Ghosters Phantom Patrol is an independent production featuring a lot of CGI. Not only are computer effects used to create the specters and spooks promised by the title, but writer/director Milko Davis uses them to create sets, vehicles, and props. As such, the effects are often quite unconvincing. This is stated more to set expectations than as a direct flaw as if one can look past that, they’ll be treated to a rather fun, amusing family-friendly adventure.
Casey (Heath C. Heine) is a directionless whose life is in shambles. His wife, Jenah (Veronica Simpson), left him, he has no job, and he barely spends time with Joey (Arthur Gazarian), his son. But, Casey gets a new job as a security guard at a mysterious government building.
It turns out that he, alongside his partner, Wilbur (Leon Mayfield), is guarding a containment field holding back ghosts. Inevitably, things go pear-shaped, the phantasms escape, and now Casey, Wilbur, Joey, and Joey’s friend Carla (Charlee Polivka) must band together to save the city. Will everyone be haunted, or can the goofy security guards actually win out?
“…things go pear-shaped, the phantasms escape…”
Circling back to the effects, what makes them work so well throughout Ghosters Phantom Patrol, despite their obvious limitations, is the pure creativity on display. The ghosts, all of whom actually look rather good, have distinct designs and are creepy without being horrifying (i.e., perfect for the entire family). The top-secret weapon the heroes acquire to destroy the ghosts, a giant laser gun, looks like something out of an atompunk painting and is cool. The overhead shot of Casey and another security guard commandeering a truck is a neat visual, even though the effect lacks textures, nor does it have much depth. Davis and co-director Adam Mittelstadt put a lot of focus and energy on the visuals, and it shows.
Beyond that, the film gets a lot of mileage out of the screenplay, which is pretty funny. It is amusing when a ghost gets ahold of Wilbur’s radio and the security guards ask her to leave. The family dynamic at play has just enough heart to have a proper dramatic pull-through without distracting from the comedy or adventure aspects. The atmosphere maintained is that of pure fun, which works well.
Ghosters Phantom Patrol won’t blow any minds, but it is a creative, fun, amusing romp. The cast all do fine, and the whole thing moves along at a solid pace. If one is looking for a slightly spooky story that everyone will enjoy, then Davis’ first foray into family programming will hit the mark.
"…pure creativity on display."