Some times the set up for a movie is so predictable that you presume there must be a twist, especially when it’s managed to attract a fairly decent cast, and that’s definitely the case with Deadtectives where the premise of the film involves the filming a tv show which fakes ghostly goings on, and I presumed there’d be more to it than them finding out that ghosts are real. Pleasing for once that is the case too, you might be able to guess certain aspects but this is an imaginative and innovative film in places.
The tv show is the hosted by the very British Sam (You’re The Worst’s Chris Geere) and his brother Lloyd (David Newman), while Javier (José María de Tavira) is on hand to help out and Sam’s wife Kate (Tina Ivlev) is one of the producers, and though it supposedly once exposed supernatural fakery now it goes along with the nonsense and even provides fraudulent ghost voices and uses piss poor effects to suggest objects are being thrown around by the undead. The network’s unimpressed by this nonsense however and is planning to cancel the show, but they’re given one final chance to save the series by heading down to Mexico where a house is allegedly haunted.
It’s not until the forty minute point where the supernatural madness kicks off, and at least ten of those moments could have been cut without the film suffering. But once the body count starts rising and the undead are all kinds of feisty it rarely lets up, and it’s that rare beast where the horror element in the comedy horror is fairly strong, with a couple of moments being genuinely unsettling and creepy. What makes this quite unique in the genre though is that once one of the cast is killed they return as a ghost, and though it takes a little while for them to learn the rules once they do they’re able to communicate with Sam and Lloyd along with a number of other ghosts who are haunting the house. It plays around with a lot of haunted house tropes to hilarious effect, and is nicely unpredictable, with the lead monster a quite disturbing fella indeed.
There’s a small amount of overacting from special effects guru Bob (Mark Riley) and I’m not quite sure why he’s such a weird bastard, but the rest of the cast are really great, the script contains a good few very funny lines and many of the ideas the are laugh out loud funny. There is a slight bit of rather obvious and unneeded character development which isn’t exactly subtle, but otherwise this is an energetic, inventive romp which has a fair sprinkling of original ideas which will entertain even the most jaded comedy horror film fan.