Ghost in the Machine

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1

Content: -2

Single working mom Terri Munroe (Karen Allen) forgets her address book in a computer store. Unfortunately for Terri, a technician at the store (Ted Marcouic), wanted by the police for brutally murdering families from stolen address books, finds it. On his way to kill Terri and son Josh (Will Hornefy) on a stormy night, the killer is in an automobile accident. In the hospital, a voltage surge from a lightning strike causes the killer's "soul" to be sucked up into the computer, and his body dies. The killer, now a demented bunch of bytes, has access to anything that's electrically controlled. He continues his killing spree, using Terri's address book as a guide. Coming to the rescue is Bram Walker (Chris Mulkey), a renegade computer hacker who has a plan to trap the killer in the university's particle accelerator. The stage is set for the final confrontation. Yawn. Nothing in this film is noteworthy - shallow, stereotypical characters, mediocre computer special effects, and a virtually suspenseless, predictable script are the highlights; the rest is all downhill.

There's a callousness, an "attitude", that GHOST shares with the Freddy and Jason films. Single mom, left by deadbeat father to raise rebellious son. Son listens to rap music, steals out at night to play video games, and lusts after well-built babysitter. Computer hacker is a hero because he protested the Vietnam War and stole money from the I.R.S. Police are buffoons, always spoiling for a fight. Four gross murders include a microwave oven cooking one victim, forcing Terri's dog to jump into a boiling hot swimming pool, Terri's boyfriend burning to death, and an overflowing dishwasher electrocuting the babysitter. Josh barely escapes drowning in the swimming pool. All this mayhem is punctuated by an overdose of foul language and sexual innuendo. In one particularly disgusting scene, Josh and his friend bribe the babysitter to do a strip tease which ends in her partially exposing her breasts. This film should make a quick exit to video, and spend a lot of time on the shelf there. Don't give it a second glance.

Preview Reviewer: Pete Zimowski
20th Century Fox, 10201 W. Pico, Los Angeles, CA 90036

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (19) times - Mild 12; Moderate 7

Obscene Language: Many (14) times (f-word 1; s-word 9)

Profanity: Many (17) times - Regular 11; Exclamatory 6

Violence: Several moderately gory and graphic killings (man 'cooked' by microwave oven, with close-up of his grotesque face; dog cooked in boiling water; man burned to death; woman electrocuted)

Sex: None

Nudity: Near nudity - cleavage exposed

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Slang for self-gratification, intercourse; babysitter performs 'erotic dance' for two young teenagers

Drugs: Woman orders double cocktails to relieve pressure.

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teenagers

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