No one seemed to care about Jamie Marks until after his death. Hoping to find the love and friendship he never had in life, Jamie’s ghost visits former classmate Adam McCormick, drawing him into the bleak world between the living and the dead.
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2-3. Approaches the temptation to detach from the living by infusing it with homoerotic tension; interesting way of keeping a film with such a bleak aesthetic from feeling impersonal. That being said, there are chunks that could clearly be cut, and the film's points of attack are handled a bit clumsily. The movie is at its best when handling the conflict gently.
While this film ultimately left me desiring more of some things (the ambiguity of their relationship, the rules of this purgatory the dead live in) and less of others (the girl who kills her parents every day, the paralyzed mother), I overall enjoyed the unique, gloomy, homoerotic story that was told. The color matched the mood perfectly and scenes were effectively creepy when they weren't extremely moving.
The impeccable winter photography is the definition of doom-and-gloom, enhancing the main character's death fixation. In a way, it's a mature, sincere, and artfully rendered effort from Smith, much different than The Ruins. A horror film more for the drama crowd, it deals with genre staples, but doesn't try to scare often. Yet, it's too murky and cold, as its thematic points aren't fully realized, feeling detached.