A Ghost Waits is streaming now on Arrow Player.
Romance, eternal love and hauntings are a staple of the supernatural genre; from A Ghost Story (2017) to Beetlejuice (1988) and The Ghost and Mrs Muir (1947), the relationship between love, life and death is central to our reflections on mortality. This sub-genre of horror has offered us a glimmer of hope that death neither separates nor ends our eternal love, the finality of death merely a new realm of existence where we meet our loved ones again. In his debut feature, director Adam Stovall offers us a highly effective and engaging story of love, death and belonging, lacing the comedy of Beetlejuice with the drama of A Ghost Story.
Jack (MacLeod Andrews) spends his working day going from one empty house to the next, fixing problems before new tenants move in. His life as a handyman and caretaker is lonely, as his friends avoid his calls, and his job offers no emotional fulfilment. However, when Jack is instructed to clean and ready a local house for new tenants, he arrives to find the place full of the previous family’s belongings. Confused, Jack phones his boss, only to be told that the family left in a hurry, and he asks Jack to explore the house thoroughly, convinced there must be some maintenance problem that led to their sudden departure.
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Jack quickly gets to work checking electrics, cleaning toilets and exploring the grounds, his small radio pumping out tunes as he works. However, as Jack explores the property, strange noises, voices, and movements haunt his every step. Is the house alive with a supernatural presence determined he does not outstay his welcome? Or is this presence just as lonely as Jack?
Many independent first features get caught up trying to emulate the gloss and effects of the Hollywood giants, but thankfully A Ghost Waits never falls into this trap. Here Stovall allows the simplicity of the screenplay to shine through in a low budget movie that is an absolute joy to watch. At just eighty minutes, A Ghost Waits flies past while still managing to leave an indelible mark on the viewer. Central to this are MacLeod Andrews and Natalie Walker, both of whom offer gentle, engaging and heartfelt performances that elevate the film beyond the limitations of its small budget.
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As a feature debut, Adam Stovall has announced his arrival with a film that transcends the restrictions of indie cinema. Here the delightful screenplay of Matt Taylor and MacLeod Andrews pays homage to a series of classics while finding a unique and distinctive voice. The result is a beautiful eighty-minute journey into life, death, rebirth, and love’s eternal power.
Director: Adam Stovall