Photo courtesy of Robin Harper
Carter Smith, director of 2008 horror The Ruins, weaves drama, heart and horror into this adaptation of Christopher Barzak’s novel One for Sorrow.
Shot in upstate New York, the film tells the story of Adam McCormick (Cameron Monaghan), a teenager in a small town who builds a friendship with dead boy, Jamie Marks (Noah Silver). Adam’s girlfriend Gracie (Morgan Saylor), who discovers Jamie’s body by the river, cautions Adam to stay away from the ghost. But Jamie’s finally getting the companionship he never had in life, and Adam wants to know exactly how Jamie died.
Adam soon realizes there’s more to the supernatural world than he thought.
At first, Jamie just comes off creepy—looking in windows, hiding in closets. But Carter gets us to care for him by showing the bullying he went through and students’ feigned sorrow, indifference or mockery of his death.
The three main characters were cast just right, and the dialogue among them feels natural, except when Jamie asks Adam to give him a word (You'll have to see the film to find out what that means).
If you’re a fan of Barzak’s story, keep in mind a lot changes in the film.
Overall: Jaime Marks is Dead feels so real . . . and so completely unreal, like a dream. But if you're looking for a film with complex characters and some supernatural flair, it's a must see for Sundance 2014.
And when you get home, check your closet . . . just in case.