesn't stop being a d-bag. These two, are they going to have a happy ending? Doubtful. "Why are you still with him?" I was asking the screen at the end. Girl, go to college and stop screwing around with 16th century cursed torture devices, OK?
  • I got to watch "The Ghostmaker" for the second time now, and must admit that I could only vaguely remember fragments from the movie from the first time around.

    But I have to say that the movie just wasn't much better actually the second time around. Sure, it has some good aspects here and there, I will get to those in a bit, but in overall then this just was a less than mediocre foray into the horror / thriller genre.

    "The Ghostmaker" is about a some friends who stumble upon an ancient coffin from the 15th century, which turns out to be an intricate machine that can project a person into a ghost-like incorporeal state. And what seems to be fun and games soon turn out to have deadly consequences.

    The concept idea of this machine is actually interesting, and it is apparently based on some real idea, nay fantasy idea of some long dead inventor.

    However, the storyline just wasn't impressive enough to make "The Ghostmaker" a particularly enjoyable horror movie. Why? Well, because it was so predictable that it hurt. You knew what would happen long before it did, and you could see what would be the result of things in the movie a mile away.

    The acting in the movie was fairly good, and people did perform adequately with their given roles, despite having a fairly generic script and storyline to work with.

    The reaper figure was actually interesting, especially since it was tied to the coffin and had machinery parts to it as well. That was actually a great touch of detail and concept idea that worked out quite well. However, it just wasn't much of a menacing presence.

    And as for the special effects in the movie, well the special effects team actually managed to pull off the effects quite nicely and also in a believable manner. And that lifted up the movie quite a bit.

    "The Ghostmaker" is certainly a watchable movie, you just shouldn't expect to be blown away by it. I am rating it four out of ten stars because it just isn't an outstanding or a particularly memorable movie. And as for it being a horror movie, then it just lacks to muster a punch that makes you take notice.
  • After acquiring the coffin of a 15th-century mathematician who cheated death, a group of friends' slowly find the drawbacks to it's continued usage when they start crossing the line far more frequently and violently.

    There's not a whole lot to this one that really works, and it tends to get off-track quite often. The biggest problem with this one is the fact that the whole film is dependent on the idea of using this strange device being something that's terrifying or creepy, but instead none of what goes on here is really all that creepy or scary. Being astral projected into the area and witnessing events as a spectral being is not in the slightest bit scary a concept, and these scenes doing this are some of the blandest, more arduous scenes in the film with absolutely nothing going on that's in any way interesting to watch. It's so difficult to get through these since none of them are played off with the intent of being creepy or scary, just more of a curiosity by the discoverers which is so far removed from the intent of a horror film that it ends up becoming quite painful to sit through these with almost nothing of any value going on here and being so long into the film that when it finally gets going it's almost the final act which is quite a bit of time to get things going. There's a big difference in the way the action of what goes on in these scenes being far more enjoyable and entertaining overall since something's actually going on for once, as the endless chasing being done trying to get back his girlfriend makes for some rather chilling moments with the house battle, making effective use of the poltergeist stage for a chilling moment before settling back into action with the encounter in the gym which works quite well in putting his ghostly state to full-effect while forcing his smarts to come into play in finally being able to confront the menace. While not the greatest ploy, the tactic of putting the ghostly guardian of the coffin along for the ride does make for a fine sense of chilling atmosphere by having something to be scared of during the more boring sequences and it gets a lot of play in the finale which helps that as well, and helps this out quite well even with the slew of problems on display within.

    Rated R: Graphic Language, Graphic Violence, Brief Nudity and drug use.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Non contact violence, bad make up, terrible CGI villain but the coffin? That thing is amazing and really well made!! The story is vague and a little obscure in places, some of which are funny, like when Sutton turned up at Julie's apartment she never once asked herself how he got up the 2 flights of stairs to knock on her front door. To rob the store he saw the combinations to safe and locks but where did he get front door key from? Oh the terrible goods but they are laughable which brought this up to a 5 star film, it's great if you need to pass some time or if you're studying film. I would recommend this as its enjoyably bad, kinda like a 1980s ninja film :) The twist at the end, fantastic!!
  • I bought this dvd for the effects. I wasn't disappointed. OK, that's a tick. And the ghosts are creepy, not to mention the Ghostmaker him-creepy-self. This movie needed a few more lessons on tension and building horror. It's on the way there, but not quite nailing it. The actors are good, young. I'd not be surprised if the film makers were young too. I think that's where the downer is coming in. So much is wrapped up in the manic teenage hormones that the movie doesn't have the time to just settle down and make us frightened. It definitely has some very cool ingredients to do that, but seems to lack enough time. Everything is a bit rushed. That's my take. I'm still glad I bought the dvd. The wizard effects will find good company in my sci-fi collection, some of the soundtrack was cool, and I definitely enjoyed the movie, even if I didn't really break a sweat over death come knocking.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There used to be a cocktail once that contained gin, absinthe and, possibly, brandy - I can't remember. I do know, however, that it was more-or-less banned back in the 1920s for causing effects similar to brain death.

    This film is the visual version of that great drink.

    The plot is implausible at best, the characters are the sort that make you truly wish that they would suffer and die, preferably quickly, and the special fx, if there actually were any used, were less interesting even than the characters.

    Firstly, the film wasn't horror. It certainly wasn't even scary. It most definitely wasn't even logical.

    Three ubiquitous horror film staples - college kids - find themselves involved with an ancient coffin containing some actually quite wondrous clockwork devices that enable the person lying in the coffin to experience existence as a ghost.

    An interesting premise, but it goes downhill from there on. The director apparently equated "ancient" with the fifteenth century and then filled a typical 19th century coffin with all manner of cogwheels and little rocking thingies and dinky widgets, gadgets and twinkly Faraday electric arc effects to create a machine that is marvellous to the eye which, and this is important, is ALSO a fabulous music box in the Grotesquerie style: imagine Stravinsky's weirder works blown through a sound attenuation device and echo chamber.

    Add to this a "Mechanical Death" stalking (in a gentle, non-frightening, non-disruptive manner) the guys using the machine and you end up with a film that - with just a little rewriting, re-editing and a new set of actors who actually CAN act - would make a fairly good Gothic comedy horror.

    Naturally one of the students falls victim to Death's barely discernible wrath; one goes totally demented and becomes a stalker/rapist/generic psycho - but not too violent, of course - while the third somehow manages to rehabilitate himself from thief/junkie to all-round Good Egg in order to save the day.

    If, after reading this review, you feel a sudden urge to rush out and get this film on DVD or download it from the Internet, please consider psychiatric help.

    I've given three stars to the film for one simple reason: the wonderful Antikytheran clockwork machinery. Well, maybe half a star went to Aaron Dean Eisenberg for being rather cute...

    I'll shut up now.
  • This is one of the good horror film i have watch.. I would recommend my friends on this film.. Its rather interesting and scary at some parts.. Not sure why it's not widespread among horror movie lovers and i feel its under rating too.. Maybe the advertising part wasn't enough.. People are not aware of this movie.. I found this movie online quite randomly otherwise i don't even know it exist.. Usually i watch horror movies rather attentive and really appreciate if its good.. This movie really deserve a higher rating.. Compliments to the people involve making this film.. Thank you. I hope those people who watch this movie after reading my review enjoy it..
  • I've been waiting for years to get my hands on a copy of this movie. And I was pleased to finally see it. I was worried when it spent so many years being delayed which raised some concerns. But it's a decent horror flick. The acting, film and effects are good and are on par with any well made modern flick. On a 1-10, I'd give it a 7 (I think more could have been done with the story or plot) but and 8 for subject matter and originality. The movie reminds me of the Guillermo del Toro movie Cronos. The ancient mechanical horror theme is very similar. The protangonists too are very flawed and the box brings their own demons to the surface. It doesn't scare me or really creep me out but it was entertaining and wasn't predictable.

    I've seen tons of bad horror movies. I'll probably watch this movie aqain down the road at some point. I can't say that for many. I even purchased a copy of it.
  • This movie, featuring no one I know, takes WAY too long to get to the point. I got bored really early on because it's just soooooo freaking slow. This kind of silly trifle doesnt need character development with bad actors. It needs action. Within the first 3 minutes.
  • This is one of those movies that make you search out for horror. You ignore the ratings of those artsy fartsy reviews who think they know it all. The Ghostmaker was wonderful and engaging.

    It was a mix of sci-fi and mix of horror. It was small budget but the 3 male leads were excellent. The movie is about a machine that allows you to die. Somewhat like FLatliners but nothing wrong with a movie that is similar. It has it's own spin and scenarios and twists.

    Excellent, highly recommended for horror fans. If you are a fan of horror I will give this a 8-9 out of 10. Don't knock it because it is low budget. It's a highly watchable movie.
  • I'll first say that THE GHOSTMAKER isn't an original film at all. The premise seems to be a toss up between FLATLINERS and THE ASPHYX, with the narrative incorporating elements of FINAL DESTINATION and GHOST along the way. The special effects have clearly been inspired by those in THE FRIGHTENERS. Other than that, this is a surprisingly good little movie.

    I wasn't expecting much from this, I admit, having had my fingers burnt too many times by the glut of boring, repetitive and clichéd teen horror films out there. Most of them involve a group of kids being bumped off by a maniac, but THE GHOSTMAKER actually has some intelligence behind it in the story of a trio of guys who find a clockwork coffin that has the power to temporarily transform them into ghosts.

    The plotting isn't great, as things end up on a smaller scale basis than you'd expect, and there are some clichés here. But at the same time the character development is pretty intriguing, and the acting is acceptable for the genre. The special effects are actually pretty good given what must have been a tiny budget to work with. Not a film to blow you away but one well worth checking out for the horror fans among us.
  • 2 stars for a good premise, but crap acting, really dislikeable main characters and the essential plot could have been written by a teenager... The chance to experience death without dying, one guy just uses it to spy on the main characters girlfriend in the shower!! Hmm... load of crap
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It's a pity that this relatively original story, with a good first hour, had to take such a cretinous, totally baffling turn into dumb-thriller territory in the last third, almost completely ruining the interesting build-up. The invalid guy morphs idiotically into a silly Jason Voorhees clone, which is far-fetched and very silly, not to mention generic, made even worse by the fact that the guy playing him is a really hack actor who says his lines as if he's in a high school play.

    What started as a film that seemed to successfully escape its B-movie limitations ended up being just as nit-witted as the typical Z-movie flick. The movie rapidly deteriorates, as though someone tore up the last part of the original script and some clueless and confused newbie was hired to scribble something up in a rush.

    There are so many stupid things going on in the idiotic finale, so I will just cover the basic stuff. Suddenly the invalid becomes an all-powerful, cunning serial-killer type who somehow reaps only benefits from using the machine whereas the junkie has very few of these powers: the junkie completely fails in stopping another junkie from using the bad heroin, yet the invalid manages to pretty much do anything he wants.I can't stand movies that blatantly break their own logic, their own rules, just to advance plot-twists that a pigeon could write.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    First off, I don't know from where all these nasty criticism about low budget's feelings are coming from: if you wouldn't be thinking about it .. You would not notice it, at all, since the story is deeply involving and the movie does not miss anything especially when it comes to deliver some chills with a more sinister and realistic explanation: even this later one, it has been my favorite part! But so many critics have hammered it down, and, it's quite a shame, especially when going down heavy on Domiziano Arcangeli's otherwise intense, enigmatic acting going to give life to a one of a kind sexy drug dealer in despair, a true excellent characterization in my opinion, that provides so, not only some of the more heartfelt and darkest aspects of the story itself, but, that, at the same time, also gives to this film it's more timely and gritty motive. It's a pity that, here in the States, all reviewers almost have harshly criticized one of the best parts of the film itself , while in fact, in Europe, it's been ( and rightly so) one of the most appreciated parts! I don't mean to say that this film lacks in the special effects department either, which are all mainly top notch , but that at times would risk to make the movie just looks simply a bit too "teen", lacking the depth it's instead so often trying to convey as well! Hard to believe, apparently in the States, we are just a big bunch of kids only wanting to see WB's style acting and directing, with no inventions, nor links to reality, especially when it comes to Horror! I instead very much appreciated the 2 rather organic points of view dividing a morbid story that as presented is way more adult, and accomplished than most U.S. reviewers would have apparently instead liked so much better: and so, another boring movie with the same usual supernatural clichés, and nothing else! Fortunately, instead this one can especially relate on the most emotional, and realistic parts which are all shot and performed with a vigor rare to be seen in standard Lions Gate's or common Genre's releases!