Movie Review: ‘A Ghost Waits’

Review by James Lindorf

Jack (MacLeod Andrews, Doctor Sleep) lives a fairly solitary life working as a traveling handyman for a property manager. His latest job is to renovate a neglected rental home that seems incapable of keeping long term renters. It doesn’t take long for Jack to figure out why the tenants keep leaving in droves. It’s not the peeling paint or questionable wiring; it comes down to the simple fact that the house is haunted. The ghost, excuse me, the spectral agent in question is Muriel (Natalie Walker), and she takes pride in keeping the house devoid of the living. One is there to bring people in, the other to keep them away, but against all odds, Jack and Muriel find they have a lot in common. The kindred spirits welcome an intrusion into their otherwise lonely existence. Still, pressure mounts as their respective bosses demand that they fulfill their purpose for being at the house. The horror rom-com “A Ghost Waits” is currently streaming on Arrow. The new to the US platform that hosts a curated collection of cult classics, as well as new and original content.

Everyone has seen a trailer or heard the premise of a movie and had the thought, I am either going to love it or hate it. That is precisely what went through my mind when I first heard of “A Ghost Waits” because the premise is both incredibly familiar and unlike anything I have ever seen. Writer and director Adam Stovall’s tale of unexpected love was surprisingly fun and endearing. I came down much closer to loving “A Ghost Waits” than I would have expected. “A Ghost Waits” was done on a micro-budget it and I don’t think it would have taken much more funding to put it over the top. Put some of the money towards a Premium Beat subscription to improve the quality or variety of music. Some better fake blood tech wouldn’t be a bad idea, but the makeup team needed to get most of the money. Whether the money was used to hire someone with a little more experience, signing the current person up for an online class or two, or maybe just buying better supplies. Other than lack of funding and time, there is no reason that a movie releasing in 2021 has worse makeup than the 40-year-old “The Evil Dead.”

Outside of one scene, Andrews and Walker give perfect performances for this movie, which was crucial for a film with four named characters. From Jack’s frustrated nopes as the cabinets continue to open on their own. To his delight at finally having a friend that wants to spend time with him, Andrews is the heart of the movie. Walker was almost as good with her dry wit and fish out of time questions. If they remember to tone down the anguish to a reasonable level when they cry, they could see more projects coming their way. The crying scene’s jarring nature is as much on Stovall’s directing and editing skills as it is the performances. It is easily the biggest misstep made during production.

Yes, mistakes were made, but they don’t begin to overshadow the good and entertaining work done here. “A Ghost Waits” is more than enough of a reason to sign up for your Arrow free trial, and who knows, you may find a lot more gems when you look around.

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Horror
Original Language: English
Director: Adam Stovall
Writer: Adam Stovall, MacLeod Andrews
Release Date (Streaming): February 1st, 2021
Runtime: 1h 20m

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