Colin West’s Double Walker uses the concept of a ghost story in a captivating way by blending the themes of revenge, resolution, and existentialism. Not every decision West makes gels with one another, and the script needs some fine-tuning, but it is an interesting concept to see on-screen.
I like films that deal with the aspects of “ghosts” or “wraiths” because they can go in many different directions. For example, Amenábar’s way of treating spirits in The Others (2001) is far more divergent than how Bayona handled his chiller The Orphanage (2007). Nevertheless, more and more directors are approaching a more avant-garde method to deliver these types of narratives, especially taking notes from David Lowery’s modus operandi. Ever since he released what is considered his “opus”, so far, A Ghost Story (2017), directors have wanted to strip back the multiple layers of big budgets and spectacles for horror flicks and chillers. This is somewhat the path that director Colin West takes on his feature Double Walker, with some reservations.
A young woman’s ghost (Sylvie Mix, producer and co-writer of the film) begins to haunt her icy and unwelcoming Midwestern hometown while trying to piece together the glinting flashes of her stirring memories from the past. One by one, the pursuing phantom assassinates the men she suspects are responsible for her death. However, things start to change when she meets Jack (Jacob Rice), a compassionate movie theater usher who unwittingly interrupts as she is shadowing her next victim. Even though Jack tries to offer her a glance at everyday life, the ghost’s desire for vengeance is still at large. The center of it all focuses on a woman’s decision after her death. Either she goes with the left hand or the right one. On one side, she could live one last day to make amends, and then she’s gone. On the other, she could live forever, but she can never be seen (except by believers and sinners).
She chose the latter, hence the title: Double Walker. A woman who, in a way, is living a double life. Her spirit is all alone walking through the freezing streets of her hometown while her body, the incarnate, is only seen by a few because of the deal she made with the wraith. That is what drove me towards this film, that concept of not choosing to live another day to correct your wrongs and say your goodbyes because you want to seek vengeance on those who cursed you with that ruling the first time, the people involved in your killing. However, the main issue with Double Walker is that its script doesn’t shine a light on its topics on a more in-depth level.
You vaguely know what happened to her, and the reason behind her actions, but the mystery behind it all did not flourish. Its ideas are bright, albeit you need the pen to make them work in the best way imaginable, and this doesn’t have that. The runtime is very short, and it works well with the cinematography and camerawork, however, it doesn’t fit well with its notions. Its subplots about abuse and domestic violence are not that carefully grasped since it also wants to do the whole ghost murdering spree thing. Nevertheless, it is still absorbing what both West and Mix wanted to do with this project, and it is worth the watch because of it. Even so, you wish they could have gone into a broader direction and spent a bit more time in the writer’s room.
Hector Gonzalez is a Puerto Rican chemical engineering student and film critic with a great passion for cinema, award shows, 1960s music, and the horror genre. Some of his favorite films are RAW, Eyes Without a Face, and The Green Ray.