Ghostumentary

The premise is simple:  A group of friends (3 believers, 1 non-believer) set out to see if they can find out more information about ghosts.  Do they exist?  What’s the deal with all of the tv shows about finding ghosts?  Etc.  The good news is that while they all seem to have their initial starting point they seem to be genuine about their intentions on the journey.  At different times all of them give accounts of events that make them lean more one way or the other.

While a times a little cutesy I think that they did a good job overall.  I think my problem with their mission is that they gave too much credit to the belief that there are actually ghosts.   Right off the bat they decide to go to an old creepy place that others have said is haunted.  Why not have a control?  Mix in a couple of old creepy places picked by a third party that nobody has reported to be haunted and see if there is a difference in the experiences.  Anyone that has taken a psych 101 class knows that when you are put in a place with a given expectation you are predisposed to having that expectation.  As Christopher Hitchens used to say, we are pattern-seeking mammals.  My favorite example of this is the differences in the cultural expectations.  In Japan they see their apparitions with chains on them whereas that doesn’t happen in other parts of the world.  Two thousand years ago people saw UFO’s as flying crafts made of wood with fire coming out the back.  People think they see what they know.

I think they did a decent job with their interviews of the “professionals”.  At the beginning of the film the supposed man of science criticized the amateurs for using silly tools and for ghost hunting in the dark.  Seems logical, right?  But later on he says that his important tools are psychics, clairvoyants and sensitives.  He ends with a real gem:  for non-believers only death will allow them to change their minds (I am paraphrasing).  Um, no.  All it takes is one documented case of one of these clowns solving a murder or maybe writing something on the wall during the 11 p.m. news.  Not so much to ask, is it?  These finders of dead people marvel at ghosts supposedly pushing them down stairs or opening closed doors yet they never stop to think why there is never any meaningful communication.  I don’t need to die to find out the answer – like any real believer in science I just want evidence.  Occams razor says that the simplest explanation is always the right one and it applies here.

True story:  My wife fell asleep two-thirds of the way through the movie.  This isn’t uncommon and not a reflection on what she is watching.  So when it ended I went to the bedroom to get ready for bed.  While doing so I heard a female voice call my name from the other room.  It sounded like my wife and I instantly spun around to see what she wanted.  She was sound asleep on the couch.  To a believer this is a sign that something supernatural happened.  To a skeptic it is an example of how my mind was predisposed to hear or see something odd.

 

IHATEBadMovies.com reviews Ghostumentary
Poster for the movie "Ghostumentary"

Movie title: Ghostumentary

Movie description: Why is it we never actually see a ghost in the dozens of documentaries out there, yet people claim they see them daily. A non believer, and his film friends seek out to find the truth.

Date published: 2019-09-18

Actor(s): Ross Allison, Loyd Auerbach, Angela DeRisio, Austin Doty, Bill Doty, Nicolette Doty, Emilee Duncan, Sean Small

Genre: Documentary, Comedy

My Review

The premise is simple:  A group of friends (3 believers, 1 non-believer) set out to see if they can find out more information about ghosts.  Do they exist?  What’s the deal with all of the tv shows about finding ghosts?  Etc.  The good news is that while they all seem to have their initial starting point they seem to be genuine about their intentions on the journey.  At different times all of them give accounts of events that make them lean more one way or the other.

While a times a little cutesy I think that they did a good job overall.  I think my problem with their mission is that they gave too much credit to the belief that there are actually ghosts.   Right off the bat they decide to go to an old creepy place that others have said is haunted.  Why not have a control?  Mix in a couple of old creepy places picked by a third party that nobody has reported to be haunted and see if there is a difference in the experiences.  Anyone that has taken a psych 101 class knows that when you are put in a place with a given expectation you are predisposed to having that expectation.  As Christopher Hitchens used to say, we are pattern-seeking mammals.  My favorite example of this is the differences in the cultural expectations.  In Japan they see their apparitions with chains on them whereas that doesn’t happen in other parts of the world.  Two thousand years ago people saw UFO’s as flying crafts made of wood with fire coming out the back.  People think they see what they know.

I think they did a decent job with their interviews of the “professionals”.  At the beginning of the film the supposed man of science criticized the amateurs for using silly tools and for ghost hunting in the dark.  Seems logical, right?  But later on he says that his important tools are psychics, clairvoyants and sensitives.  He ends with a real gem:  for non-believers only death will allow them to change their minds (I am paraphrasing).  Um, no.  All it takes is one documented case of one of these clowns solving a murder or maybe writing something on the wall during the 11 p.m. news.  Not so much to ask, is it?  These finders of dead people marvel at ghosts supposedly pushing them down stairs or opening closed doors yet they never stop to think why there is never any meaningful communication.  I don’t need to die to find out the answer – like any real believer in science I just want evidence.  Occams razor says that the simplest explanation is always the right one and it applies here.

True story:  My wife fell asleep two-thirds of the way through the movie.  This isn’t uncommon and not a reflection on what she is watching.  So when it ended I went to the bedroom to get ready for bed.  While doing so I heard a female voice call my name from the other room.  It sounded like my wife and I instantly spun around to see what she wanted.  She was sound asleep on the couch.  To a believer this is a sign that something supernatural happened.  To a skeptic it is an example of how my mind was predisposed to hear or see something odd.

 

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