Emily, a troubled spirit, haunts her own house every day, wondering why she can’t leave. With the help of Sylvia, a clairvoyant hired to rid the house of spirits, Emily is forced into a ‘patient/therapist’ relationship, uncovering disturbing mysteries about her past that may help her move on to ‘the next place’.
Well holy crap, we’re finally at day 31 of my little #31DaysOfHorror experiment. For those who don’t know what that means, it means that I watched a horror movie every single day all month, and now we’re here. It feels good to end this on a high note, with one of the most unique ghost stories I’ve ever seen: I Am a Ghost.
It’s hard to know why this movie worked for me as much as it did, I can see the same kind of movie illiciting the completely opposite reaction from me on a different day, being one of the artsiest movies that I’ve seen, probably all year. That said, this just really did it for me in a way I just didn’t expect. One thing I’m not going to do is offer up an interpretation of what it all means, that’s not how I review movies, and this is definitely one of those movies that is practically begging for a breakdown. So much so, that the website actually has a section specifically for that.
What I will say is that I Am a Ghost is an incredibly unique horror film, that you’d be forgiven to not really consider much of a horror film. It moves incredibly slowly, even for its 75 minute run-time. I found myself teetering on the edge of being annoyed by the repetition in the beginning of the film, but it seemed to realize that and started to move on. This pacing really takes you into the life of Emily and her routines, you feel the monotony, and want to scream at her that something’s obviously wrong.
The cast here is really small, but the performances are excellent. Anna Ishida essentially has to carry the movie being on of the only visible characters in the film as Emily, and she does a really good job. Her dialogue is limited, but director H.P. Mendoza pulled some really great performances here. Jeannie Barroga plays Sylvia, the medium tasked with getting rid of Emily, and her performance is good and engaging, though it is a completely auditory performance. There is a soothing quality to her voice that helps sell her as this pseudo-psychiatrist for Emily.
There’s a lot to like about I Am a Ghost, but it’s certainly not a traditional horror experience. There are some scary moments, but it’s not a terribly scary movie. The ending does come as kind of a surprise, due to how subdued the rest has, but the reveals and twists that movie takes are pretty interesting and it all just comes together and works really well.
If you’re looking for something unique, and probably unlike anything you’ve seen before, then this is the one to have a look at. It’s not terribly long, so the slow burn shouldn’t be as big an issue, but if you don’t like slow films, then pass on it. That said, I loved it.
MY RATING: ****