A Ghost Waits is a horror movie with heart, taking a concept that’s typically associated with fear and turning it on its head. The film incorporates elements of horror, comedy, drama and romance and introduces its own cleverly crafted mythology making for a smart and spooky unconventional love story, alongside a thought-provoking existential tale of loneliness and making an emotional connection.
Directed by Adam Stovall, A Ghost Waits centers on Jack (MacLeod Andrews) a dispirited and solitary man who cleans houses for a living. Reluctantly accepting his lot in life, an extraordinary and otherworldly experience awaits him when he discovers that the house he is working in is haunted by a tragic ghost (sorry, I mean “spectral agent”) named Muriel (Natalie Walker), an unexpected meeting that takes them both by surprise in a heart-warming fashion.
A Ghost Waits is the epitome of low-budget, independent filmmaking, proving that all it takes is a strong narrative, well-written characters and a minimal setting to achieve an effective and well-executed movie experience. Stovall has successfully created a charming, quirky and accomplished film that is easy to become drawn into and doesn’t outstay its welcome coming in at a humble 80 minute run time but ending with bags of potential to expand on the narrative if he ever wanted to go down the sequel route in the future.
The film is shot entirely in black and white, a stylistic choice that is evocative of classic cinema and is aesthetically stunning, complimenting the spooky and melancholic atmosphere that the film encompasses. It also brings out Muriel’s ethereal presence, her ghostly makeup is so striking and is illuminated further in black and white more so than it would have been if the film had been in colour.
MacLeod Andrews and Natalie Walker deliver stellar performances in their principal roles. Displaying oodles of charisma and on-screen chemistry, they are engaging to watch through their talented performances as they literally bring their characters to life (and death!). Andrews plays Jack as a man who lacks a personal direction in life and accepts that “this is how it should be” rather than striving for more, allowing the viewer to muster sympathy for him. Muriel is an empathetic character and Walker taps into different sides of her, she goes on her own journey throughout the film, discovering a strength she was unaware she had.
A Ghost Waits is a gentle paranormal tale with a relatable, human story at its core. It is a real indie gem that will satisfy horror fans with the more hardcore of hearts while being accessible for audiences who aren’t as accustomed to the genre. It contains some playfully spine-chilling moments without being overly frightening with the focus predominantly on bringing these two wonderful characters together under exceptional circumstances. The film includes a beautiful soundtrack that momentarily takes it into a semi-musical territory and features an excellent sound design for the creepier elements.
Adam Stovall has created something truly special with A Ghost Waits, it is a standout directorial debut for him. He has refreshingly placed his own stamp on genre filmmaking creating a film that is unique with its own identity. A Ghost Waits is an utterly captivating, intelligent, and moving supernatural romantic comedy with a kooky edge.
A Ghost Waits received its world premiere earlier this year at Glasgow Frightfest 2020 and we at Love Horror look forward to it being widely seen, getting the recognition that it wholly deserves in the future as A Ghost Waits is truly unmissable.
Out on ARROW 1st February