A young couple lives in a modest house in the country. When a terrible loss befalls them, a ghost appears as an observer. New people take up residence in the house and we learn the history of the land both before and after the home’s existence. All the while, our ghost watches and waits, for what we know not.
2017, Color, Rated R, 1 Hr 32 mins
DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara
Directed by David Lowery
If you’re scratching your head after reading the above synopsis, that about sums up my reaction to this film. I have no issue with movies that have no plot. Many times, the imagery and sound make up for a lack of story. Unfortunately, A Ghost Story doesn’t offer that. There are long sequences where absolutely nothing takes place. It’s like watching footage from a security camera. In a parking garage. Late at night.
I believe that writer/director David Lowery attempted to create something akin to the moving art installations we sometimes see in museums where a video loop is shown on a flat panel. Mr. Lowery’s loop just happens to be 90 minutes long. The title (and MPAA rating) suggest some sort of horror or suspense film. And the home-movie feel with its 1.33:1 aspect ratio adds the look of found-footage. But in execution, there is simply nothing to react to. A Ghost Story produced no emotional response from me whatsoever.
There is no issue with the transfer here. The box states the aspect ratio is 1.78:1 but it is actually 1.33:1 with rounded corners. The image is soft with a narrow dynamic range and presented in mostly cool, drab colors. It is appropriate for the subject material but is unlikely to become a home theater demo any time soon.
Audio is minimalistic at best. Dialog is sparse but clearly recorded. Given the long sequences of nothing, I would have expected better use of the surround channels for ambient and ethereal effects but there were none. A Ghost Story had a low budget and its image and sound demonstrate that clearly.
Bonus features include two making-of featurettes, a deleted scene, and audio commentary by the director.