Movie Review: Ghost – Rite Here Rite Now

Movie Review: Ghost - Rite Here Rite Now
Reviewed by Tim Finch


It’s been nearly a year since Ghost ended their run of North American dates on the Imperatour with two nights at the infamous Kia Forum in Inglewood California. The Ghost fandom knew it would be a special double night bill, with pre-warning that no phone/photography would be allowed from the fans and that filming would be conducted throughout the shows.

The result of this stint in LA was ‘Rite Here Rite Now’ the first cinematic feature film from the band. In movie theatres across the world Ghost's fanbase has been swarming all weekend for their chance to witness this oh so special ritual.

The concerts from those two nights form the basis for the feature, starting with the band arriving at the venue and the ensuing cheers as they approach the stage. As the opening riff of ‘Imperium’ rings out, the sheet covering the stage drops revealing the huge stage set the flash/bang pyros fire and the band launch into ‘Kaisarion’ with the Ghouls storming the front of the stage. Within seconds another raw from the crowd as Papa Emeritus IV appears, the figure whom those in attendance worship, without question.

The start of the show mirror’s the bands latest album, ‘Impera’, arguably the best work of the band to date, but it’s as they lead into ‘Rats’ that the atmosphere in the arena rises yet still. 15,000 voices sing out in unison along to the number taken from the ‘Prequelle’ album, before they move into ‘Faith’.

Throughout the film they cutaway to a backstage area, these segments or skits are there to progress the Papa Emeritus IV story line, the lore behind the magic on stage. The backstage area is dressed as if the clergy’s backroom in a church. Papa is aided in costume changes here and has dialogue with both Sister Imperator (his mother) and of course the ghost of Papa Nihil (his father).

The concert segments shows fans who may not have attended the tour (really? where were you?) what it was like, and the inclusion of ‘Ritual’, ‘Con Clavi Con Dio’ from the bands first album is a treat as not all of us who did attended this tour saw either or both as they mixed up the set.

As we switch back to the storyline segments, we see Papa struggling with the possibility of being replaced as the bands front man. With each album cycle the Papa fronting the outfit gets replaced. That is of course except for our current leader who has fronted two albums, first as Cardinal Copia and then as Papa Emeritus IV following his ecclesiastical promotion.

“Cardi”, as he likes to be called, shows his vulnerable side, fearing the end is nigh and not wanting to complete the show for worry of what will happen. As he is hidden in a flight case to be moved around the building out of sight of the fans, the ghost of Nihil tries to talk sense into him.

When we return to the show, Papa is now at the rear of the arena, on a small stage with two cellists and a pianist, all dressed in black. The orchestral rendition of ‘If You have Ghosts’ is quite something, another special moment few will have been treated to on the full tour. His hand maiden then dresses him in a robe and boxing gloves as he makes his way back to the main stage in a Rocky-esq sequence with was a wonderful nod to that particular cinematic universe.

The show continues with ‘Twenties’ alongside a troupe of Skeleton dancers, ‘Year Zero’, 'He Is’ and the instrumental ‘Miasma’ which of course see’s Nihil revived once more for his sax solo.

The main body of the set is closed with ‘Respite on the Spitalfields’ and whilst for a live show that would have been a bit of a sore ending, for this cinematic release it could have been a magical way to close it. Papa thought so too, in another skit as the band leave the stage they ask “are we doing an encore?” to which Papa replies "No" and tries to scurry off, much to the behest of Sister Imperator.

However, we do get an encore as Papa seems to start accepting this may be the end for him. ‘Kiss The Goat’, ‘Dance Macabre’ and ‘Square Hammer’ finish what in itself is a wonderful end to a fantastic concert.

The movie however continues, Papa leaves the venue in a hot air balloon, because why not?, waving to Sister Imperator. We see flashbacks of his life, what seems like a twin is suggested in the movie reel before Sister Imperator meets her untimely end, bringing Papa Emeritus IV back down to earth in grief.

The final segment of the film sees Papa surrounded by Nihil and Sister Imperator in ghost form, Papa now promoted to head of the cergy becoming ‘Father Imperator’ and we await the arrival of what will be his successor in the band… what happens now in the Ghost lore is anyones guess, but we can’t wait to see it.

For a first theatrical movie release, Ghost have done well. The Imperatour concert run was magical (as we attest to here) and to see it on the big screen was something else. However a movie in the vein of Spinal Tap or the Foo Fighters ‘Studio 666’ would be a great next step in the cinematic journey.

Movie Review: Ghost – Rite Here Rite Now

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