Hell Bank Presents: Running Ghost 2020
Upon his death in the real world, a man is resurrected in the afterlife where he’s immediately thrust into a bizarre game-show for a chance at reincarnation as a human, but when he discovers the true intention of the game decides to risk his friend with a quirky woman for his own sake.This one isn’t bad but does have some big issues. One of the biggest drawbacks is the story which is exceptionally confusing and convoluted. The central premise of the game-show like treatment of Hell with the idea of winning reincarnation through the successful completion of grisly tasks works fine but is a hard sell. Since the film drops us into this scenario with no warning or build-up and then goes through the beginning stages of the game with contestants we never get to know or see again. To get immediately thrust into this atmosphere like that is quite jarring and takes the viewer a while to understand what’s going on, especially since the rules of the game aren’t any clearer as it goes on with the contestants forced to know what to do without any instructions. Since he has the guide based on how new to the game he is, it’s easy to assume the rest of the contestants don’t so the audience is lost as a result. After getting past that rough start, though, this one becomes incredibly fun. As expected, the mileage on the comedy will be entirely dependent on the viewer who can conceivably grow tired of his scaredy-cat wimp routine. That can make the film run on for long stretches of time without much to get into as the reliance on these gags being funny is what sells the film for the most part. Building a quirky friendship between the two on their quest is fine but the real meat is built off the failed scare attempts that require counseling or soul-searching conversations afterward. The gags are based on the traditional genre tropes of ghosts jumping out of dark hallways or when someone’s back is turned yet the way he manages to inadvertently screw up the intended scenario only to succeed in the loosest sense of the goal is quite funny. The reactions to their interactions since he’s still a ghost also manages to generate some fun moments, and the constant attempts at throwing jokes or physical comedy on-screen for this come off quite nicely. Where this one really begins to shine is in the finale. With the revelation about his true intention in the competition, the story arc of his growth into a productive and proactive figure comes together with the result of the competition that’s been ongoing the entire time. Since the twist is quite easy to figure out, this leaves quite an impressive amount of kinetic action where he has to protect his friend from the more overt tactics that are attempted on her. Featuring some flashy action and special effects in this confrontation sequence, the emotional resolution is quite enjoyable much like the uplifting epilogue that gives this a nice, heartwarming conclusion. This all makes for a fun time once you get past the few issues.Rated Unrated/PG-13: Violence and Language.