Paranormal investigations have long enjoyed their fair share of spins onscreen, from horror franchises like the wildly popular “Paranormal Activity” series to small screen reality TV takes like “Ghost Hunters” and “Paranormal State,” but recent iterations of the horror subgenre haven’t always utilized such stories as dramatic deep dives into the existence of the living. Paul Harrill’s Sundance premiere “Light From Light” offers a deep-thinking corrective and a push away from jump-scare-heavy entries, using timeless horror concepts like “ghosts!” and “haunted houses!” and “paranormal inspections!” to explore other facets of the human condition. In short, the most fascinating beings in the film aren’t necessarily the dead ones.
Per the film’s official synopsis: “Gifted with sometimes-prophetic dreams and a lifelong interest in the paranormal, Sheila (Marin Ireland) is asked to investigate a potential haunting at a Tennessee farmhouse. It’s there she meets Richard (Jim Gaffigan), a recent widower who believes his wife may still be with him. The investigation that ensues — which eventually pulls in Sheila’s son, Owen and his classmate Lucy — forces them to confront the mysteries of their own lives.” The film also stars Josh Wiggins, Atheena Frizzell, and David Cale.
Both Gaffigan (best known to most for his comedic stylings, though he’s recently begun pushing into more dramatic territory; at Sundance, he was also seen in the religious drama “Them That Follow”) and Ireland (a Tony nominee who has enjoyed thrilling turns in TV picks like “Sneaky Pete” and indie breakouts like “Hell or High Water” and “Glass Chin,” which earned the actress her first Indie Spirit nomination) subvert expectations in “Light From Light,” approaching the material with sensitivity and curiosity.
A slow burn drama that isn’t shy about exploring the great mysteries of life (and death), “Light From Light” is a very different kind of ghost story, a bent that’s on full display in its haunting and meditative first trailer. Grasshopper Film will open “Light From Light” on November 1 in New York at the Quad Cinema and on November 8 in Los Angeles at Landmark’s Nuart. Check out the film’s first trailer and poster, exclusively on IndieWire, below.