So there you have it. Crowe tries to help Cole, Cole kills him, Crowe-Ghost travels back in time and tries to help again, only to realize that he is dead.
The twist in this movie is so insane without this theory, but hopefully it got just that much more insane.
- The ghosts from decades or centuries earlier haven't randomly traveled through time to the future, they've just been on Earth, unchanging, since whenever they died.
- What if it's not that Ghost Crowe traveled through time but rather that Cole is both a medium AND pre-cog medium, meaning he can communicate with, channel and summon ghosts from his own future. So he communicates with the ghost of a man he will kill in the future.
- No time travel needed. It's established that ghosts see what the want to see. Both Cole and Crowe wanted to see that they were alive, so they both created this mutual world where Crowe was taking care of Cole's problem. Cole lives with his mom (who may also be dead) and Crowe haunts the basement of his own house. Everyone sees what they want, and Crowe's wife goes on with her life. BTW, it may also be that there are other ghosts watching Crowe, Cole, the mother and the wife and seeing what they want, too. They would be the audience.
- Try it this way: Crowe did get shot, but he survived. It's not like he got shot in the heart, there's a chance he could have lived. So now it's next year, and his career is ruined because word gets out about his former patient going psychotic. He's obsessed with redeeming himself, and he secretly "helps" Cole despite his license being revoked. His wife hates him for ignoring her in favor of Cole (forgetting his anniversary etc.) All the original interpretations of her scenes were correct. He so much wants to help Cole and to believe his wife loves him, but the only way to do so is to buy into Cole's hallucinations, even though they are only hallucinations. Soon he starts hallucinating too, at first "hearing" the ghost on the tape (a conveinent explanation that relieves him of guilt for failing with the other boy, and shows him how to redeem himself with Cole) and then at the end believing himself to be dead. When his wife says "Why did you leave me?" she's referring to him abandoning her in favor of his crazy belief in ghosts and obsessing over Cole. She's watching their wedding video to remember happier times. He can't face that, just like he can't face failure with the other boy or Cole, so the rest of the scene is his hallucination. She has his wedding ring because he forgot it, being selfish and obsessed, and she's throwing it on the floor in disgust.
- It's worth noting that Crowe got shot in the stomach, which is a death sentence. The acid gets out and starts eating away at the surrounding tissue.
1. In North, Elijah Wood has an imaginary friend played by Bruce Willis that no one else can see and that tries to get him to work out his own demons.
2. With Drop Dead Fred, it's the same story, but without the Willis connection and more of a horror movie style]] to it to begin with.
All M. Night really had to do was swap out the imaginary friend angle with the twist everyone already knows and you get the same basic logic... and a much better movie.
- In any case, Bruce Willis's character(s) in North was NOT invisible to everyone but North. For instance, in Texas the other workers at the ranch introduce him and speak of him, saying things like, "He's killed for less than that."
- It's actually a remake of a story from Are you Afraid of the Dark? no...seriously
- The only explanation.... other than the fact that she's still haunting their house and can watch her mother doing this to the sister now.
- The last thing she would have remembered in life was the pain of whacking her head on the bathroom sink as she fell regretting her decision. Hence the bruise forever wounds her psyche so it is part of her ghost.
- Conversely, Cole only sees ghosts of people who had unfinished business that they wanted his help with. Most people who died peacefully in their sleep had reconciled things before they departed, but Cole's grandmother didn't, which was why she appeared to him.
- Or, the grandmother stayed to help the mother with Cole's burden. The mom comes to believe in Cole's "ghost sight" because Cole was able to tell his mom a secret that only the grandmother would have heard, after her death.
- Perhaps it is because of the grandmother Cole can see ghosts. She died with this one seemingly small regret that she never told her daughter she saw her dance, but now with the omniscient perspective of the afterlife she realizes this one little event has caused her daughter so much pain, pain the daughter is even passing on to the grandchild. The grandmother's spirit desperately tries to reach the daughter who won't hear her, but the grandchild, being a wide eyed kid is of open mind and while he can't quite hear his grandmother he begins listening and hearing other ghosts who are basically screaming louder in the pyschic plane.
- Both had similar backgrounds.
- They never want to be alone.
- It's kind of odd that they both see the same psychiatrist.