For the most part this indie gem is a two hander and so much of what makes it an effective watch are the performances from this pair. Andrews’ turn is wonderful a hilarious performance, tinged with a heartbreaking sadness. Early on there are long sequences of Andrews alone as he interacts with the space around him and they are wonderful, lifting the film with warmth and sincerity. Walker has a more difficult task but as we spend time in the company of A Ghost Waits she becomes a likeable figure, the chemistry she has with Andrews making this film an achingly romantic watch. A Ghost Waits morphs from a ghost story into one about love. Love that stretches beyond the limitations of our mortal bodies.
There is a boldness to Stovall’s film, an ambition to not be restrained by any genre or what has come before. There is a beauty and lyricism here, from the dialogue spoken (Andrews and Stovall write with a story credit for Matt Taylor) to the music (composed by Mitch Bain and Margaret Darling) that bathes the film. The crisp, gorgeous look of the film from Michael C. Potter’s cinematography adds so much to A Ghost Wait’s personality, the choice to shoot in black-and-white fitting so neatly with the story being told.
And yet there is one aspect that stops me from calling this work a masterpiece. There is a choice made in the film’s last act that is sure to prove divisive and one that for this viewer underserved the tremendous work that has come before. Nevertheless A Ghost Waits is such a remarkable work that viewers will find so much to appreciate here no matter where they land on this particular moment.
Adam Stovall’s piece is a fascinating watch, equal parts warm hug and melancholy-inducing deconstruction of loneliness. We’re all sure to be talking about this work long after its release, and the film firmly earns its place alongside some of the best ghost stories in the horror genre.