Oh Nicolas Cage, how we love thee. Not many actors have such a diverse filmography as Nicolas Cage. He has done big budget Hollywood epics, small indie drama’s, over the top crazy roles, subdued roles, good guys, bad guys, realistic guys and unbelievable extreme guys. To think that one actor could do the roles Cage did in Leaving Las Vegas and also the roles he did in Drive Angry or Vampire’s Kiss is just insane. He is one of Hollywood’s true treasures and even in the worst movie is a joy to watch. His latest film dips into a genre Cage isn’t in much, supernatural horror, with Pay the Ghost.
Mike Lawford (Cage) and his wife Kristen (Sarah Wayne Callies) live in New York with their son Charlie (Jack Fulton). Mike has just been promoted to full professor and is looking forward to finally having the time to spend with his family after years of sacrificing. But when Mike takes Charlie to a Halloween parade after missing trick or treating, Charlie disappears into thin air. One year later Mike is still distraught and devotes all his time to finding Charlie despite the claim by police that there are no leads. But Mike discovers that children have been disappearing on Halloween every year, connected to Celtic history in New York dating back hundreds of years. Now Mike must start looking in places beyond his own comprehension if he ever hopes to get Charlie back.
Pay the Ghost is a real throwback movie with much of its atmosphere, story and execution coming from the style of 1980s horror. Cage is great as always although he pulls in the reigns a little here compared to some of his similar genre roles like Ghost Rider or Drive Angry. The story is a great supernatural tale and is a nice blend of action, suspense and ghost story. Even the effects in the last third are of the style and quality of 80s horror, but in a good way. I got a nice nostalgic feeling watching Pay the Ghost and that is a welcome feeling. A solid supernatural thriller where Cage just happens to be the cherry on top. And nice to see The Walking Dead’s Sarah Wayne Callies again as well. After this and Into the Storm she is building up a nice series of post-Walking Dead roles. Recommended.