A Ghost Story (2017)

A Ghost Story (2017)

2017 87 Minutes

Romance | Drama | Fantasy

Recently deceased, a white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to console his bereft wife, only to find that in his spectral state he has become unstuck in time, forced to watch passively as...

Overall Rating

8 / 10
Verdict: Good

User Review

  • A Ghost Story is a thematic contemporary minimalistic piece of cinema that will not appeal to many people. Straight away there were people leaving the cinema or sniggering at the concept. It might sound like a horror film, it is not. Do not watch this expecting jump scares...although, funnily, there were one or two. This is an extremely heavy story that explores deep themes including existentialism, legacy and the passage of time. A couple reside peacefully in a small house until one of them is killed in a car accident and returns in a ghostly form. The ghost is presented simply as a man under some bed sheets with some eyes cut out. Minimalistic. The dialogue is sparse to enhance the visual narration of the story. Minimalistic. The camera, for many scenes, will not move for a good 5 minutes. Minimalistic. The majority of the film takes place in one house. Minimalistic. Ok fine, you get the idea. Director David Lowery did not require a massive budget to convey the idea of time. That's the beauty of this! The purpose is to interrogate the question of: "who suffers the most pain, the widow as they mourn or the ghost that observes them moving on?". An absolutely fascinating premise. Seemingly trapped in the afterlife in what I can only describe as a time loop, the ghost not just observes their widow moving on, but other generations after. An imprisonment fuelled by sorrow. The ghost cannot communicate verbally and yet somehow I felt their pain through the limp and slow movement which made the whole film melancholic. The genius move to have the camera in a 4:3 aspect ratio in order to enhance the idea of being trapped. There were times though that I found Lowery slightly borderline pretentious. A 3 minute take of Mara and Affleck in bed was too slow for its own good. In contrast, Mara eating a pie for a 5 minute take was far more gratifying to watch. I did also find that a scene where a guy talks about legacy and existence just ruined the subtlety that the narrative was clearly trying to convey. Deeply thematic, but borderline pretentious.