Monday, October 19, 2020

A Ghost Waits - Movie Review

The Movie: A Ghost Waits

The Director: Adam Stovall

The Cast: MacLeod Andrews, Natalie Walker, Sydney Vollmer, Amanda Miller

The Story: Jack's job is to fix up the house. Spectral agent Muriel's eternal task is to haunt it. They should be enemies, but they become fascinated by one another.

The Review:
The first time I ever saw MacLeod Andrews was a few years back in a movie called They Look Like People during the 2015 Tacoma Film Festival, a film that kind of came out of nowhere to be an audience favorite. What stood out to me in that film was the originality and the performance from Andrews which I would say are the two qualities that stand out for this movie as well. There are thousands of haunted house movies so you would think it would be hard to come up with something original yet that's exactly what Andrews and co-writer, director Adam Stovall have come up with.

Within the horror genre, which encompasses just about every type of film imaginable, the closest comparison I would make is Warm Bodies which is a really fun zombie rom com that also features great performances and an original story. Just like how that movie showed us zombies in a completely different light, A Ghost Waits gives a whole new perspective on how and why ghosts spend their time haunting houses and scaring people to no end. The entire movie takes place in a single house and is presented entirely in black and white which really allows the focus to remain on the actors and their performances.

Andrews plays Jack, a man whose life has whittled away to a sole purpose of working a job to wake up the next day and continue to work that job. Jack is very creative and fun yet seems to have a problem connecting with people and the time he spends alone in the house gives the actor an opportunity to really show off a lot of diversity and range. Then, as the movie progresses, he gets paired up with Natalie Walker who plays Muriel, the resident ghost whose job it is to scare people away.

The twist here is the two are at first in opposition as it is Jack's job to prepare the house for people to move in and then Muriel shows up to send them packing. This gives a lot of space for Andrews and Walker to work together first as enemies before the begin to understand each other and eventually fall for each other. What really sold me on the performances and the movie itself is how mental health is put front and center and really explored in a meaningful way. This keeps the movie from just being a silly, trope filled run through horror comedy and it helps to connect and understand the characters on a much more human level.

The Verdict:
A Ghost Waits is a fun horror house haunting that turns into a paranormal rom com while showing off a couple of really great performances from MacLeod Andrews and Natalie Walker.

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