This one is a tough one.
Please do not go into A Ghost Story expecting a typical horror movie… or a normal haunted house movie. This is more than that. It is a challenging, infuriating, frustrating film that you may not understand. It is also very well done.
A young married couple (Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara) are preparing to move from their house, but fate has another idea. Affleck is killed in a car wreck and he returned as an invisible ghost, covered by a white bed sheet, and he has to watch as his wife continues her life without him. However, there is more than just that as time starts going all over the place and he starts seeing the history of this house, both from the past and in the future.
David Lowery is the writer/director of A Ghost Story, but I got a distinct feel of David Lynch here. The long, extended scenes sitting on one subject, the beautiful yet confounding imagery, the use of time as a manner of storytelling all speak of the similarity to Lynch. We get a good five minute scene of Rooney Mara sitting on the floor and eating a pie. This is just like a scene that you might get in Twin Peaks.
There is a definite feeling of loss and longing here. We do not have much dialogue during the film, but the actors do a tremendous job of revealing feeling without speaking. In fact, the ghost beneath the sheet does more with just some body movements than a lot of actors can do with their entire face and voice.
However, since the scenes can be long and drawn out, I can understand why some people may find A Ghost Story boring. It is certainly unlike any film of the year. It asks a lot of the audience, insisting on patience and not necessarily paying off everything, and it was a sad movie, pushing the level of depression hard.
It is beautifully shot despite some of the imagery being extremely troublesome. It asks the audience to pay attention to the images and to do it without very much dialogue.
It does ask a lot from the audience, but I did feel that the film was worth it by the end of it. It is a challenge to watch, but it is very emotional and beautiful. It is not for everyone.