Teen Volunteer Review: A Ghost Story

Boston Public Library's teen volunteer program has gone remote! As part of this program, local high schoolers will be sharing their thoughts on books, movies, and more on our blog. Today, Boston Latin School student Elizabeth Choi is reviewing A Ghost Story. Is this the perfect movie to watch as we approach Halloween or did it underwhelm her? Read on to find out!

First of all, this is not a horror movie. As I was debating whether to watch this or not, its genre was a major factor. Though it is listed under drama/romance, I have a low fear tolerance and even the sight of a man disguised as a ghost is eerie to me. But the film transpired without me having to cover my eyes. Don’t let fright deter you from watching.

Second of all, this should not be rated R. I think it should be PG-13 and my father thinks it should be PG. The “disturbing image,” which I had been dreading was underwhelming, and the momentary use of language is the only reason I don’t agree with my father’s rating. So don’t let its rating dissuade you either.

With that said, A Ghost Story is different from movies I usually watch. It has long, static shots and even a single frame on M (Rooney Mara) eating pie for four or five minutes. While some may complain that that scene was too drawn-out, others may argue that it is a realistic depiction of grief. I remain indifferent. The unique style intrigued me, yet as minutes passed and M was still stabbing the poor pie with her fork, it became rather tedious. However, I did like the somber color scheme, the soundtrack, and the concept.

Though A Ghost Story was interesting, it tried too hard to be artsy and poetic. The almost visible effort to add more meaning than necessary to the movie reduced its authenticity and made it almost pretentious. Furthermore, it was predictable; I knew that the odd occurrences at the beginning of the movie would be a specific character, I just wasn’t sure how it would happen. The film left me with a vague sense of curiosity concerning the note, but no burning questions.

This movie is not for everyone. For me, it was a good experience but a mediocre film. I think that the majority of people will either love it or hate it. Try it out and see for yourself!