A Ghost Story (2017)

Greetings Loved Ones! Liu Is The Name, And Views Are My game.

When a man dies in a car crash, he returns as a ghost to haunt his house. There, he settles in, and watches time pass. His wife moves out, a new family moves in, the house gets bulldozed and replaced with a new building, and, when He attempts ghost suicide, he gets sent back a few hundred years, and watches the whole process all over again. And if that sounds boring, it’s only because it is.

A Ghost Story is one of the dullest, slowest, most pretentious movies I’ve ever had the displeasure of seeing. It feels like a 3-minute student film that somehow got stretched out to feature length. And I’m not just saying that. All the characteristics of student films–minimal dialogue because you haven’t figured out how sound equipment works, one location because you don’t have the budget to build sets, a small cast because you can’t afford to pay more people–are present in this movie. And also like student films, this picture really wants to make statements on big issues, like life, love, and time, but isn’t mature enough to actually say anything worth while. There is literally a scene, about halfway through, where a character whose name we never learn, and who we never see again, gives an overly long monologue about how everything we do is meaningless, because even if our work survives, the world will blow up, and blah, blah, blah. It’s awful.

I’ve reviewed many bad films on this blog. Chappie, Fifty Shades Of Grey, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2, the list goes on. But even those films, as bad as they were, had stories. They had characters with names. They had certain things–like robots, gunfights, sex–designed to stimulate the senses. And, most importantly, they had dialogue. Their characters said things. This film doesn’t have any of that. The man who becomes a ghost is never given a name. He barely says anything before he dies, and what he does say doesn’t give us any indication of his past or personality. There are many, many, MANY scenes that take place in total silence, and are of characters doing completely mundane activities, like eating pie, lying in bed, or washing their hands. And they’re all done in long, static wide shots, some of them going on for over four minutes. Yes, four. I counted, and the scene where a woman eats pie in complete silence is done in one take, and that take lasts over four minutes. Sitting through this movie is a test of one’s endurance. Which is shocking, when you realize that it’s only 90 minutes long.

So when you combine all this together–the lack of dialogue and characterization, the unnecessarily-long shots, the painfully slow pacing–you wind up with a boring, pretentious, utterly unenjoyable motion picture. I hate it, and I don’t think any of you should go see it. It’s not worth your time.

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