Ever since I first saw Something, AnythingI’ve been eager to see what filmmaker Paul Harrill will do next.

Now I have an answer: Light from Light, a softspoken, large-hearted, ambitious ghost story starring Marin Ireland and Jim Gaffigan.

I’m working on a review of Light from Light, which I’ve seen twice and enjoying it more with each visit. But as Autumn Quarter is giving me more than eighty essays and assignments per week to carefully read, respond to, and grade, my writing has been slowed to a near standstill. So, rather than miss the opportunity to share my enthusiasm about this film, I’ll point you to some other thought-provoking, substantial writing about Harrill’s latest.

I’d love to share the Variety review with you, but they drop major spoilers, in my opinion. So wait and look that one up some other time.

Alissa Wilkinson praises the film as “an extraordinary and thought-provoking film for skeptics and believers alike.” She interviewed Harrill, Gaffigan, and Ireland for Vox.

At The National Catholic Register and Decent Films, Steven Greydanus raves, “I’m tempted to call Light from Light the first ghost story I’ve ever seen that I completely believe.”

He explains, “There’s no whiff of horror tropes or supernatural fantasy, that is, to beg our suspension of disbelief. Characters and events are as persuasively true to life as the best of (say) filmmakers Kenneth Lonergan or Richard Linklater.”

And then he digs into the substance of what the film is so powerfully inviting us to contemplate: “Fear of loss can move us to guard our hearts — or to seize the moment, to risk for the sake of living and loving.”

You can also read Greydanus’s substantial interview with Harrill at The National Catholic Register.

At Cinemawayward, Joel Mayward writes

Harrill’s beautifully haunting ghost story is interested in exploring the big ideas of metaphysics and human existence within the context of intimate, unassuming character studies. Its ethos is more spiritual than religious, more about wondering about the possibility of the impossible than offering any firm propositional truths. Any revelation is only partial, but even a partial disclosure of transcendence is enough to elicit a frisson of awe.

Is the film’s contemplative tone too quiet? Vikram Murthi at The AV Club writes

While the contemplative tone and measured pacing are definitely features instead of bugs, Light Of Light is so anodyne at times that it borders on inert. Harrill is poignantly, sensitively attuned to the emotional states of his characters. Yet it often feels like that’s the only thing being offered in Light From Light, which hits the same note repeatedly—a problem, even when the note is haunting and it’s being struck for just 82 minutes.

But Jordan Raup at The Filmstage doesn’t appear to be troubled:

If the jump scares and horror set pieces of Paranormal Activity or The Conjuring franchises were exchanged for an authentic reckoning of the tangled emotions the departed may leave behind, you have something close to Light From Light. There’s a palpable tension to this story of paranormal investigating, but rather than injecting the expected terror, the film’s power lies in never seeing ghost hunting depicted so grounded and character-driven before.

Light From Light‘s strength is focusing on the details of life laid bare, both what we see captured through the director’s keen eye and the experiences awaiting those that are willing to partake in. In the span of only around 80 minutes, Harrill builds a space for his actors to fully inhabit their characters, leading to a blissfully satisfying, profoundly spiritual conclusion.