What I’ve Been Watching: I Am a Ghost

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i am a ghost movie posterI watched this on Shudder, AMC’s new all-horror streaming service. The service so far looks really strong: no technical problems or restrictions, and a decent selection, which is bound to grow as the service develops. Bring me an Apple TV app for it and we’ll be good to go.

The movie wasn’t quite as successful as Shudder, though. The idea here is that the main character is a ghost, who doesn’t know she’s a ghost, who is trying to be helped along out of her haunt and into the next stage of existence by a medium she can talk to, but can’t see. It’s not the most original premise—we’ve seen variations in The Others and Haunter, among others (oh, uh, spoiler alert?)—but that’s OK; the execution is really nice.

The ongoing repetition of the main character’s day is appealingly hallucinatory and boring, the cuts away from scenes just before key events, which are later returned to and expanded to reveal what’s happening, and the generally muted tone of the film are all effective. The scares at the end of the movie are well done and frightening.

The problem with the film, though, is its story. This is a roughly 90-minute film, but it has about 45-60 minutes of story. I’m not sure there was more story to wring out of the idea, though. Perhaps if there were some sort of interim form—longer than an episode of TV, but shorter than a feature film—I Am a Ghost would have been well suited to it. I keep wondering about that form: It seems like the online-video world might be ripe for that sort of thing. I’d love it if someone were to experiment with it.

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