Jamie Marks Is Dead ★★

A lot of time and energy was spent carefully and thoroughly crafting a look, a mood, and an atmosphere of dread. Locked off widescreen compositions, drained of color, with lots of teenagers with pasty white (or gray) skin filling the frame. If only the same care was given to character development. I noticed several instances where someone would ask a question or make a statement only to be told never mind, or it's not important. This seems to justify leaving things unexplained, as if to say to the audience "your need for a little bit of clarity isn't the point".

So we must muddle through, admiring the drained landscape while dead/ghost characters and living/isolated characters seek... something. When things seem like they're sort of going somewhere, we get a heavy dose of François-Eudes Chanfrault's overwrought drones and heavy handed piano tinkling to cover what ends up being nothing much after all.

There MIGHT be a few interesting ideas bubbling under the surface, what with the tinges of homoeroticism and themes of lost souls, living and dead, bring drawn together. But director Carter Smith seems content to leave things deliberately underdeveloped. So in spite of valiant performances and nicely crafted imagery, the resonance Smith so clearly desires is only whatever the audience can manage to drum up themselves.