Ghost Hunters International Season Two: Part 1 DVD Review

Ghost Hunters International Season Two: Part 1 is, as the title would imply, the first DVD set release of the past season of Ghost Hunters International. The SyFy original series once again sends an investigative team around the globe to collect information on paranormal hot spots. The DVD release is four discs containing 13 episodes, reflective of the long seasons that GHI enjoys on SyFy, so there are a lot of hours to watch. However, Ghost Hunters International Season Two: Part 1 is disappointingly minimalistic and can only be recommended for die-hard fans of the show.

The lack of pizazz in the DVD set is noticeable before you ever actually put on the show. The packaging is a single DVD case with a sleeve over it containing the exact same cover art as the box. In what would be a standard container for a single disc, all four DVDs are stacked on one spool. Most TV series’ DVD releases use some kind of larger, fold-out box to give each disc its own spot in the package.

This bare-minimum packaging decision has more than just aesthetic drawbacks. If you’re looking to use the box GHI came in to store it and intend to go through the DVDs enough to justify buying them, retrieving individual discs from the single spool can be annoying. It’s a minor inconvenience, obviously, but just reflects poor design.

The first three discs are exactly what they say on the tin: each of the first 13 episodes of season two, shown in order, exactly as they aired on SyFy minus advertising content. The fourth disc of the set is where the new material and, simultaneously, the biggest missed opportunity came in.

I am not a fan of Ghost Hunters International and having to look through this DVD set did not win me over to the series. Though, I actually thought that it would when I first previewed the bonus disc.

See more details after the jump.

Every episode of GHI follows the same structure. The team goes to some exotic locale, introduced by a myriad of establishing shots. One of the team tells the campfire story that is the background of the spot they are headed towards. There are more establishing shots of the interior of the structure the team is investigating. Then they set up, pop on their lens filters, and talk into an empty room for a half an hour. There is also a rare treat in some episodes when the team gets a bit of closure by discovering the noise they were talking to for the entire episode was an unsecured pipe or something similar.

The only real point of interest is the toys the investigation team has, which are wonderful. Filters, sensors, camera equipment: the show features a van filled with hard core nerdery. When I popped in the fourth disc, which just contained the simple heading “Deleted/Extended Scenes,” I, as is my review custom, just picked a few in random order to get a sense of what was on the disc. The first couple of random samplings had the team go into some more detail about the equipment that they were using, which made me ecstatic.

I went back to watch all the deleted scenes, hoping for a full background on all the gadgets and information on how the show was filmed. If my fantasy bonus disc was the actual content of disc four, it would have made this DVD a completely worthwhile buy. However, the random deleted scenes I initially took in were just a lucky fluke. Going through the whole of the scenes I was treated to more people talking at an empty room.

There were a few deleted bits that have some character development for the team. They all have a friendly outing together and one team member explains his special connection to the country or locale that they are visiting. Similar scenes also appear in the show with some members, which leads me to believe that the “getting to know your Ghost Hunter” scene was originally part of the episode formula but is cut more often than not to make room for the thrilling scenes of someone talking at an empty room.

Overall, if you’re a fan of the show and want to watch the episodes over and over again, you’ll probably buy this no matter what and only read reviews to write in the comments section about how you’re a fan. In which case, enjoy. But, anyone sitting on the fence or who only has a vague interest in the show is better off just renting this one.

Ghost Hunters International Season Two: Part 1 releases March 13 and is available with or without the fourth bonus disc.

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