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Parents' Guide to

Teenage Ghost Punk

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Amateurish, low-budget ghost tale; some smoking.

Movie NR 2014 93 minutes
Teenage Ghost Punk Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

If it were revealed that this was some family's painstakingly-made amateur home movie, much of its badness could be forgiven. Family does play a role here. Director-writer Mike Cramer portrays police chief McGarry and he's cast his son, Jack, in a lead role, as Brian, the chief haunter of Amanda's house. Cramer has a day job -- he's a lawyer -- and it's admirable that he likes to exercise his creative muscles on film, but his efforts, however joyful and well-intended, are unpolished at best. Although no cast member stands out for any particular acting talent, all the performers are certainly likable enough. Nice moments pop up here and there, showing the filmmakers' inclusiveness and all-around good hearts. The next-door neighbors, Steve and Stevie, are interracial husbands who bring good cheer and zucchini bread to Amanda and her family.

Given the general low quality of this enterprise, it hardly seems worth examining that character development is mostly absent from the script and that poor editing and story decisions create both incomprehensible and clunky moments. Rather than doing the hard work of organically illustrating who the characters are, Cramer uses Adam to awkwardly deliver the entire backstory of his mother and sister in a long monologue, breaking the critical "show-don't-tell" rule of storytelling in Teenage Ghost Punk's creaky opening minutes. The entire clan of ghost hunters wildly overact, as if their lines were funny enough to support their antics. And, at one point, Amanda scolds her mother for "making out" with Brian, but Brian and the mother aren't touching each other, never mind kissing, when Amanda sees them.

Movie Details

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