Ok, another movie from the free gift collection. Once again, I have a movie that is not something I would have sought out and bought on my own, but this time I have a movie that I have seen before. This is due to my mom, who is a huge Patrick Swayze fan, and her renting many of his movies while I was a child. Now I remember seeing this movie back in the day and the main thing I remembered from it, aside from the potter’s wheel scene that has been parodied over and over again, was the shadow demons that dragged people to Hell. Now, I was a teenager when I first saw this movie and really didn’t think much of it. Let’s see if some growing up on my part will change things as I watch today’s movie, Ghost.
The plot: Sam Wheat and his girlfriend Molly Jensen buy and renovate an old apartment building to live in, with Sam’s friend and coworker Carl Bruner helping them out. As the renovations progress and they move into the building, Sam is worried as he says that every time things start looking up for him, something happens to ruin it. A few days later, Sam is at his office going over several accounts that he manages and notices that several of them have more money in them then he should. He tells Carl about this and Carl offers to help Sam look into it but Sam declines the offer, choosing to tackle it himself. That night, Sam and Molly go to the theater to see Macbeth and as they are walking home, Molly tells Sam that she wants to marry him but as they discuss it, they see someone stepping out of the shadows of a nearby alley and decide to keep walking. The man follows them and as Sam turns to confront them, the man pulls a gun on him and demands his wallet. Molly tells Sam to give him the wallet but when the mugger strikes her, Sam starts struggling with him while Molly calls out for help. After a while, the mugger runs off and Sam chases him for a little but when he returns to Molly, he finds her kneeling down cradling his body. As some people come to help her, they pass right through Sam and he sees a light shining down from the sky close by him but Sam hears Molly crying out not to leave her and he walks away from the light and towards her. Sam follows Molly to the hospital and as she goes to speak with the police about what happened, Sam is approached by an old man. The old man starts speaking to Sam, who is shocked that he can see him, and the old man reveals himself to be a ghost, like Sam is, and starts to explain things to him when they see a commotion in another operating room and the old man says that the patient won’t make it and as they watch, they see the light that Sam saw earlier shine on the patient and his spirit moves out of his body and is absorbed into the light. A funeral is held for Sam and afterwards, Molly is still depressed over his death, talking to him as if he is there, unaware that Sam’s ghost is watching her. Some time later, Molly and Carl are going through Sam’s things and Carl convinces her to get out of the house for a little bit. Sam tries to follow after them but is nervous about going through objects, when he hears someone putting a key into the lock. Sam backs away from the door, thinking it is Molly coming back, but is shocked to see it is the mugger. An enraged Sam tries to attack the mugger but is unable to touch him as the mugger begins searching the apartment for something. When Molly returns, the mugger ducks out of sight, then moves towards the bedroom to attack her but Sam is able to frighten the cat, as it can sense him, into attacking the mugger, causing him to run off. Sam decides to follow the mugger as he heads to the subway and boards a train but as Sam is on the train with the mugger, another ghost sees him and quickly approaches Sam, grabbing him and throwing him out of the car. The ghost then breaks the window, shocking Sam, and tells him that it is his train and to go somewhere else. Sam continues following the mugger to his apartment, where he learns the mugger’s name is Willy Lopez, and watches as Willy makes a call, telling the person on the other end that he couldn’t get what he was after but he will try again in a couple of days. Feeling helpless to protect Molly, Sam wanders the streets on his way back to the apartment when he sees a shop for Oda Mae Brown, a self proclaimed psychic, and he heads inside, only to find that Oda Mae is a fraud. Sam starts laughing about her scam when Oda Mae suddenly starts hearing him, shocking Sam. After causing Oda Mae to scare off her customer, Sam starts talking to Oda Mae and convinces her to call Molly and warn her about Willy. Oda Mae reluctantly agrees and calls Molly but when she tells her that she has a message from Sam, Molly hangs up. Sam tells Oda Mae to go see her, singing all night when she refuses, and Oda Mae heads over to the apartment. When Molly refuses to see her, Oda Mae starts yelling out things that only Sam would know, convincing Molly that she is telling the truth. Molly is still skeptical about the whole deal, thinking Oda Mae is using people’s grief to play a trick on them but when Oda Mae says that Sam says “ditto”, which is how he always responded when she said that she loved him, Molly realizes she is telling the truth. Sam has Oda Mae tell Molly about Willy and how he it wasn’t a random mugging and that he was murdered but when Oda Mae learns that Willy lives in her neighborhood, she gets scared and refuses to help anymore. Molly goes to see Carl and tells him about what Oda Mae said regarding Sam and Willy and Carl is skeptical but he says he will check it out. Sam follows Carl as he heads to Willy’s apartment but is shocked to learn that Carl knows Willy. Sam learns that Carl is laundering money for drug dealers and has $4 million that he needs to transfer to a fake account or else the dealers will kill him, which is why he wanted Willy to steal Sam’s address book which has all of his account passwords for work, as Sam had changed them before he died. Molly goes to the police and tells them about what Sam told her through Oda Mae but they don’t have a record on Willy but do have one on Oda Mae, as she has been charged. While Molly is out, Carl sneaks into her place and steals the address book and heads back to work, where he proceeds to call the dealer and is told to transfer the money to a single account under the name Rita Miller, all of which Sam sees. That night, Carl heads over to Molly’s place and attempts to seduce her but as he moves to kiss her, Sam leaps at them and ends up knocking a picture off the nearby table, causing Molly to stop Carl. Realizing there might be a way to stop Carl and Willy, Sam heads to the subway and searches for the ghost he encountered earlier and begs him to teach him how to interact with objects. After trying to get rid of Sam, the ghost eventually agrees to teach him, revealing that Sam’s problem is that he keeps thinking he is real and needs to focus with his mind. Sam is eventually able to interact with objects and heads over to see Oda Mae, only to discover that there are several ghosts in there with him. When Sam tries talking to her, Oda Mae yells at him about the ghosts all coming to see her now when one of the ghosts possesses her in order to talk to his dead wife. Oda MAe eventually kicks the ghost out of her and when the ghost complains about not being able to move, another ghost comments on possessing someone draining all of their energy. Oda Mae kicks everyone out of the room but as she goes to sit down, Willy shows up. Sam shouts out a warning to Oda Mae and she ducks into her trick closet while Willy shoots up the place, then leaves. Sam tells Oda Mae that they will come after her again but he knows how to get them to stop and she agrees to help in order to keep herself and her sisters safe. The next day, Sam has Rita dress in a nice outfit and use some of her fake ID’s to pretend to be Rita Miller and close out the account before Carl can transfer the money to a bank in Nassau. As they are finishing, Molly enters the bank to have lunch with Carl and Sam uses his abilities to knock some papers off the desk to distract her but Molly still notices her and questions the banker about what she was doing there. After they leave the bank, Oda Mae starts trying to figure out how to spend the money but Sam tells her that he never said she could keep the money and convinces her to sign it over to a charity. Meanwhile, Carl tries to transfer the money only to find that the account is closed and as he tries to figure out what happened, Sam starts taunting him, typing out “Murderer” and “Sam” on the computer. Carl heads over to Molly’s place to ask her about what happened when she thought Sam was there and Molly says it doesn’t matter as Oda Mae was a fraud and had closed out an account at the bank. Realizing what happened, Carl fakes being sick and asks Molly for some medicine. When she leaves, Sam starts taunting Carl but he threatens to kill Molly unless Oda Mae brings the check back to Molly’s place by 11 that night, then rushes off. Sam heads to Oda Mae’s place to warn her and when Carl and Willy show up, Oda Mae and her sisters quickly tun and hide in another apartment. Carl and Willy enter Oda Mae’s apartment and finding them not there, start searching for them but Sam uses his powers to frighten Willy, who eventually ends up being struck by a car. As Willy’s spirit recovers and stares at his body, Sam calls out to him and tells him he is dead. Suddenly, shadowy beings appear and grab Willy, dragging him screaming down to Hell. Sam and Oda Mae head back to Molly’s to warn her and when she refuses to open the door for them, Sam tells Oda Mae to puch a penny under the door and he makes it slide up the door and float over to Molly, convincing her that Sam really is there. Molly calls the police and asks them to show up and then talks with Sam through Oda Mae when Oda Mae tells Sam he can use her body to interact with Molly. Sam possesses Oda Mae and he and Molly share a dance but when Carl shows up and starts banging on the door, the surprise shocks Sam out of Oda Mae. Sam is too weak to move and Oda Mae tells Molly they should escape out the fire escape as Carl shoots out the lock and chases after them. He manages to catch up to them and grabs Oda Mae, threatening to shoot her if she doesn’t give him the check but she tells him she gave it away. Sam arrives and knocks the gun from Carl’s hand but he grabs it and threatens to kill Molly but Sam knocks the gun away again. Carl attempts to escape but Sam continues attacking him and when Carl throws a hook on a rope at Sam, the hook swings back and shatters a window, with one of the shards impaling Carl. Carl’s spirit leaves his body and as he stares at Sam, the shadow beings appear and drag him to hell. Sam asks Oda Mae and Molly if they are all right and Molly can hear Sam now, as the light appears and Sam is revealed to both of them. Sam kisses Molly and when Oda Mae says it is time he goes home, he thanks her for her help, then tells Molly he loves her before walking into the light.
Ghost met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 74% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Ghost offers viewers a poignant romance while blending elements of comedy, horror, and mystery, all adding up to one of the more enduringly watchable hits of its era.” Molly tells Sam that he “leads a charmed life”. This is a line from William Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth also claims to lead a charmed life, meaning he cannot be killed. Immediately after making this claim, however, he is killed while Sam is killed after seeing a production of Macbeth. The movie was a massive hit at the box office, earning $505.7 million off of a $22 million budget and was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, winning the awards for Best Supporting Actress (Whoopi Goldberg) and Best Original Screenplay.
Well, this still isn’t something I would watch on a regular basis but I will admit that it was a good movie. The acting was good, with Patrick Swayze (Sam) and Demi Moore (Molly) doing good jobs in their roles but Whoopi Goldberg pretty much stole the show as Oda Mae. I also liked Tony Goldwyn (Carl) as his desperate antics to get the money actually made him an effective bad guy. The story was pretty decent, mixing a good amount of drama with some comedy aspects to keep it from being too depressing. One thing I didn’t particularly care for is that the were too obvious at times in setting something up. Case in point, when Sam is working on figuring out where the deposits were coming from, Carl offers to help and when Sam refuses the help, Carl asks what he and Molly are doing that night. About the only way you could have made it more obvious that something was going to happen and Carl was involved was if you had a giant, flashing, neon sign saying “MAIN BAD GUY” floating over his head. The special effects with the ghosts were pretty neat in how they kind of absorbed the properties of what they were moving through. However, there were some times where the blue screening between the ghosts and the living was a little off, making it look really fake. Definitely one of the more memorable romance/dramas to come out in the last couple of decades and one that is worth watching if you get the chance.
Rating: 4 out of 5