I saw It On Netflix: All My Friends Are Funeral Singers

I saw It On Netflix: All My Friends Are Funeral Singers

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This is a bitter-sweet movie. It engaged me early and didn’t wait too long, as most films of this nature do, to let me in on its secrets, to make me an insider. Keeping me an outsider is just annoying. On the other hand, once I’m in how can it continue to hold on to me? Rod Serling might have been right to keep his supernatural stuff in a half hour format. This genre usually has one trick and once the Genie’s out of the bottle, the rabbit’s out of the hat, the Dracula’s out of his casket, The monster’s alive, ALIVE!-well you get the idea.

Zel, the protagonist, actually has psychic powers (or does she?). She is a psychic living in a house filled with ghosts. They are not unfriendly ghosts nor are they ghosts Zel imagines, but real ghosts who live in the rooms of her house. She spreads salt at the threshold of her bedroom to keep them out. Keep that in mind when you’re going to bed tonight. Once that one idea is out in the open the film drifts into nothingness searching for a subplot. Here are some of them.

1. With the help of a child ghost she is able to predict the outcome of horse races.  A client uses this information to buy himself a hideous suit.

2. She channels a client’s dead husband (and cures her headache) with the help of the child ghost.

3. The ghosts want to leave but can’t, and they blame Zel.

4. She loves the ghosts and wants them to stay.

5. Her grandmother is the one who trapped the ghosts in the house because she was lonely.

6. The child ghost is Zel’s mother (you figure that one out).

 Even with all of that the movie is enjoyable and the actors believable until the filmmakers lose their way and decide handheld camera is the way to go during scenes of noisy chaos and confusion. Cinema Verite (disambiguation) the French documentary technique, widely adopted by documentarians everywhere, is fine for documentaries. This film is not a documentary. There is no sensible reason for the camera to become one of the characters and start acting like one of the trapped ghosts.  We are not lead to believe we are seeing things through the eyes of one of the characters or through their mental state, the camera merely starts swooshing and bobbing as though the viewer was suddenly drunk. You want me to think I’m drunk buy me a drink. It would be the polite thing to do.

 

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