"An all-singing, all-dancing front row seat at the most joyous show in heavy metal." Ghost's first movie Rite Here Rite Now is an instant classic

From its retina-singeing visuals to its stunning camerawork and heartfelt emotional punches, Rite Here Rite Now is a triumph

Rite Here Rite Now movie poster
(Image: © Ghost)

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If there is a message at the blackened (but glitter-covered) heart of Ghost's first ever full-length film, it's the importance of living in the moment, of refusing to be too wrapped up in those things we cannot control and seizing the chance to enjoy the things that we can. It's about what's right here, right now - geddit?! There may well be no better band to ram home such an ethos, and with Rite Here Rite Now, Ghost mastermind Tobias Forge and director Alex Ross Perry have crafted us an all-singing, all-dancing front row seat at the most joyous show in heavy metal.

Part concert movie, part fictional dramedy (though, really, it's at least 90% of the former), Rite Here Rite Now drops us straight into the action at Ghost's most recent shows at the Forum in Inglewood, California in September of last year, where the entirety of the film's live footage was captured. Shot as one, continuous gig (and, truthfully, you'd have to be a real pedant and a spoilsport to spot where one show is spliced to another), some absolutely stunning camerawork sees us granted a dizzying array of viewpoints, from above the impressive, chapel-esque stage set to ducking and diving around our Nameless Ghouls to rising right under Papa Emeritus' gyrating crotch. It creates a visual dynamic that's both intimate and epic, showing off Ghost's spectacular show while capturing the little motifs and flexes that make them such an endearingly fun force of nature on stage.

Ghost's adoring audience, too, are granted plenty of airtime; from the hundreds of painted-up nuns gleefully belting back every lyric to the dozens of Papa plushies being waved around, to shots of corpsepaint being smudged by free-flowing tears, concert footage director Jim Parsons has done a wonderful job of highlighting the kind of wholesome fanaticism that has helped propel Ghost to becoming one of the biggest success stories of 21st century metal.  

The thin-as-cobweb plot underpinning the concert is essentially an extended version of Ghost's fabulously silly video skits, though there are some tantalising pointers to the future of the band and its beloved cast of eccentric characters. Ultimately, though, the real hook here is the gig, and what a gig it is: fire, confetti, smoke, dazzling light shows, spooky skeleton dancers, bat wings, at least four Papa costume changes, camp rock 'n' roll theatre at its absolute apex, and all captured in a way that doesn't make you feel so much like you're in the crowd as running around the stage and surfing around the venue.

The setlist is a true, career-spanning celebration, from heavier, early favourites like Ritual and Con Clavi Con Dio to more recent stadium rock bangers like Spillways, Dance Macabre and Square Hammer. The highlight? Undoubtedly a stunning, stripped-down version of their cover of Roky Erickson's If You Have Ghosts, featuring Papa E popping up on a bonus stage at the back of the Forum, flanked by cellists, a pianist and a mysterious, veiled opera singer. It's a surprisingly emotional moment that crystallises the depth and warmth at the heart of Ghost's playfully subversive, trope-inverting schtick.

Given Ghost's IP and the painstaking care with which Tobias Forge oversees it, it'd have taken a sizeable screw-up for Rite Here Rite Now to be anything other than a complete blast. As a concert film, however, it really is much more than that: it's an instant classic and an absolute triumph.

Rite Here Rite Now is released in cinemas worldwide on June 20. The film's official soundtrack lands July 26

Ghost: Rite Here Rite Now | Official Film Trailer | Haunting Cinemas Worldwide June 20, 21, 22, 23 - YouTube Ghost: Rite Here Rite Now | Official Film Trailer | Haunting Cinemas Worldwide June 20, 21, 22, 23 - YouTube
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Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.