Having just reviewed Widow’s Point about a haunted lighthouse I decided to stick with ghosts stories and put on The Waiting by F.C. Rabbath (A Brilliant Monster, Watch Over Us). All I really knew was it involved a haunted hotel room. Naturally, I was thinking in terms of 1408, The Innkeepers and, of course, The Shining. What I got was much different from any of them.
Eric (Nick Leali, Spriggan) lives at home with his mother and can’t catch a break when it comes to dating. He does however have a new job at a hotel in town. His first day on the job is also the first day for the new housekeeper Sally (Laura Altair, Crisis Hotline).
Sally is having a rough first day, having had to do the twice a month ritual of cleaning Room 101 in sixty seconds or less. Why do they need to be gone in sixty seconds? Because any longer and they’ll see the ghost of Elizabeth (Molly Ratermann) who killed herself in the room many years ago.
The Waiting is actually a fairly touching film with moments of comedy and horror. Eric’s first encounter with Elizabeth is a standard, and effective, fright scene. But from there the film goes in an entirely unexpected direction. The way these two relate to each other is fitting, they’re both lost souls. And this is a film about loneliness and the desire for, and difficulty of finding, love. Or any kind of meaningful connection to another person for that matter. Which is scary in its own way when you think about it.
There are scary moments in The Waiting, don’t get me wrong. One of the film’s subplots involves the hotel losing money do to guests being scared off. That also goes someplace unexpected as well. But it does supply some jumps, and laughs, along the way. The lack of scares also translates into a lack of effects. What we get are well done and fit nicely into their scenes, just don’t expect a lot of them.
While maybe not the best bet for those looking for a good scare, The Waiting is an excellent film from a director who has come a long way since Watch Over Us. It might also be a good one to watch with your non-horror loving significant other.
The Waiting is about to hit the festival circuit. You can check the film’s Facebook page for announcements of screenings.