Sundance '14 Review - JAMIE MARKS IS DEAD - Ghost Thriller
Jamie Marks is Dead was kind of a ridiculous film. It had an interesting concept, and it's a very different and unique take on the ghost story horror genre. I'm a big horror and ghost story fan, but this was more of a supernatural drama about a teenager's death and its hard hitting effects on one of his classmates.
The film is based on a book called One of Sorrow, written by Christopher Barzak. The story is set in a small town, and it starts out with the discovery of a dead bullied teenage boy named Jamie, who no one really knew. The main character, Adam, becomes obsessed and fascinated with the dead teenager, and Jamie's ghost eventually appears to him and his friend Gracie, who also happens to be his love interest.
Things get really wired when Adam finds himself caught between the world of the living and the world of the dead. As he has a growing romance with Gracie, he also feels a deep connection to the ghost Jamie, who is bringing him closer to the world of the dead. According to the synopsis, "Jamie Marks Is Dead is about the choices one boy must make to help another free himself and accept his fate."
The movie has a very dark and eerie vibe to it all the way through. I have to say it was strange watching a teenage boy kind of falling for a ghost, but what can you do? It must be one of those teenage experimental phases. The movie did have some interesting elements, though, when Jamie starts to expose Adam to the other side of the ghostly world. What was interesting about these ghosts is that they were physical entities. It's like they weren't really ghosts.
The film was directed by Carter Smith, who also made The Ruins, which I actually really enjoyed. I'm not sure what he was tying to do with this new film. Apparently, the focus of the film was supposed to be the teenage psyche and small-town life, and I guess in that aspect of things there was something there. I just didn't connect with it.
If the movie ever ends up getting released, it's something you can wait for when when it pops up on Netflix.