A group of young U.S. military techs borrow a top-secret combat simulator for a weekend of unauthorized gaming. But when they set up the system inside an abandoned prison used for the torture of post-9/11 prisoners, they discover that someone – or something – has uploaded itself into their A.I. software. A deadly new player has now joined the game: How do you survive the final level of lock-and-load virtual reality when escape is impossible, slaughter is uncontrollable and the enemy is unstoppable? The ultimate battle begins inside the GHOST MACHINE.
Stills from Ghost Machine (Click for larger image)
In the cyber-supernatural B-movie Ghost Machine
, a military training game that fully immerses soldiers in a virtual reality becomes infested by a malignant spirit--the ghost of a woman who was tortured to death as part of the War on Terror. When a technician named Tom (Sean Faris, Never Back Down
) uses sensors to translate a real decommissioned prison into a virtual combat zone, the border between the concrete and the cyber grows fuzzy, turning game death into actual death. It's up to Tom and soldiers Jess (Rachael Taylor, Transformers
) and Vic (Luke Ford, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
) to capture this vengeful wraith. Like many B-movies, Ghost Machine
is strong on ideas, even if the execution of them lags. The overlap of concrete and virtual realities makes the notion of a haunted video game significantly more compelling. The implicit commentary on the use of torture resonates, even if it isn't carried very far. The dialogue is functional but bland and the men are all fairly nondescript, but Rachael Taylor demonstrates some definite charisma. The movie makes good use of a creepy and decrepit Irish prison, and the special effects, though cheap, are often evocative. --Bret Fetzer