Rich Ragsdale's second feature (his first, 2005's The Curse of El Charro wasn't well received) is a curious thing; a well made, superbly photographed ghost story which borrows a lot of elements from other films but has enough verve and spirit to be, if not original, then certainly worth your time.
Ghost House has a very keen sense of place and its adoption of Thai belief systems is essential to the story (unlike, for example, a film like The Forest, with its rather lurid appropriation of a well known and very real suicide location in Japan). Ragsdale isn't beyond a bit of exploitation himself however, with footage of various undernourished and disabled locals thrown in for verisimilitude, and a story which on more than one occasion strays into 'superstitious villagers' territory.
While her boyfriend Tim is somewhat lethargically played by Hébert, Taylor-Compton is extremely effective as Julie. Trapped in her own private hell with the sometimes extremely frightening apparitions visible to no-one but her, it's a step up from most genre movies in that you genuinely feel for the character - clearly her role in the Halloween movies was a useful training ground. At times Ghost House resembles a more serious Drag Me to Hell - the story has its roots in MR James's story 'Casting the Runes' via its 2017 adaptation It Follows. The movie has drawn some criticism for its rather overly used shock haunting shtick, but I disagree. The menacing of Julie by the avenging spirit takes on a rather relentless feel, and the visions of the spectre (which for once isn't overly cursed by expository explanation) are genuinely unsettling.
Ghost House does well with its obviously limited budget. It may not be offering anything particularly new, but its combination of eastern myth, magic and traditional frights worked for me.