London Film Festival: Jamie Marks Is Dead

Directed by Carter Smith
Starring Cameron Monaghan, Noah Silver, Morgan Saylor, Madisen Beaty, Liv Tyler and Judy Greer

by Joanna Orland

Jamie Marks Is Dead – or is he? Adam and Gracie discover the body of Harry Potter Jamie Marks by the river. Jamie’s ghost begins to haunt them, and befriends Adam in this dark supernatural story. It’s a bit of a bizarre premise how easily Adam befriends a creepy sinister ghost, but the themes and tone of the story make it a gripping and eerie watch.

The performances are monotonous and the film score consistently ambient, both to great effect as the audience can’t help but be almost hypnotized by the mood of this film. As Jamie and Adam grow closer as friends, Adam grows closer to the supernatural world, eventually encountering further ghosts. At this point, the story derails slightly as the key focus of this story is, and should, be Jamie’s relationship with Adam.

There is perpetual confusion over why Jamie has returned. He is clearly the victim of bullying, but that is about the extent of what we know about Jamie. In fact, we don’t know all that much about Gracie or Adam either. This is more of a supernatural moodpiece than it is a character study. Overall, this results in Jamie Marks Is Dead being more style over substance, but even so, it is mesmerizing in its delivery.

In a market oversaturated with supernatural teen stories, Jamie Marks is Dead stands out for its artistic merit and eerily haunting tone.

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