A Ghost Story (2017)

<strong class="MovieTitle">A Ghost Story</strong> (2017)

(Netflix Streaming, August 2018) “Haunting” is the cheapest adjective you can affix to any ghost story, but there’s a fair case for it in trying to describe A Ghost Story. For one thing, it’s a slow, methodically paced, nothing-moves-too-quickly story from the point of view of the ghost. As our protagonist dies, he remains trapped into the house, seeing his wife mourn (by eating an entire pie) and then leave. He’s not too fond of the next owners and does his best to scare them. Then, well, who knows: We travel in a future metropolis presumably built upon the space occupied by the old house. Then back in time for the first settlers on the site of the house. This circular trip in time achieved, the ghost comes to grip with his nature and can let go, leaving his bedsheet behind. A Ghost Story sounds insane when summarized (and the trailer makes it look like the most ridiculous thing ever made with the bedsheet-with-eyeholes ghost) but I found it unexpectedly effective upon watching. Soothing, even. There’s an unexpected profundity to writer/director David Lowery’s film that even surprised me—considering that I usually strongly dislike these kinds of films, I was surprised to be swept along with the wordless narrative. The time loop is what wraps the entire film in a nice little bow, giving it the necessary push in otherworldly status. I’m not sure I’d recommend A Ghost Story (and even after watching the film I still see how silly it looks) but it does feature great images and a unique atmosphere.

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