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Ghost Town - A Movie Review

'Ghost Town' offers a unique take on the classic ghost story trope.

By Marielle SabbagPublished about a month ago 3 min read

You’re the only living being who sees ghosts and I need your help.

Ghost Town appeared in theaters in 2008. An unhappy man with no people skills has an incident at the hospital. This gift leaves him with the ability to see ghosts. These ghosts refuse to leave him alone until unfinished business is met.

This is the film that solidified my fascination for ghost films. Based on my appeal to ghost films, I immediately put Ghost Town on my list. It offers a unique take on the classic ghost story trope. The film’s comedy is crass, but the message should not be overlooked. Change is possible for anybody.

I am not the biggest fan of Ricky Gervais’s work, though his character is used well in the film. Dr. Bertram Pincus prefers solitude until unexpected entities reinforce his attitude. Gervais’s comedy shouldn’t go unnoticed, especially his well-timed reactions. His transition from an unpleasant man into a more generous person is genuine.

Ghost Town incorporates a couple of my favorite actors. Greg Kinnear is splendid in any role. As a ghost, Kinnear implemented creative chops, like how ghosts interact with objects. Frank is not the nicest person, leaving behind negligent doings from his actions. Gervais and Kinnear were splendid in their dialogue and scenes.

Tea Leoni deserves more credit. I have seen her in films like Jurassic Park III and the underrated film, House of D. She is a wonderful actress. As Gwen and Pincus butt heads, they learn more about each other than they expected. Leoni did an exceptional job with the character.

Now for the ensemble. Here’s the reason why I love ghost films. Playing a ghost gives actors creative opportunities on backstory and motivations. Next time you sneeze, you’ll think of this movie. Several ghosts follow Pincus around because they have unfinished business. They interrupt him at the office, in his home, and while walking across the streets.

An ensemble of actors plays several quirky ghosts. As I have said and will forever argue, there’s no such thing as a small part. Credits include Dana Ivey, Alan Ruck, Betty Gilpin, Jeff Hiller, and Brian Tarantina. They all manifest their characters well.

Sometimes, Ghost Town is overdone with comedy. It’s all about timing. I also like how scenes are edited, comically delivering the irony of a joke. Gervais’s comic style is repetitive, but his dry remarks and reactions are entertaining.

The comedy may not appeal to everyone’s taste. It sure was to Gervase according to the bloopers. Much of the humor stems from the interactions between Pincus and the various ghosts he encounters, each with their own quirks and eccentricities. Since Pincus can only see the ghosts, reactions from passersby are funny when they see him talking to himself.

The film’s true device is the message. Beneath the comedy, Brian Koepp gives the film a surprisingly poignant tale of redemption and self-discovery. The ghost’s unfinished business is the signature part of Ghost Town. Pincus’s mission to help the ghosts find closure is a compelling narrative. Without this scene, the movie wouldn’t be as memorable.

The ghost’s resolution is a moving scene. It’s one of my favorites that’s resonated with me ever since I watched it as a kid. The emotional depth elevates the story. It’s not just a comedy. Change is possible. We don’t always know others' stories. We must make an effort to get to know people. Always listen to their stories.

Ghost Town is something different so check out this ghostly comedy. Whether you’re a ghost film fan or want a witty comedy Ghost Town is a must-see.

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About the Creator

Marielle Sabbag

Writing has been my passion since I was 11 years old. I love creating stories from fiction, poetry, fanfiction. I enjoy writing movie reviews. I would love to become a creative writing teacher and leave the world inspiring minds.

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