Starring: Raúl Arévalo, Alexandra Jiménez, Jaime Olías
Director: Javier Ruiz Caldera
Running Time: 88 mins
Ghost Graduation (Promoción fantasma) is a Spanish film about a schoolteacher with paranormal abilties who is moved to help a group of ghosts graduate high school.
Although this movie isn’t the world’s most intelligent or realistic, it is one that really surprised me in just how entertaining a watch it was. Above all, it’s a comedy that’s full of energy and joy, and thanks to a fun fantasy concept that brings a great light-hearted atmosphere to proceedings, Ghost Graduation is a really enjoyable surprise right the way through.
Above all, this film is here to make you laugh and smile, and it does just that right the way through. Sure, there are some flaws and inconsistencies, but the central impression I got from this film was one of fun-loving energy and comedy, something that makes it an immensely enjoyable watch.
What works really well about Ghost Graduation is its use of a fantasy concept to make things all the more light-hearted. Centring on a group of formerly deceased students who are stuck in middle school as ghosts, the film plays a lot with ideas of purgatory and the afterlife, and although it’s not acting as any sort of spiritual comment, its playful nature is what makes it so entertaining throughout.
Also, the performances are a lot of fun to watch. Raúl Arévalo is an absolute delight in the lead role, while the five that play the ghosts are full of beans right the way through, putting in great performances that deliberately echo the five from The Breakfast Club, but also proving likable enough for you to really sympathise with them, and will them on as they try to finally get through school.
I will say that some of the film’s nods to The Breakfast Club are a little too on the nose at times, however what this movie does take from that teen classic is a great comedy atmosphere, combined with a fantastic 80s soundtrack that breathes real life into the film in its many musical montages.
In all truth, while this is a very enjoyable watch, there are problems that inevitably arise when something is so fluffy and light-hearted. Some of the finer details of the story, for example, are really inconsistent, with the powers and abilities of the ghosts jumping all over the place right the way through, leaving me a little confused as to what they’re really capable of, and willing to do to resolve their situation.
What’s more is that the romance that comes about surrounding the living characters isn’t the most convincing, and although it’s sweet and cute, and fortunately not the central focus of the story, its appearance is occasionally a little jarring, particularly in the first act when things haven’t really been well-established.
Overall, though, I had a really fun time with Ghost Graduation. It’s not a perfect film, but it is a movie that will really make you smile and laugh, and thanks to an excellent light-hearted vibe that’s brought on well by a playful fantasy premise, it’s an absolute joy to watch right the way through, which is why I’m giving it a 7.6.