by / October 4th, 2015 /

Ghosthunters on Icy Trails

Review by on October 4th, 2015

 3/5 Rating

Director: Tobi Baumann
Cast: Anke Engelke, Milo Parker, Bastian Pastewka, Karoline Herfurth
Certificate: PG
Running Time: 99 mins
Release Date: October 2nd

Ghosthunters: On Icy Trails is a new Irish co-produced movie based on the bestselling novel Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost by Cornelia Funke. The movie tells the tale of squeamish and ‘different’ Tom (Parker) who one day befriends an ASG (Averagely Spooky Ghost) he stumbles upon in his basement.

Hugo, our friendly ghost, has fled his real home due to it being invaded by an AIG (Ancient Ice Ghost), an old and powerful ghost intent on wreaking havoc on human and spirit worlds alike. Tom and Hugo enlist the reluctant help of ghosthunter Hettie Cuminseed, who has just been fired by the CGI (Central Ghosthunting Institute). The unlikely trio have to work together to track down the AIG and stop it before it’s too late!

Ghosthunters is aimed squarely at the kid’s market, there’s not a lot for parents to cling on to here, which is not in itself a bad thing. The three main characters are well played and likeable enough, with a good dynamic between Tom and Hettie. Hugo, green slimy ghost, is a bit hit and miss with his humour. An odd mix of Slimer from Ghostbusters channeling Keith Lemon, it feels like there was a missed opportunity to make his humour a bit broader to appeal to the captive adult audience.

There are a couple of bum notes throughout. Tom’s parents are quite poorly written and acted; one-dimensional characters whose empathy with Tom’s problem’s not fitting in doesn’t stretch further than giving him pitying looks. Late in the film Tom flees the house through his bedroom window. His father, watching him run down the road just comments “Give ‘em hell Tom”, a rather odd reaction when your child has just run away from home.

There is a sizeable Irish interest in Ghosthunters. Part financed by the Irish Film Board, the well-handled VFX were done by Dublin’s EGG Post Production. Amy Huberman also makes a solid cameo as a receptionist at the CGI.

All in all Ghosthunters is a likeable kid’s movie with decent visual effects and a solid main cast. While there’s not much to keep the adults entertained it is well paced and breezes by. It’s nice to see the Irish involvement and it wouldn’t be surprising to see a sequel in a year or two.