Many films and TV shows have explored the idea of being able to communicate with the dead. From Sixth Sense to Frighteners, Ghost Town to Ghost Whisperer although troubled these spiritual mediums always manage to right wrongs, save the day and most importantly pass one final message from the departed to their dearly beloved.
But what if no one ever believed you when you told them you had a message from their long passed partner? Then not only are you treated like an insane insensitive reprobate but you still have a ghost going on at you to make the living listen.
This is the life of Jack (Misfit’s Robert Sheehan) who ever since his father died when he was a child has been able to see and talk with the dead. Sought out by these lost souls to help them give messages to their friends and family the route to closure for them is often beset by beatings, threats and trips to prison and hospital for Jack whose life seems utterly cursed by his gift.
The latest spirit phasing through his door is Mark (Jack Fox) a war correspondent whose suicide seems extremely suspicious and whilst trying to contact his grieving widow Jack uncovers a conspiracy of lies that threatens to undo not only the dead man’s life but his own as well.
Sarcastic, quick witted and sharp tonged Robert Sheehan does a great job bringing to life a man who sees the dead and imbuing within him the troubling existance he has gone through and the deeply disturbing effects of his ghostly interactions all of which has left him a scarred and damaged emotionally and mentally.
Alongside Sheehan is an excellent and eclectic cast including Joely Richardson as Jack’s psychiatrist, gruff voiced Scot David O’Hara as the detective investigating Mark’s murder and model turned accomplished actress Lily Cole as Jack’s older sister who has returned to help him as she once did when they were young.
Uncovering more of Jack’s tragic past as we move through the current murder mystery he is embroiled in the film not only deftly reveals the harsh cost of Jack’s supernatural powers but also starts questioning whether it is actually all in his mind taking the viewer through a fair few twists and turns before reaching its climax.
Jumping around in time and location director David Blair does a great job constructing a supernatural thriller that is full of dreamlike beauty and wonder and the painful ugly realism of death and loss.
Like a very British version of the wonderful Odd Thomas The Messenger is a great paranormal thriller full of rich complex characters that cleverly examines the concept of bereavement from a new angle.