Review: Mob Ghost

Written and directed by Jimmy Caputo, a divorced man hires a cheap paranormal investigator to remove a mobster spirit from his apartment. Starring: Nick Albanese, Mark Atkinson, Jeff Blanchette and Paul Noonan.

Some films have the type of title that you know exactly what you’re in for and Mob Ghost is one of them, it does what it says on the tin. Its style feels like a skit taken from a comedy sketch show, it’s very on the surface with a masculine energy and overt sense of humour. Visually it goes along the same lines, existing in a television styled arena, going for more sitcom than horror comedy. In that same vein it has a slightly old-fashioned sensibility to it, similar in tone to what you’d find showing in the early 2000’s.

The aesthetic is very everyday, it leans into the mundanity of the divorcee life, with the dingy apartment, sparsely decorated and just pushing to get through the day. It’s a choice which has its ups and downs, it matches the persona of its lead but lacks energy or movement. It struggles to build up a personality or add some colour to enhance the comedy. The idea itself works of a gangster hanging around post-mortem, refusing to give up his apartment with all the typical toxicity, arrogance and prone to violence. However the execution feels like it misses the mark slightly, the progression goes a little off the rails when the ghost finally appears and the comedy becomes slightly muddled, not quite hitting the right tone and going fairly over the top.

As well as the style, the performances also feel very reminiscent of a 00’s sitcom or sketch. Hitting those exaggerated, slightly predictable and tongue-in-cheek notes. They work but also feel one-noted and a touch formulaic, holding them back from creating a relatability or sympathy. They fit a certain mould too well and don’t get the opportunity to build more varied personalities, to provide something to draw you into the story more.

Mob Ghost captures that initial silly, comedic adventure but can’t quite see it through to the end. The comedy struggles in the later scenes and begins to try too hard. It doesn’t have a lot of surprises in store and there was some work to be done to smooth out the editing. There’s potential in its fun concept but it misses out on creating a bigger personality or charm to along with it.

Verdict: ✯✯½ | 5/10

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