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Movie Review: 'The Ghosts of Monday' is a Terrible Title, Bad Movie

Ghosts of Monday is an exceptionally dull horror thriller starring a slumming Julian Sands.

By Sean PatrickPublished 19 days ago 4 min read
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The Ghosts of Monday (2023)

Directed by Francesco Cinquemani

Written by Francesco Cinquemani

Starring Mark Huberman, Julian Sands, Elva Trill, Joanna Fyllidou

Release Date January 23rd, 2023

Published

A television producer travels to Cypress to make a reality show about a supposedly haunted hotel in the new horror thriller The Ghosts of Monday. Julian Sands stars as the host of the reality ghost hunting, a man desperate to see an actual ghost after years of documenting non-haunted hauntings. Mark Huberman is the producer-director, the man charged with keeping his host in line while trying to keep the show interesting.

In the 80s and early 90s, Julian Sands was a much-respected leading man with international acclaim. It's been years since Sands has stood at the center of a film and The Ghosts of Monday is a strong demonstration as to why. Sands is hammy and broad when he isn't completely checked out throughout his short stint on screen. Early on, his character is shown to be a bit of a drinker and it's hard not to imagine that the actor was getting a tad bit method in his performance. That's one thing that might explain Sands' rather bad performance. Take a drink every time Sands' character invites other characters for a drink you will be nearly as knackered as the actor himself before the second act is over.

The Ghosts of Monday relies heavily on a creepy soundtrack filled with atonal shrieks and symphonic flourishes. It's not a great soundtrack but at least it's trying harder than the rest of the movie to be creepy. Most of The Ghosts of Monday is stultifying and drearily mundane. Clues are given as to the nature of the haunting at the hotel, and the link one of the main characters has to the haunting, but these clues aren't particularly intriguing. The film employs some of the tricks of reality TV ghost hunting shows and that only serves to show how low rent the whole movie is. When your movie has to borrow from YouTube ghost hunting channels to create even a notion of tension, it's not a good sign.

When we aren't tracking our way through the darkness on a ghost hunt, we are subjected to dimwitted jump scares so familiar as to elicit a soul shaking sigh and eye roll. The film's best asset is being only a few minutes longer than your average episode of a ghost hunting reality show on YouTube. At a slight 75 minutes, with credits, The Ghosts of Monday doesn't linger. That's the nicest thing I can say about the movie however as nothing about film ever rises to being more than passably, professional.

Weird choices abound as the movie uses the tropes of a slasher movie but then goes supernatual in the next minute and then introduces a monster as the main villain. It's as if the filmmakers couldn't decide on just one horror trope so they decided to use all of them. And somehow, none of the tropes manages to be even remotely frightening. At best, the familiar tools of the horror trade are passably professional, crafted with a modicum of polish and little else.

It's sad to see an actor like Julian Sands, a once respected supporting actor, and occasional leading man, being reduced to such a low rent effort as The Ghosts of Monday. Sands once starred in memorable, oddball, experimental movies like Naked Lunch and Gothic. Now, he's cashing cheap paychecks in low rent fare like The Ghosts of Monday. How has he come so low? How has it come to this? Playing a second-rate carny reality show host in a cheap horror film.

Cheaply produced, modest in professional accomplishment, The Ghosts of Monday could be far worse but as it is, it's not great. The number of times the camera takes the perspective of a would be ghost/slasher/monster while the soundtrack does the heavy lifting of creating any tension at all are downright laughable. The creepy hotel owners are the best bit of production design in the film, they're age, and dress are the most gothic aspect of the movie. I guess I can praise the location of the movie as well. The hotel that is home to the show within the movie is filled with sharp angles that look good in establishing shots. I've never praised a location manager before. So that's... something.

Find my archive of more than 20 years and nearly 2000 movie reviews at SeanattheMovies.blogspot.com. Find my modern review archive on my Vocal Profile, linked here. Follow me on Twitter at PodcastSean. Follow the archive blog on Twitter at SeanattheMovies. Listen to me talk about movies on the Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast. If you have enjoyed what you have read, consider subscribing to my work here on Vocal. If you'd like to support my writing you can do so by making a monthly pledge or by leaving a one-time tip. Thanks!

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About the Creator

Sean Patrick

Hello, my name is Sean Patrick He/Him, and I am a film critic and podcast host for Everyone's a Critic Movie Review Podcast. I am a voting member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the group behind the annual Critics Choice Awards.

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