Jamie Marks is Dead (2014) Dir. Carter Smith, USA, 101 mins
The death of Jamie Marks is little more than a reason to try and avoid class for most of the people at his school. He was a nobody with no discernible friends and nothing really going for him.
Adam, a boy who goes to the same school visits the place where Jamie was found and meets Gracie, the girl who found the body. The two of them start a tentative relationship, but when Jamie's ghost turns up, Adam starts to become obsessed with finding out the cause of Jamie's death. In doing so he sets himself on a path away from the living and into a world of the dead.
Cameron Monaghan's Adam is a young boy confused. He wants a relationship with Gracie, but doesn't know how to react when she blows hot then cold. He doesn't understand why his mother, Liv Tyler, forms a friendship with the woman who put her in a wheelchair, Judy Greer. And he doesn't understand why Jamie is dead, or why his ghost forms an attachment to him.
Noah Silver plays the deceased Jamie Marks as a creepy, almost stalker-like individual. At times it felt uncomfortable watching as he interacted with Adam. Like spying on an intimate couple at sometimes, whilst at other it was like watching an abusive and manipulative relationship.
Gracie, played by Morgan Saylor, is the girl who found Jamie's body, whilst out collecting rocks. She is also the person who inadvertently introduces Adam to Jamie's Ghost, something she tries to rectify throughout the film. Gracie is portrayed as knowing about the ghosts, but it's never fully explained how much or even why.
The film has some good ideas; the use of words to feed/sustain Jamie's Ghost, Frances another ghost trapped in a perpetual nightmare loop who becomes jealous of Jamie and Adam's relationship. But the ideas are never fully explored and are left feeling halfhearted and inconclusive, never truly hitting their mark. All in all the film is more a coming of age self discovery story with creepy undertones rather than a horror. The ending gives enough to make watching seem worthwhile, but not enough to make it an excellent watch.