Sundance 2017: ‘A Ghost Story’ Shows Us The Afterlife Through A Person Clearly Standing Under A Sheet

Posted by January 24, 2017 Comment

A Ghost Story
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Summary
This is the story of a ghost and the house he haunts.

Director: David Lowery

A Ghost Story approaches the common question of ‘what happens after we die’ and presents an interesting look through the eyes of someone standing under a sheet.

A film still from A Ghost Story by David Lowery, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Andrew Droz Palermo.
A film still from A Ghost Story by David Lowery, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Andrew Droz Palermo.

A Ghost Story is not a movie that everyone is going to like. In fact there are lots of reasons to tear it apart, but there are times when you have to consider the overall experience. This is not the movie you’re going to expect, judging not only by the title, but the first few minutes. It tells the story of a loved one passing away who stays behind, but who cannot seem to understand why they couldn’t move on. It’s a hard movie to review, because going in knowing as little as possible is the way to go.

Rooney Mara appears in A Ghost Story by David Lowery, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Andrew Droz Palermo.
Rooney Mara appears in A Ghost Story by David Lowery, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Andrew Droz Palermo.

This is not a horror movie, but more of a sober look at what happens when someone dies. Unlike most movies that look at the afterlife, there isn’t the preachy level of ‘you need to find religion’ or ‘you need to save your soul’ that often accompanies movies of that nature. While it is sad, it isn’t incredibly depressing. The first half is a bit strange, as you are trying to figure out exactly what this movie wants to accomplish. But once it makes a certain turn, that I will not spoil, the entire production moves from pretentious to damn near brilliant.

The overall feel of the movie is not going to be for everyone. The design of the ghosts is hilarious, though you are left wondering if that was intentional. The design doesn’t take away from the tone of the film though, and sometimes it walks the line of feeling a little too self-important. It looks silly and isn’t self-aware, so you’re left wondering how seriously you’re supposed to be taking things. There are even a few laugh out loud moments that don’t feel like they should be funny, but they are.

A Ghost Story is a movie you’re either going to love or hate, but if you’re able to get your head around the entire concept and feeling, it will stay with you.

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(Last Updated May 9, 2018 6:50 pm )

About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is a film nerd, a comic nerd, an all around nerd that has a love for female superheroes and independent cinema. When she isn't watching movies Kaitlyn loves fiction writing and watching political satire. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at http://www.nerddomepodcast.com

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