Jamie Marks Is Dead (2014)

6.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great looking, good cast, good concept

Concept fails in underdeveloped story

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Jamie Marks Is Dead

Studio:  Verisimilitude

Genre(s):  Horror/Drama

Release Date(s): Movie Release Date

MPAA Rating: Movie Rating


Yep…he’s dead.

Jamie Marks (Noah Silver) is dead.  His body was found stripped and naked beside the river by Gracie Highsmith (Moran Saylor), and the police assume it is murder.  As the community mourns a boy who never seemed to matter, Adam McCormick (Cameron Monaghan) begins to see Jamie.  Against Gracie’s warnings not to engage Jamie, Adam begins talking to the spirit to find out why he was murdered and why he is still haunting the area…but once some doors are open, they can’t be shut again.

Directed by Carter Smith, Jamie Marks is Dead is based on the 2007 novel One for Sorrow by Christopher Barzak.  The movie premiered at Sundance and was met with mixed reception from critics.


Remember when your mom said wear clean underwear…she wasn’t kidding

I saw a trailer for Jamie Marks Is Dead online and thought it looked rather interesting.  Knowing nothing of the story, I went into it pretty opened minded.  Hoping for some chills and thrills in a murder-mystery ghost story, I watched Jamie Marks Is Dead and found none of it…yet that doesn’t mean everything about the movie is wrong.

I will give Jamie Marks Is Dead this…it is one strange ghost story.  The movie has a bit of an aspect of The Lovely Bones to it in that the death of Jamie Marks becomes almost incidental to the story and it becomes a story about the relationship between Jamie and Adam.  As the story progresses, they form a symbiotic relationship where they both need each other…Adam makes Jamie feel alive and Jamie takes Adam away from his home.  It is an interesting idea, but it doesn’t really form fully and provide the backbone the story needs.


So is finding dead kids a hobby?

I can also say that the trio of main actors are quite good though Morgan Saylor falls by the wayside for much of the film.  The relationship between Cameron Monaghan and Noah Silvers is great and there is a weird sexuality between them which actually is love of life.  Both Liv Tyler and Judy Greer’s characters seem out of place and their parts seem like they are supposed to go somewhere, but they never do.

The movie does look great.  The look and style of shooting is quite strong and Carter Smith’s direction gives it a nice bleak look with realism.  The idea of ghosts standing around watching you and you choosing to acknowledge or ignore them is creepy even if the movie doesn’t use it to its potential.


The dead kid loves life…irony…get it?

Jamie Marks Is Dead is a bit of a sad case.  There is so much potential in this movie and it dos a lot of stuff right…but it also does a lot of things wrong.  A movie that could be a chilling study about teen and life and death comes out as a bit of a bore.  I really wanted to like this movie but instead I found it quite average despite a nice style and an interesting concept.  Jamie Marks Is Dead isn’t DOA, but close.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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