Well, it’s October, so I should review something horror-related, right? At least that’s what you’d think with a film entitled A Ghost Story, yet, that’s not really what you get with the film. Initially, I never really heard much about this film, just that it was strange and that not everyone really understood it…which just got me itching to watch it, right? I’ve always got to give my two cents for films like these, even if nobody is asking for it! So, do I have an explanation for this film? I do…and I don’t at the same time. Let’s get into it.
“In this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his bereft wife.” (IMDb)
I’ll admit that I was blind going into this film, which means I didn’t watch any trailers, read any descriptions, or anything like that. I did see a few images of it though, so while I didn’t expect something outright scary, I did expect something odd and unique, but still ultimately fitting into the genre of horror, and that’s not what you get here. This isn’t a horror film. It is, as the IMDb summary states, an exploration of love, loss, and existence – and ultimately what that means for people. It’s explored through some really bold choices for the director, which often lingers on random shots for a very long time that both feels eery and a little uncomfortable as a viewer, as we’re often used to scenes changing when nothing is happening. Not here. These shots made the film feel more unique in a way that this would be an excellent film for film students, but I’m not sure how the general public will see this film, as several folks have said how strange the film is and how it doesn’t make a lick of sense. It does…it just does it in a darkly artistic way…which a lot of people might not care for, while artistic people will. So, it really depends on who you are with A Ghost Story.
These are just my first impressions. though. Let’s break down the film to interpret the stars.
Title – A Ghost Story
Year – 2017
Genres – Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Possible Awards – Visuals, Surprising
PEOPLE SCORE – 9/10
Acting – 2|Characters – 1|Casting – 2|Importance – 2|Chemistry – 2
First up, we have the people category, starting off with the subcategory of acting, and thankfully, the acting was noticeably great. The characters were fine, but I won’t be remembering them forever. I am convinced that nobody else can play these characters. They are perfect for these roles. Absolutely every character in this film seemingly had an important role adding to the direction of the plot, I was impressed. They had a reason, they had a purpose, they had a history, and I love it. Everyone in this film really worked well together. Their chemistry was off the charts.
WRITING SCORE – 8/10
Dialogue – 2|Balanced – 1|Story – 2|Originality – 2|Interesting – 1
Next up, we have the writing category, starting off with the dialogue, which was actually really well thought out. There’s a lot of memorable lines, and just the way people speak is hard to forget. Now, this film isn’t as well-balanced as it could’ve easily been. It loses its own focus here and there, making the film feel a little bit longer than it should normally feel. When it comes to the story, this film knows what it’s doing. Not only is the story alone interesting, but it sticks with you because it has meaning and purpose. In my opinion, I also think this film feels fresh and pretty darn original. I’d say I was interested enough to watch the film, but as I watched the movie, my interested died down pretty rapidly and was gone before the film ended.
BTS SCORE – 9/10
Visuals – 2|Directing – 2|Editing – 2|Advertisement – 1|Music – 2
Next up, we’re taking a look behind-the-scenes, starting with the visuals, and the visuals were pretty darn great here. Somebody knew what they were doing. The director actually did a really good job here. Completely based off of what they did, the movie looks and feels great and authentic on a different level. Well done! The editing was pretty darn impressive as well. When it comes to the advertisement, you might expect the film to be slightly different than what it is, but it’s not something terrible…just different. This doesn’t happen often, but I’m awfully glad when it does. The music in this film is pretty fantastic. So good, in fact, that I really wouldn’t mind listening to a soundtrack of the film just to hear them again. Yep, yep, yep!
NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 6/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 1|Climax – 1|Falling Action – 0
Next up, we’re chugging right along into the narrative arc category, which is one of the easiest categories to score highly in. First up, we’re looking at the introduction, which did perfectly. By the inciting incident, we knew who everyone was, the basic setting, and what’s going on in these people’s lives. How about the inciting incident? That was perfectly clear and set the rest of the film up for a good ride. How were the obstacles? Well, I’ll say this much…there weren’t much. There was one main obstacle that they worked on for a while, but that was about it. How was the climax? It was okay, a little anticlimactic overall because it didn’t feel like any culmination of everything else put together. Finally, what about the falling action? Truthfully, the movie really just ended right there. There was no real calming down moment, nor a return to the new norm, so…take that as you will.
ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 4/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 0|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 1|Sucks Audience IN – 2
Okay, so was this movie as entertaining as it wanted to be? Let’s get into that. As far as rewatchability is considered, I don’t know. I might watch it again if I was in the mood, but I don’t see myself looking for the film anytime soon. What about its ability to be fun? Sorry, but this movie is about as boring as it gets. I didn’t have very much fun watching it. Do I have any impulse to buy it? No way, Jose! What about talking to somebody about the film that hasn’t heard of it? Maybe, I’m not sure. I might have a normal discussion about it, but I won’t be losing my mind to tell them about it, either. Does this suck you in, though? Oh, definitely. I never once had a problem getting lured into everything that was happening in this film, regardless of the fact that it wasn’t super fun to watch, just…strange.
SPECIALTY SCORE – 30/50
Horror – 0|Fantasy – 5|Drama – 10|Romance – 5|Halfway Decent – 10
Next up, we’re looking at the specialty questions that I asked before seeing the film. As I mentioned above, I had little expectations other than something related to the horror genre, completely based on the title, which isn’t so, zero points there. How well does it fit into the fantasy genre? I would say okay, but it doesn’t ever really feel like that. It just feels like some guy walking around with a bed sheet over his body. How was the drama genre? Oh, there’s plenty of drama alright. The film is swimming in it, full points there. How about the romance genre? I understand a big reason why the ghost sticks around is because of love, but while he was actually alive with the girl, he was super distant and I wasn’t feeling the love, so I gotta give it half points there. Finally, was it halfway decent? Absolutely. The director did their job, 100%
TOTAL – 66
Score # – 193