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Ghost Machine (2009)

Luke Ford , Rachael Taylor  |  R |  DVD
2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Luke Ford, Rachael Taylor, Sean Faris
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: December 22, 2009
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #317,796 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars B movie without the humor factor December 22, 2009
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is the first DVD that Amazon Vine has ever offered me... and I was thrilled that it was horror. I should have known by the fact that I've never heard of it, that it was a B movie at best. Now I love my B movies... but usually they have a high cheese factor that I enjoy.

Short Summary - Some geeky army computer dudes have a sort of simulator that they decide to take to a haunted jail on their day off to play sim-army. But a ghostie gets in the machine and seeks revenge.

Poor Acting, poor dialog, bad makeup and editing, are all forgivable in your standard B movie... but what is NOT forgivable is the dullness of the whole film. Sure the costumes looked like they came from the Halloween emporium and the guns were amusing at best, the textures were wrong and the men had on more makeup then the women... all of that is tolerable as well in a B movie... but what makes this movie sink as a B film (because it's certainly not an A list) is the fact that it is to drawn out in the wrong parts... namely the boring parts last too long and the exciting parts are too sparse.

Script - C
Plot - B
Acting - C
Directing - F
Fun Factor - C
Pacing - F

If you catch it on the SyFy Channel you might as well watch it but don't expect much from it. I wouldn't pay to see this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A military special ops team (the DVD cover says U.S., but that's not the impression I got) that trains with a high-tech virtual reality program and corresponding equipment decides to have a fun gaming weekend with the gear in an old, empty prison. As it turns out though, the prison holds the ghost of a female terrorist who was tortured to death, and she is determined to kill anyone she encounters. Being a ghost, she is helpless to do so, until the virtual reality machine gives her the power. Like Freddy Krueger, she is able to harm the soldiers in their dreamlike state, and ulterior motives of the game developer only make matters worse as the team fights for its lives and tries figure out how to get back to the real world.

"Ghost Machine", a 2009 sci-fi/horror flick directed by Chris Hartwill, is a pretty decent film for its kind. It's better than what you would normally see on Sci-Fi channel, but not big screen quality. The effects are good enough, the story is interesting, the characters and acting is all fair. It's nothing exceptional these days, but it keeps you interested if it's the type of story you like. I'm not big on military stuff, but this was more about virtual reality getting out of control. Their aren't many characters and they are different enough not to get confused, which is good in a horror film focusing on soldiers. The tech-guy who created the game (played by Sean Faris), incidentally, comes off totally as a Tom Cruise character, in my opinion, looking and acting more and more like him as the film progressed (the character is even named Tom!). It seems a conscious choice by the filmmakers, but who knows. It's kinda funny though. I didn't find the ghost all that horrifying/ghostly, but I guess I'd use the word "acceptable".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If You Die During The Simulation, You Die For Real December 27, 2009
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A group of young, rambunctious soldiers have been well trained in performing computer simulated combat maneuvers. For fun, these computer geeks break into an abandoned prison once used to interrogate and torture terrorist suspects. Tom (Sean Faris of "Forever Strong" and "Never Back Down") intends to test new simulation equipment. Vic (Luke Ford of "The Black Balloon") is one of his friends who agrees to allow his brain to link up with the simulator's computer in order to shoot enemy soldiers within the prison's labyrinthine corridors. Unfortunately, the ghost of a beautiful woman (Halla Vilhjálmsdóttir) who was murdered inside the prison enters the simulation and begins using chains and knives to torture and slaughter the hapless soldiers. Jess (Rachael Taylor of "Shutter" and "Transformers") agrees to enter the simulation in order to rescue her boyfriend, Vic, and the others.

Directed by Chris Hartwill, "Ghost Machine" is a bizarre Irish/British concoction. I kept thinking "A Nightmare on Elm Street" meets "The Matrix." Instead of young people being stalked by a hideously burned, vindictive spirit in a nightmare world, they are stalked during a computer simulation. If you die during the simulation, you die for real. As in the "Matrix," the victims have been connected to a complex computer that becomes their entire world. The concept of virtual reality has been explored many times in the past. One noteworthy movie is Josef Rusnak`s "The Thirteenth Floor" where an entire world exists within virtual reality. David Cronenberg's landmark "eXistenZ" deals with a virtual reality game where an amphibian cord hooks directly from the game pod to the player's brain.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It Had Potential December 31, 2009
Format:DVD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As soon as I saw a trailer for Stan Helsing on the DVD, I lowered my expectations, and hoped Ghost Machine would be much better.

The movie starts with a female prisoner being dragged into an interrogation cell, then it flashes forward 9 years to some techies working on a combat simulation program for the military. You don't find out what happened to the prisoner, until flashbacks later in the movie. As the prisoner was tortured to death, her spirit seeks revenge, using the computer to make kills that have a lasting effect in the real world (think of Stay Alive meets Soldier ).

I was surprised at how weak the acting was. I've seen previous work from the cast (which was pretty good), so I'm assuming they had must have had a lousy script and/or a bad director to deal with.

In addition to the drab dialogue, the sound quality was horrible. I cranked my sound system, and still had trouble hearing the actors, but the sound effects blasted out. I can think of dozens of no-budget B-movies with better sound production.

I can't believe it was over 30 minutes into the movie before it got interesting. however, the second half of the movie was far better than the first half, once the supernatural action began. (That's the only reason I gave it 3 stars instead of 2.) They should have spent less time with the techies conversations, and had more scenes with the torture spirit.

The ending was kind of a cliche twist, but not too bad.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars No Thanks
This feels like a SciFi (well, SyFy) special. It's pretty boring, lacks suspense, and doesn't have very high production values. I'd recommend you skip this one.
Published on May 25, 2011 by Moonlight Graham
2.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable
Production values are better than the average SciFi channel movie, but not by much. The acting is somewhat believable in places, but the plot is predictable and highly implausible.
Published on September 22, 2010 by lore
1.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, Gross, B-Movie
This is a truly awful movie. It is on a par with the SyFy Saturday movies that no one watches, the only difference being that this is excessively gory with no reason but to make... Read more
Published on September 16, 2010 by John Keitz
4.0 out of 5 stars Where Are We
This is a very interesting movie with plenty of suspense and nerve wrecking adventures. Something worth watching and buying for the usual dvd buyers that want something different... Read more
Published on July 17, 2010 by Robyn B. Mcgorm
3.0 out of 5 stars Virtual reality gone bad...
This movie review is part of my obligation to Amazon for accepting to be a member of the Vine program, a club of selected customers that provide opinions about "new and... Read more
Published on June 20, 2010 by Esperanza Reynolds
1.0 out of 5 stars In a word: BAD
You get the military geeks playing tron: getting into a computer game to have fun and thrills on a Friday night, shooting up whatever is the virtual reality prison. Read more
Published on June 19, 2010 by J.C.
3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok
The movie is about a military simulation computer that helps train soldiers in combat. The computer gets hijacked by a ghost when the programmers took the simulator and used it for... Read more
Published on April 22, 2010 by Morrigan Alexandros
2.0 out of 5 stars Skip it
Did you ever have one of those dreams where nothing makes sense, the dialog is poorly written and the acting is terrible? If you haven't, now's your chance to see what it's like. Read more
Published on March 28, 2010 by Garret
1.0 out of 5 stars Failure to launch
Other reviewers have already spoken about the poor acting, dialog, sound, etc.
After a slow beginning the movie launched into the "horror" sequence. Read more
Published on March 17, 2010 by Eliezer Kolatch
3.0 out of 5 stars Watchable, but not spectacular
I did not sit down to watch GHOST MACHINE with high hopes. I was pleantly surprised, however, that I was entertained throughout. Read more
Published on February 19, 2010 by Alison Hudson
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