OLIVER IRVING’S Ghost Team—available now on Google Play, and playing at Portland's Cinema 21 next week—steers toward a crossroads of Safety Not Guaranteed and The Blair Witch Project, but then swerves off course to crash and burn in a field of dumb dudes-calling-each-other-“pussy” jokes. It’s a film about a random assortment of suburbanites who, desperate to prove to themselves that there’s more to life than ritualistic mundanity, ventures into the rural unknown to hunt ghosts. With that easy, breezy premise and a cast of historically funny actors like Jon Heder, Justin Long, and Amy Sedaris, Ghost Team initially seems destined for success.
Alas, it’s sabotaged by overly scripted yet awkwardly timed dialogue, a weak romance subplot, and bro humor that’s well past its expiration date. None of Ghost Team’s characters are likeable, except for Long’s portrayal of Ross, an overzealous mall cop eager to be a hero—albeit one with the ultimate goal of proving he’s not a “pussy.” Ghost Team’s strongest point is its climactic kicker, when the Scooby gang finds out what’s really lurking in the creaky old barn—which makes it even more disappointing that the rest of the movie doesn’t do proper justice to that sharp, creative reveal.