Pop Skull (US-2008; dir. Adam Wingard)
This drug-metaphor ghost film, written and directed by Adam Wingard, has apparently been doing the festival circuits, but hasn’t been picked up for distribution yet. Early reviews are very positive, and, frankly, I’m dying to see it.
As I frequently argue, many of the greatest ghost films (and fiction) take a decidedly ambiguous attitude to their ghosts, never making it entirely clear whether or not the ghosts are objectively real and to what extent they may be projections of the characters’ tenuous grasp on reality or projections of their deepest fears and insecurities. Witness Shirley Jackson’s novel The Haunting of Hill House and Robert Wise’s film of it, The Haunting (1963); Henry James’ great novella The Turn of the Screw and at least some of the film versions of it, especially Jack Clayton’s The Innocents (1961); and many others, including a favourite of mine, Sorum [aka Goosebumps] (South Korea-2001, dir. Jong-Chan Yun).
Offhand I don’t recall a film that uses ghosts as a metaphor for the results of drug dependence — but something like Polanski’s Repulsion certainly illustrates how it might be done.
Pop Skull seems as though it might be an arthouse/horror cross that does just this. Hopefully we’ll be able to see it soon and find out. Either way, it looks like a classy piece of work.
The official website is here.