American Poltergeist: The Curse of Lilith Ratchet, 2018.
Written and Directed by Eddie Lengyel.
Starring KateLynn E. Newberry, Rob Jaeger, Roger Conners and Angela Cole.
Alice and her best friend Lauren inadvertently set a hellish curse in motion after surprisingly acquiring a mysterious shrunken head. Wanting to know more about their fiendish find, they pay a visit to a popular paranormal podcast host Hunter Perry of “Beyond the Veil”. Hunter discovers it’s true authenticity of the ages-old object and in hopes of creating a rating boost, he plans a live podcast in which the tale of the shrunken head will be introduced to the masses. Little do they know by playing the game and calling her name they will release the malevolent demonic spirit of Lilith Ratchet.
Okay, I’m just gonna cut to the chase, get down to brass tacks, give you the skinny. The Curse of Lilith Ratchet is bad. Real bad. I could stop there and let you go on your merry way, but I figure since you’ve taken the time to see what I have to say about this train-wreck, I ought to go on.
Lets start with what the film does right…
… And with that out of the way, let’s move on to what the film does competently.
The acting is fine. I don’t mean fine as in good, I mean fine as in passable. There are no dreadfully delivered lines or laughter inducing overactions, no “They’re eating her… and then they’re going to eat” moments, and nobody looks straight into the damn camera. However, the actors do little to sell their characters, and I’ve seem more charm and charisma at a Magic the Gathering tournament.
Aside from the acting, the only other thing the film gets almost right are the fundamentals of camerawork. Nothing’s too wonky or jarring, but occasionally characters switch which side of the screen they are on. The shots are uninspired and amazingly generic, but at least they aren’t capital B bad. The plot, characterisation, and creature design, on the other hand, are.
Looking back at the film, I realise that not a single character actually has an arc. No one has any goals or desires, and the plot – which is literally just “demon kills for ad hoc reason” – only drives them to not die. Ironic, considering The Curse of Lilith Ratchet does little to inspire life in its audience.
Despite all these criticisms, Lilith Ratchet’s biggest sin is that it isn’t bad enough. If only the director had thrown in a few more laughable jump scares, hammy lines, and made the monster look even more like a sun-bleached Halloween mannequin, then The Curse of Lilith Ratchet would have been a perfectly respectable, dreadful movie. As it is, it’s just a bore.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★
James Turner is a writer and musician based in Sheffield. You can follow him on Twitter @JTAuthor