Movie Review: The WaitingBy RodneyHatfieldJr for Reviews
(In my best Ernie Anderson. Look it up.) From the creative director of “A Brilliant Monster”, Director F.C. Rabbath has brought us another brilliant romp in horror and a little comedy that is subtle but not overbearing. The Waiting is the story of Eric, a new hotel employee who stumbles upon an open secret. One of the private rooms is haunted. Eric decides it’s in both his and the hotel’s best interest to help dispose of the ghost. However, once he meets the ghost, everything changes. Starring Nick Leali as Eric, Larry Kastner as The Manager, Tatiana Warden as Tanya, Emalie Noel as Lori, Michelle Feliciano as Michelle, Laura Altair as Sally and Molly Ratermann as Elizabeth.
It is a compelling story about Eric, a guy trying to get by. We all undoubtedly know a guy or gal like him. Recently out of a relationship he is reluctantly looking for love while trying to show his Ex that he has matured. He gets a job at a local hotel with a lot of history. He enthusiastically starts and invariably finds out that room 101 is haunted. 101 is well known to the locals, and Eric becomes fascinated with it. According to the stories, if someone goes into the room and stands for a minute, they will be haunted by the tormented spirit.
The rebellious spirit that is supposed to haunt room 101 is that of an unfortunate woman who tragically lost a lover many years ago. So Eric goes and stands in the room to see if the stories are correct. And it is. Eric decides he has to soothe the spirit before the historic hotel is closed because it is losing money. So Eric and the others who work there try to come to an understanding as to what they will be doing next.
This movie is from F.C. Rabbath who also gave us A Brilliant Monster. And just like that one, it is an indie film. Sure there are some minor flaws, but so are most movies if put under a microscope. Where this movie shines is that it is so refreshing regardless of its budget because it is inventive and creative. It provides us with something new. This will give you something to talk about after viewing it. Ghost stories are a dime a dozen, they are old and predictable. However, The Waiting is like a cool breeze on a humid day. It is classic horror, but the relationship it conveys is charming. Eric is so warm, and he wants to do the right thing for this spirit trapped in room 101. The sadness and anguish of the ghost are reflected in Eric nicely. I want to add more, but I don’t want to spoil the movie. This is one of those movies I want to talk about. I want to explore and discuss the unique relationships and how others feel about them. Alas, that would be spoilers. Allow me to add one more thing, it doesn’t give anything away really. Whoever thought up the introduction with the floating chairs and tables going down the hallway deserves an award. I was thinking; psychological thriller with paranormal elements and they threw a curve in a totally different direction. Bravo.
Like most indie films, the acting is nicely done. You experience the anxiety of the workers who are about to lose their jobs. You feel the moments when the ghost is about. When Eric wants to help the spirit, you feel he is genuine about it. The only qualm I have is the owner. His part is just so predictable. I understood him right away because I've seen it a million times. But he does give you someone to hate so it fleshes out better than I thought.
The scenes are wonderfully filmed. The Hotel is immense in some scenes, but small and quant where it needs to be. Naturally, the cast is small, as that is explained away with how the Hotel is losing money, and they have in essence a skeleton crew working. The cinematography is soft when it needs to be when compared to the crisp sharp scenes with the ghost. I enjoyed the minor details when inside Room 101. The Ice/steam on the mirror. How they use a timer when cleaning. It is all those little things that give it character.
I am giving this a solid 4 out of 5. It is different and brave enough to attempt something new. And it succeeded. You get a feel for the characters and especially for the ghost. Everyone delivers a great performance that reflects a bold and refreshing story. If you are looking for a paranormal movie without all the run of the mill cliche that is clogging up films today, then this one if for you. Grab your mate and make it a date night.
Coming in at a comfortable 1 hour and 24 minutes, keep an eye out for its future release.