Double Walker made its way to my must-see list after being hugely impressed by lead actress (and producer/screenwriter) Sylvie Mix from her debut in Tribeca breakout Poser. Mix teams up with co-writer and director Colin West for a quiet, intimate horror story that is stylistically intriguing in spite of a barebones story. The minimal use of dialogue makes Double Walker feel almost experimental—this is a film that does not hand-hold the audience. While I applaud the technical skill behind the camera, I felt a bizarre disconnect as the narrative meanders.
Sylvie plays the character Ghost, a young girl who seemingly haunts her hometown as she pieces together the traumas of her past. For the majority of the short runtime, Ghost only has dialogue through narration in which we get her vaguely sketched backstory as a window into her thought process. Ghost begins dispatching men one by one, stalking them and blending in before she goes in for the kill. When movie theater usher Jack (Jacob Rice) takes a personal interest in Ghost, his warm soul forces Ghost to call into question her motivations. She asks Jack a question that is Double Walker’s ultimate thematic endgame: “would you rather live forever as a ghost, or live one more day as a human?”
I don’t think this film could decide what type of genre box it fits into; while in more assured hands this could be a compliment, for Double Walker it is both confounding and frustrating. I should not have to spend half the movie figuring out whether Ghost is actually a ghost, or if she is some weird vampire. The bloodletting is surprisingly tame and quick, a basic-level failure that underestimates audience expectations. While spurts of gruesome violence may not be a sure-fire solution to the many issues, it would serve to dial up the intensity of Ghost’s commitment to avenge her own life.
Shortcomings aside, Double Walker presents an array of gorgeous shots and fascinating ideas. Sylvie Mix is excellent (mainly in the latter half, which gives her way more to do), and clearly is working hard to find her voice both behind the camera and in front of it. I think my expectations may have simply been too high after the stunning knockout of Poser. I look forward to seeing Sylvie’s career trajectory, and where she goes next from here.
Double Walker sinks its teeth into the viewer when it debuts in theaters and on demand on Friday, November 12th.