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‘A Ghost Waits’ review: Rom-com horror scares away the lonliness

Life, death, and love.

A Ghost Waits is an indie rom-com horror about a handyman named Jack (MacLeod Andrews) who has just found out why tenants keep moving out from the house he has been asked to fix up. A ghost named Muriel (Natalie Walker) has been employed to keep the place vacant. With homages to other stories about ghosts and love, the film is familiar but still manages to stand on its own.

There may be a horror element involved (including a Beetlejuice-like ghost hierarchy), but the main focus of the story is the budding relationship between Jack and Muriel. This means that in order for A Ghost Waits to win over the audience it needs to have a pair of strong leads. This is easier said than done, but writer-director Adam Stovall succeeds.

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Jack is an instantly likable main character. He is brave and silly but also filled with a sadness that draws the audience in. Muriel also has a loneliness that follows here. This is seen most poignantly in the moments when she is incapable of communicating with Jack due to her lack of practice. Andrews and Walker have a chemistry that exudes through the screen and it is impossible not to want them to end up together.

That being said, the romance story in A Ghost Waits is rushed. Some may forgive this due the film’s relatively short running time. The issue is the story builds to what is romantic ending in theory. While watching the romance build is great, it ends in a cliched ending that goes against the rest of the film. Thankfully, Muriel and Jack are a strong enough couple to make it work to some degree.

Ultimately, this does not negatively impact the film. The performances, characters, and sheer inventiveness is enough to make audiences look past the flaws. A Ghost Waits is beholden to other similar movies, but still manages to tell its own story. The movie is sentimental without being cheesy and will enchant audiences.

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