Finding a special someone can be extremely difficult and falling in love is even harder. There are times when, searching for a soulmate, is a futile exercise and the end result is spending most of your time alone. When your search has ended and you’ve made that idyllic interconnection, you realize that the time you were flying solo, there were others in the sky doing the exact same. You then start to believe that there is someone for somebody.
A Ghost Waits, an apparition rom-com contribution by Rebecca Films and distributed by Arrow Video, shows us that a love connection can take place anywhere, even in a haunted house.
Jack (MacLeod Andrews, who co-wrote the screenplay), a loner with no friends, few prospects and even less in regard to living arrangements, goes to his job as a maintenance man where he contacts his boss Adam (voiced by Nicholas Thurkettle) via phone inquiring about why he is at a lived-in furnished house that Adam owns. Adam wants Jack to do two things: Clean and make sure that the house is functioning properly and find out why the tenants abruptly leave the house thus breaking their lease agreement. Jack, puzzled by the house and Adam’s second request, begins Adam’s first request, ignorant to what we’ve viewed in the opening scene: There is a presence in the house, and she is not happy.
While Jack performs his duties around the house, his loneliness manifests itself as aloud self-talk. As he tries to make contact with his boss and another friend via phone calls, he receives the cold shoulder courtesy of the impersonal voice mail on the other end. While he searches for some form of contact or stimulation, he receives it from the ghostly existence within the house screwing with him with various door knocking, tape removal, weird dreams, and pizza stealing. When Jack is greeted by the pale phantom named Muriel (Natalie Walker) who resides in the house, he is frightened at first but then musters the courage to confront her. As they get to know each other, a relationship forms that blossoms into love. While their connection deepens, Jack realizes that Muriel is part of an agency of ghosts that are selected to haunt certain houses. Jack, in love with Muriel and dissatisfied with his lot in life, faces a decision on his own mortality.
Co-writer, editor and director Adam Stovall, gives us an unblinking insight into isolation and the effects that arise from it. The film presented in grayscale may be a turn-off for some, but Mr. Stovall’s lack of color provides the perfect atmosphere as the monochrome reflects Jack’s banal existence coupled with Muriel and the other cold, pale entities that pervade throughout the frames of the film.
While MacLeod Andrews is splendid as the likeable Jack and Natalie Walker does a competent job as the cute but creepy Muriel, the chemistry between them is a tad bland. While their meet-cute is effective, I would have loved to see them go on a few dates to kindle their romance and provide a bit of spice. Whether a ghost can actually go out on a date would have provided some interesting revelations.
If you enjoy a comedy rom com, mixed with horror that breaks the bounds of a mortal relationship while providing an old-time, black & white, cinematic experience, then take 80 minutes to peruse A Ghost Waits. It will be worth your while.
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