New on DVD: Ghost Writer

Ghost Writer is a twisted little movie about a man descending into madness, then settling in for the long haul.

John Vandermark (Alan Cumming) is a failed musician turned music teacher. He parades his snobbery and indulges his dramatics in his little personal home theatre. He also has a habit of bringing home stray men, who sometimes turn out to be hustlers. His current charity case is a writer named Sebastian St. Germain (David Boreanaz) – and he's bleeding John dry. Finally, a night of broken furniture and bondage leads to a dead novelist. But that doesn't mean he's going to move out.

Cumming and Boreanaz worked on their chemistry prior to shooting and it shows. Their exchange of insults and hate is tangible. Furthermore, individually they are fittingly despicable. Boreanaz has a strong off-screen presence that he lives up to fully when he finally arrives. He exudes ungrateful sponge. Cumming, on the other hand, is in almost every scene portraying an unravelling, then unravelled, man and he does so believably.

This would be a mediocre ghost story if it weren't for the cast's excellent performances. The narrative is malicious and captivating. Like watching a train wreck, it's difficult not to watch these two destroy each other.

The DVD bonus feature is audio commentary by Cummings, who also directed. It's somewhat amusing how concerned he is about his appearance in the picture, having to look the part rather than like his “better looking” self.

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