A man’s job requires him to clean a house, which turns out to be haunted. In the course of trying to exorcise the ghost, he falls in love with her.
Starring: MacLeod Andrews, Natalie Walker, and Sydney Vollmer
Directed by: Adam Stovall
Written by: MacLeod Andrews, Adam Stovall, and Matt Taylor
“A Ghost Waits” but it won’t wait too long! The film doesn’t waste time giving the audience a quick look at a family in a home before a ghost, Muriel (Natalie Walker), appears and gets them running in fear. Yes, they actually do the smart thing, and leave the house right away. This opens the door for Jack (MacLeod Andrews), a handyman, to come to the house for repairs.
He’s tasked with fixing up the house so that it can be rented out again. This is good for him because it gives him another job, and a place to stay. No, he’s not supposed to stay there, but has nowhere else to go while working on the house. As he works on the home it becomes clear most of the living world doesn’t know he exists anymore. However, he’s about to have the attention of the dead.
This movie is built to be a horror, comedy, and romance film, and it nails all three. To start, no it’s not high on the horror in terms of blood and guts, or jump scares. Horror is used more to set up the story here, and in some familiar and unfamiliar ways. The opening will be familiar as a family is haunted by a ghost, but instead of staying they run for the hills. This isn’t the same for Jack, who might get scared here and there, but sticks around for conversation instead.
A lot of the film is focused on Jack, even after Muriel appears to him because much of the comedy is delivered by him. He’s the only one in the house early on, so he’s busy talking to himself, or the toilet like in one scene. Then when he comes to terms with Muriel not leaving him alone, he has a long list of funny questions anyone would want to know from a ghost. Muriel adds her touch of humor in her response to many of the things Jack says particularly him referring to her as a ghost.
And then the romance, as eventually the audience will see Jack and Muriel’s worlds come together. What’s interesting here is how each takes stock in where they are in life and death. They are seemingly in the same spot even though one is alive and one is dead. There’s some great dialogue here that drives home what happens to the two in the end. And after the romantic gesture, the film does a good job of coming full circle bringing in horror, comedy, and romance in the final seconds.
Admittedly “A Ghost Waits” isn’t my typically kind of horror film, and there were times when I wondered if I should keep watching. Not because it was bad, but just different from what I usually watch. However, I’m glad I finished it because I saw a film merge three genres in a very smooth fashion. The horror worked because they took it in another direction, and the comedy entertained the audience while setting things up. The romance isn’t typical either because neither really bond physically, and it’s more on a spiritual level. They find what they have in common, and where life/death has taken them is what has brought them together. MacLeod and Natalie both put on strong performances bringing these two characters together. With that, I give this black and white film 3 pools of blood.