DATELINE: Dead Boyfriends?
Carter Smith’s 2014 film is a mystery thriller, not a horror picture as Amazon streaming likes to call it. Jamie Marks is Dead may well be one of the most arresting and underplayed tales of a ghost in recent memory.
Of course, this starts off as an homage to David Lynch and Twin Peaks. Like Laura Palmer, Jamie Marks is a nearly nude corpse as the movie opens.
Though this is not the great world of Douglas firs, the setting is upstate New York, which seems fairly cold, remote, and unpleasant.
A girl, Gracie (Morgan Saylor) finds him and finds him stalking her in death. He is more interested in the varsity track star Adam (Cameron Monaghan), a cute red-head who soon starts to see dead people everywhere.
Suspicions seem to haunt the high school, as Jamie was bullied by the jocks prior to his death. And an ominous, and inexplicable dead deer carcass hangs next to Adam’s bleak home.
It doesn’t help that his mother is Liv Tyler who takes up with a drunk driver who put her in a wheelchair.
Thank heavens that Jamie (in an ethereal performance by Noah Silver) can offer Adam a considerable line of protection from the Great Beyond. We know something about spirits who are willing to offer their guardianship; our own protecting spirit is over our shoulder now, most interested in this review. He thought the movie was fairly accurate.
Alas, Jamie has a problem: he appears to be a murder victim.
Adam hopes to help his dead pal who takes up residence in Adam’s closet, which should have sparked more jokes. Without the usual cliché of special effects, Carter Smith presents a chilling picture of ghost appearances. Don’t look for pop-ups, fades, or objects moving on their own.