Anyone of a certain age is likely to have a vivid memory of 31 October 1992. The BBC decided to air a very special live television experience to celebrate Halloween. Those who saw Ghostwatch were probably haunted by that experience. Whilst it was a spoof, it paved the way for paranormal television. The most famous example of which is probably Most Haunted; which is now in its 24th season. Tony West’s DeadTectives, follows a film crew desperate to improve their ratings.
Sam (Chris Geere) is the confident writer and host of a reality TV ghost-hunting show which is struggling for original ideas and viewers. Along with co-host Javier (José María de Tavira) and his brother Lloyd (David Newman) they specialise in faking supernatural sightings. Meanwhile Kate (Tina Ivlev) despairs at their lack or morals and thinks the team should be helping people, not conning them. When network execs decide to bring in a new producer (Martha Higareda) and send them to Mexico, they’re in for a shock.
DeadTectives is an unholy riot of paranormal high jinks and mystical mayhem. West’s film starts at a merry old pace and never lets up. Whilst the emphasis is on laughs, which it repeatedly delivers on, there are moments of great ingenuity and scenes which are genuinely creepy. There’s also some quality effects work and top-drawer scares. DeadTectives is horror comedy done right.
The DeadTectives comes to Shudder (US, UK and Canada) on 18 July.