A Ghost Waits (2020) is a surprisingly heartfelt movie that has a comedic facade, balancing a slow-burning romantic sub-plot with deep emotional issues such as loneliness and suicide. Directed and co-written by first-time filmmaker Adam Stovall, by the end of his movie I was bawling, choking up over its morbidly romantic ending that brought forth feelings of both sadness and happiness from Stovall’s excellent writing and directing, as well as star MacLeod Andrew’s gripping performance. Existential crisis meets the supernatural ability of Love in A Ghost Waits, making up its lack of horror and scares with laughter and tears.

Jack (MacLeod Andrews) lives a lonely existence as a house flipper, preparing new properties for his boss’ renters. With his house being fumigated and his friends MIA, Jack sees no other choice but to crash at the newest property, a house whose tenants seemingly left in a hurry. As he works, Jack begins to experience weird incidences, such as his dinner suddenly going missing or his radio turning on by itself. Jack soon finds that the culprit is a spirit, or “ghost agent”, named Muriel (Natalie Walker), one who takes her haunting very seriously, and frustratingly, seems to have met her match with the immovable Jack. After getting to know each other, the two find that they are kindred spirits, and fight to merge their worlds despite their purposes in life being at odds.

With A Ghost Waits, director Adam Stovall has made the most romantic ghost love-story since Ghost (1990). I have no complaints about the writing, the acting, the direction, nor the cinematography — there is no such thing as perfection, but this is a great, independent, no-budget film. A Ghost Waits is shot in black and white, which turned out to be a great choice, especially for staging the often dream-like/nightmarish scenes that reveal Jack’s emotional descent. Taking away the colors of the real world forced a more unreal atmosphere and serious tone, though the story and dialogue was on the comedic side.

Beyond its looks, the film was also blessed casting-wise, as every single character is given endearing moments, and because of its small cast, every character felt needed rather than being put in to serve obvious purposes, like so many movies are guilty of. MacLeod Andrews as Jack was remarkably relatable and so subtle in his portrayal of being world-weary and lonely, it made his emotional turmoil, that came to a head at the end, all the more impactful. Andrews starred opposite Natalie Walker, who inhabited the role of the ghost, Muriel, with a similarly subdued but hauntingly sweet and engaging performance — it actually reminded me a bit of the Barbara/Geena Davis character from Beetlejuice (1988).

In a world where so many feel emotionally disconnected due to technology, obligations, and lately, a pandemic, A Ghost Waits tells a story of finding connection in the least likely of places, a haunted house. Sorrowfully sentimental and achingly charming, A Ghost Waits displays Adam Stovall’s ability to tell a story that has substance and wit, and hopefully, his propensity for using an arthouse pictorial style and dreamy sequences, because each of these aspects served this film very well. A different kind of haunted house movie, A Ghost Waits is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stuffy and dusty horror genre.

MOVIE RATING — 7 out of 10


A Ghost Waits
RATING: UR No Trailer Available
Runtime: 1 hr 20Mins.
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