High Spirits (1988) Peter O'Toole, Daryl Hannah, Steve Guttenberg, Beverly D'Angelo, Liam Neeson Movie Review

High Spirits (1988)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Liam Neeson and Steve Guttenberg in High Spirits (1988)

Ghost Academy

With his family home, a grand castle in Ireland, on the verge of being repossessed Peter Plunkett (Peter O'Toole) comes up with a plan to have the staff pretend to be ghosts and banshees in order to attract American tourists and stave of losing his castle. Two of the American's who arrive are Jack (Steve Guttenberg) and his wife Sharon (Beverly D'Angelo) who just happens to be the daughter of the businessman looking to repossess the castle and who is there to debunk all the ghost stories which she quickly does. But after a night on the booze Jack meets the long departed Mary Plunkett Brogan (Darryl Hannah) who was murdered by her husband Martin (Liam Neeson) and falls for her, the question is how can they be together?

I always get hopeful when I see a cast full of actors who I like and I got hopeful when I came across "High Spirits" as it was full of familiar names from the likes of Steve Guttenberg and Beverly D'Angelo to at the time actors such as Liam Neeson who were yet to be major stars. But I have to say that "High Spirits" did next to nothing for me and certainly struggled to keep hold of my attention as whilst floating along we have a storyline which not only features Peter trying to keep the castle but also a case of romance between humans and ghosts it just doesn't feel strong enough to keep your attention.

The knock on effect of this is that not all the humour works and it becomes a bit of a slog with some unintentional things such as the ghostly make up ending up more amusing than the jokes, seeing Liam Neeson in body glitter will always be an amusing sight. In truth at times it feels like "High Spirits" is more reliant on two things, the chaos of so many characters making noise and the special effects which might amuse young audiences but not older ones. Ironically a subplot surrounding wife swapping is probably not that suitable for the younger audience who might enjoy this more.

What this all boils down to is that "High Spirits" didn't work for me and that is despite liking the majority of the cast. The whole thing was too chaotic and all over the place for my liking with too many of the jokes not really working.