A fake paranormal investigation team with a television show on the verge of cancellation films their last chance episode in a real haunted house. What could go wrong? Oh, everything.
The group is full of inner conflict: the girlfriend who wants to go off on another project, the brother who isn’t taken seriously, the leader who is a jerk. Dealing with all these personal dramas and murderous ghosts is a bit much.
Influenced by Ghostbusters and the Frightners, Deadtectives is more comedy than horror. The funny bits don’t always hit the mark for me. For example, the lead guy says something racially insensitive to the Latino guy. The Latino guy points out the racial insensitivity and appears to push back but it’s just their routine. “Hey, that’s racist!” becomes a repeated, annoying punchline.
On the other hand, paranormal tv shows are not easy to parody; they can be a bit cartoonish on their own. The investigators on these shows – Most Haunted, Ghost Hunters, The Ghost Brothers, Ghost Adventures, etc – usually overact in hopes of convincing the audience that they are experiencing supernatural phenomena. Watching the Detectives try to spoof people who already act in an exaggerated manner…the act sometimes falls flat.
Overall, The Detectives is neither good nor bad. It’s just there. The best thing about the movie is that it made nostalgic for the Frightners.