Watch Ghosts

"Are you scared yet?"
  • NR
  • 1997
  • 39 min
  • 7.5  (5,904)

"Ghosts" is a short film from 1996 featuring the legendary pop star Michael Jackson, directed by Stan Winston and co-written by horror maestro Stephen King alongside Michael Jackson. The film blends elements of horror, dance, and music in a unique way that is emblematic of Jackson's pioneering approach to entertainment. Throughout the roughly 40-minute film, viewers can expect a spooky yet thrilling adventure that capitalizes on Jackson's charisma and unparalleled talent as a performer.

The story revolves around an enigmatic man simply known as the Maestro, played by Michael Jackson, who resides in a haunted mansion on the outskirts of a small, idyllic town. The Maestro is no ordinary occupant; he is a kind of mystical figure with an enigmatic aura, an individual who is both misunderstood and rumored to possess supernatural abilities. His mysterious demeanor and the local tales that accompany it create an air of suspicion and fear among the townspeople.

One day, the townsfolk, spurred on by their collective angst and led by an antagonistic figure played by actor Pat Dade, decide to confront the Maestro. They demand that he leave the town, fearing the influence of his otherworldly presence and the stories that surround his eerie dwelling. It is within this confrontation that the film truly comes to life, with Michael Jackson's character reacting to the town's lack of understanding and fear with a series of elaborate performances and special effects that showcase his magical and uncanny abilities.

The music and choreography are central to "Ghosts," with Michael Jackson using his iconic dance moves and compelling melodies to communicate the narrative. His performance is complemented by a talented cast of dancers and supporting actors, including Amy Smallman, who contribute to the dynamic and eerie atmosphere that the film cultivates. The choreographed dance sequences are not mere interludes but integral parts of the story, progressing the plot and character development while entertaining the audience with mesmerizing and sometimes unsettling rhythms and routines.

Visually, the film is a testament to the striking and inventive work of director Stan Winston, known for his groundbreaking special effects in movies such as "Jurassic Park" and "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." "Ghosts" showcases a variety of effects, including complex makeup, prosthetics, and CGI, which were state-of-the-art for the mid-1990s. These visual elements serve to reinforce the supernatural themes of the movie while accentuating Michael Jackson's physical transformations and the ethereal quality of the haunted mansion setting.

The soundtrack of "Ghosts" features music composed by Michael Jackson, some of which were later released on his albums. The film's audio component is as fundamental as its visual counterpart, with the music setting the tone and amplifying the emotions conveyed throughout the story. It incorporates the distinctive blend of pop, rock, and soul that Michael Jackson was known for, ensuring that the audience not only witnesses a captivating tale but also experiences the palpable energy that his music invariably provides.

An intriguing aspect of "Ghosts" is its blend of genres. While primarily a horror movie, it is also part musical and part fantasy. It draws inspiration from classic ghost stories and gothic tales, all while infusing the narrative with the hopeful, unifying messages often found in Jackson's broader body of work. The film challenges viewers to confront their own preconceptions and the ease with which society can ostracize those who are different.

Thematically, "Ghosts" touches on topics such as prejudice, acceptance, and the power of individuality. Through the medium of a fantastical story, it invites audiences to consider the consequences of judging and fearing what one does not understand. As much as it is a showcase for Michael Jackson's artistic talents, the film is also a social commentary on the intolerance that he himself faced throughout his life and career.

"Ghosts" is an experience that is rich in both narrative depth and entertainment value. It offers viewers a short but atmospheric journey into a world of dance, music, and the supernatural – all woven together by the captivating presence of Michael Jackson. It is a feast for the senses and a reflection on the human spirit, all encapsulated in a thrilling cinematic package that continues to intrigue and captivate audiences with its blend of storytelling, message, and spectacle.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (5,904)