Horror veteran Rachel Talalay directed this cheesy exercise in terror that owes much to the virtual-reality trend started just two years before with 1992's underdog hit The Lawnmower Man. Featuring an absurd killer that's as menacing as the film's bottom-of-the-line computer graphics, Ghost in the Machine might not deliver the shocks that it originally intended to, but it has found a new life as a unintentional laugh fest. With outlandish kills that include an exploding dishwasher, hand-dryer flamethrowers, and killer microwaves, it's hard not to love every way Talalay cooks up the gruesome proceedings. The flick does benefit from a handful of inventive camera shots that follow the evil electrical currents through appliance cords -- a rather shocking trick considering it precedes David Fincher's same patented gags by more than a few years. A rip-off Terminator 2 ending seals the deal for this sucker, as for the first time in cinematic history, a serial killer is eradicated by an electromagnetic atom smasher -- now if that isn't high concept, then what is?
by Jeremy Wheeler review