GhoulsWhen Jennifer (Kristen Renton) travels with her father (William Atherton) to his home country – Romania, or somewhere similar – for her estranged grandmother’s funeral, she has no idea what awaits her there, though the title of the film may give viewers some clue. An ancient race of “ghouls” from “before there were history books” come out every 1500 years seeking to live again. Unfortunately for Jennifer, it just so happens to be that time of the millenium… tonight. Luckily, though, there’s a friendly neighborhood ghoul hunter (who happens to speak perfect English) – the last in a long line of Druids - named Thomas (James DeBello) who’s ready to help her out of her dangerous situation.

Ghouls originally aired on the Sci Fi channel in July as a Saturday night movie of the week and it’s got the look and feel of a made-for-tv special, with a ploddingly cliche script and painfully low budget CGI. On the plus side, though, the ghouls themselves are actually pretty frightening, with sunken noses and gnashing sharklike teeth… why they can be punched in their ghostly faces is another question altogether. It’s easy to overlook these types of questions, considering that there’s not much in the film that follows any sort of rational plotline.  Although the weak dialogue often makes for some unintentionally comedic moments (listening to Thomas break down the history of the ghouls is a fine example), the film doesn’t have much else going for it. With Kristen Renton nonchalantly wandering through town fleeing from ghouls and girlishly tossing out tidbits like “Daddy, if you really loved me, you’d let me choose my own future,” there’s hardly a moment that feels genuine.

Like many horror films featuring cult members, it’s no surprise to find our heroine tied to a stone table before the film reaches its final moments. If only this screaming damsel-in-distress were a little more self-sufficient, there might be more reason to root for her.  “There’s no spiders are there? I hate spiders!” Jennifer declares, only moments after witnessing monstrous ghouls ravishing the city. And it only gets better (I mean worse) from there. Glowing green eyes, spewing blood and special ghoul-killing grenades: this film is bad enough to be enjoyable.

Zach’s Rating: D
Perfect For: “Days of Our Lives” fan who want more Kristen Renton
Stay Away if: You expect scripts to provide some rationale for events

To purchase Ghouls, visit Amazon

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