Director: Mike Cramer
Cast: Grace Madigan, Jack Cramer
Teenage Ghost Punk is a fun horror comedy about a family that has recently moved into an old Victorian house and the ghost they encounter there.
While trying to cope with her family’s move from Michigan, Amanda (out teenage protagonist played by Grace Madigan) notices strange things happening in their new home: a tapping on her window, her mother’s record collection mysteriously in a new location, and a boy standing in the rain playing his guitar. And yet, no one believes her when she suggests that their house might be haunted. In fact, she’s not sure herself.
Then Brian shows up. He’s a 17-year-old kid who’s into punk rock and also happens to be a ghost. It’s his fellow dead friends and him who Amanda has been sensing. As Amanda and Brian’s friendship begins to blossom, so does the larger story of Brian’s world.
Director Mike Cramer’s film is a super fun time with great characters and funny jokes, but don’t expect scares. This tale uses the paranormal sub genre as a structure on which to hang a comedy/romance, and it totally works.
Although I enjoyed many of the larger story elements (the innocent romance between the main characters was charming, the egghead younger brother trope was spot on, I even could get behind the generally overused “divorced mother starting over” subplot), it was the opening sequence that sold me on this film.
The film starts with a montage of paranormal investigators and a medium exploring the house in a hilariously silly fashion. At a particularly funny high point, the investigative team hears a sound and starts shaking and screaming in fear, making more noise than any team listening for whispers from the dead I’ve ever seen. If there’s ever a Teenage Ghost Punk 2 I hope that those guys are back in glorious fashion.
The one element that felt off was the pacing. Although I appreciated that Cramer kept his story chugging along without long digressions, the breakneck speed at which the story was told became a bit tiresome after a while. For sure, too fast is better than too slow, but some of the sequences felt a bit relentless.
Teenage Ghost Punk is a fun film filled with quirky characters, fun dialogue, and a satisfying ending. If you’re looking for ghosts, romance, and laughs, you’ve come to the right place.