A Ghost Waits

08/17/2021 06:06

Film: A Ghost Waits

Year: 2020

Director: Adam Stovell

Writer: MacLeod Andrews and Adam Stovall

Starring: MacLeod Andrews, Natalie Walker and Sydney Vollmer



This is a movie that I learned about through podcasts. It is getting a bit of buzz for being on the Arrow player and quite a few people were stating how much like enjoyed this new service. There are a few things on there that caught my attention, so I decided to sign up for a free trial. I also thought this would for an interesting double feature for Journey with a Cinephile: A Horror Movie Podcast. The synopsis here is a man’s job requires him to clean house, which turns out to be haunted. While trying to exorcise the ghost, he falls in love with her.

For this movie, we start off hearing a family in a panic. They are trying to flee and we see it is from a ghost. We will learn that her name is Muriel (Natalie Walker). We then shift over to meet our other main character, Jack (MacLeod Andrews). He is told by Neal (Adam Stovall), who is his boss, to go over to a house to get it ready for the next tenants.

Jack soon realizes upon arriving that the previous family left all their things. He finds this odd and when he inquires about it, Neal tells him to not worry. He is told to do what he can to get it prepped and when the movers come, they will take the items away.

What I find interesting here is that while Jack is working, he doesn’t notice the haunting around him. This made me chuckle since this movie is playing with the troupes here of the haunted house movie. We have like a rocking chair or doors opening. Jack doesn’t notice it and just chalks it up to things he has to fix when he does.

That is until he hears a woman’s voice. He also has nightmares of Muriel. Jack is struggling since he doesn’t have a place a stay currently and when no one will help him, he makes his stand. He learns much more than he was bargaining for in the process.

Now I’m going to leave my recap there. I don’t want to go into spoilers, but there isn’t a lot to the story either. This is more about the interactions between Jack and Muriel as well as finding themselves in the process. When I heard the synopsis from podcasts, I knew this was leaning into comedy, but not necessarily to where it ends up which is a good thing.

Where I want to delve into first would be the interesting duality of Jack and Muriel. Now for the former, he works a maintenance man of sorts. We learn in the beginning he needs a place to crash due to cockroaches from a neighbor getting into this place or something along those lines. We see that he enjoys what he is doing, but not necessarily in the traditional sense. He seems more like a millennial and doesn’t care about money. Muriel is interesting here as well. There is mythology having ghosts be ‘spectral agents’. Her job is to haunt this house and get people to leave. I love this idea that what they’re doing is a job for both. It also makes them ‘enemies’ since he needs to finish his work and she needs him to leave.

The idea of haunting being a job is where I want to delve more. Muriel visits her ‘ghost supervisor’ as Jack calls it of Ms. Henry (Amanda Miller). We learn that Muriel is a legacy at what she does, but she might have met her match. Ms. Henry is willing to send in Rosie (Sydney Vollmer). She is new at what she does but has had early success. I like the idea of taking something that is a horror movie troupe where a haunting are terrifying and making them a mundane thing. It takes it back to something like Beetlejuice. It feels like it also fits in this vein where Muriel haunts in a more traditional sense, where Rosie is a newer ghost and it reflects in how she haunts as well.

There is also a love story here. Since that drives the movie as the issue with this haunting being completed or Jack finishing his job, I’ll shift there. I think that Andrews and Walker have good chemistry. It is interesting as I said that Jack feels like a millennial while we get hints Muriel has been doing what she is for some time. We never learn what era she is from or when she died, but Walker does well in playing this role timeless with words she uses and dialect. I also thought that Vollmer, Miller, Stovall and the rest of the cast rounded this out for what was needed.

Next, I want to go over to the effects and the cinematography. I think I’ll start with the latter. This movie is shot in black and white. It makes it feel arthouse, which I don’t normally have a problem with, but it feels slightly pretension here. Not enough to ruin it though as the cinematography looks good. I’m almost wondering if part of it is due to hiding of effects. We don’t get a lot of them, but Muriel, Rosie and Ms. Henry are done up with heavy make-up to make them look ghostly. I’m thinking black and white helps to hide this and I’ll be honest, it looks good. I’d say this is well done overall.

Then finally the last thing to go into would be the soundtrack. It focuses on this quite a bit as Jack is listening to music while working. This helps bring Muriel and him together as well as she was a singer in her life before passing away. I did like that connection. The soundtrack works for what the movies needs. Not necessarily songs that I liked or would listen to, but I had no issues either.

In conclusion here, this is a solid movie. I’m not sure it will be for everyone though. This is an arthouse film that takes a love story and does something a bit different with it. I like the performances of Andrews as Jack and Walker as Muriel. The rest help to push them to where they end up. It is shot well, even though I’m not sure if it really needs to be in black and white. The effects are aided there and look good to me. The soundtrack also fit for what they needed. This is an above average movie for me. If what I said sounds good, I’d recommend giving it a go.


My Rating: 7.5 out of 10