The chasm that exists between most 21st-century Americans in addition to their dead is unnatural. For the bulk of human history, death has been a normal, even mundane, role of life: The term “wake” comes from the tradition of bodies spending an extended menses propped upwards inward the parlor earlier burial. (You take to make sure they’re actually dead.) “Jethica” seems like a picture show made past people who already knew that morbid fact. And the celluloid’sec oddball bespeak of sentiment—which includes its own kooky-poignant vision of the afterlife—is its most appealing trait.

“Jethica” has a casual attitude towards expiry in addition to interacting alongside the dead that is, inward a discussion, witchy. This is a witchy picture all around, featuring multiple scenes of its protagonist lighting candles on her altar and some practical necromancy that’second presented inwards the same nonchalant note as scenes of characters pumping gas. Director Pete Ohs collaborated amongst his cast to create the screenplay for “Jethica,” and the cacophony of voices inwards the script evokes the cacophony of talkative spirits hanging around the picture show’second edges. This is a strange film all around, distractible too total of Olympic-degree tonal gambits. Viewers’ mileage volition vary. Wildly.

Even the framing device is odd: “Jethica” opens with Elena (Calle Hernandez) hooking upward alongside a guy inwards the backseat of his machine, so begrudgingly humoring his plea for her to say him something, anything, near herself. And so she tells him a story nigh the time she was laying low inward her grandma’s trailer—y’all’ll notice out why—inward the center of hardscrabble nowhere exterior of Santa atomic number 26. In a coincidence that strains credulity far more than whatever of the celluloid’s supernatural elements, before long later her arrival inward New United Mexican States Elena runs into an sometime friend from high schoolhouse, Jessica (Ashley Denise Robinson), at a deserted gas station. Elena approaches Jessica amongst friendly intentions as well as gets an evasive response. Still, the offer of an isolated hideout seems to appeal to Jessica, together with she agrees to follow Elena dorsum to the trailer.

There, Jessica confesses the reason for her shifty-eyed impromptu route trip: She’sec fleeing a stalker, Kevin (Will Madden), who tracked her across the land from Los Angeles to Santa Fe. (Kevin has a lisp, which explains the film’second title.) As it turns out, Elena is uniquely qualified to assist: She’second a witch, together with her grandma was as well. The trailer is protected by a spell, together with no 1, living or dead, tin can breach it. Now, Elena’second powers don’t extend to banishing the ghosts who wander around her grandma’second property, distinguished from the living by their lost expressions together with a layer of grayness foundation. But the ghosts mightiness be able to assist Jessica alongside her Kevin job.

“Jethica”’second ghosts are lonelier than its living humans overall, generally because they’re alone able to affect each other. (Their hands overstep through the living, like inwards “Ghost.”) Other than that, there’second non much difference betwixt the living and the dead in this film. Both are hanging around, purposeless, haunted by the yesteryear, in addition to paralyzed past the hereafter. And the film’sec quirky, sardonic approach to its ghost story is refreshing, as is the lack of fear amongst which its characters confront the dead people inwards their forepart yard.

Ohs’ sense of sense of humor recalls that of “May”’sec Lucky McKee or “Excision” director Richard Bates Jr., but drier. And, as alongside those directors, when 1 of Ohs’ jokes lands, it actually lands. And when it doesn’t, it actually doesn’t. “Jethica”’sec comedic instinct is to make Kevin the butt of the joke, which seems correct; if anyone should live mocked hither, it’sec the psycho stalker. But the mode Ohs and his co-writers become nigh this is by letting Kevin rant at length about how he just loves Jessica therefore much in addition to ane twenty-four hour period she’ll see that nosotros’re meant to live together—a tactic that simultaneously repels the audience (seriously, he’s really annoying) in addition to softens the edges of Kevin’sec crimes.

At ane indicate, Madden paces in addition to monologues for a total 4 minutes, which highlights the cinema’sec other fatal flaw: Even at a trim back lxx minutes, “Jethica” feels padded out, similar a nifty xxx-infinitesimal brusk rattling around inside of a characteristic film. In practise, this means lots of lingering shots on the mount valley that surrounds Elena’s grandma’second trailer. Again, this impulse is understandable: An independent cinema has to get its production value where it tin can, as well as the stark New United Mexican States landscape inwards wintertime does add together significant natural beauty to the movie. But it also slows downward an already unhurried celluloid.

The best way to depict “Jethica” is every bit a deadpan comedy set inward a horror-moving-picture show universe, amongst the upside-downward morality and pitch-dark humour that the description implies. Bits from famous horror movies are lifted for comedic purposes: Take the cinema’sec use of Goblin-esque musical cues accompanied by Romero-esque shambling whenever a novel ghost is introduced. This cheekiness is pleasing, as well as the originality of Oh’second vision cannot live denied. But it’sec also impossible to ignore that “Jethica” is somehow both chaotic in addition to slow—both, frequently, to a mistake. Still, an ambitious misfire is e’er preferable to something condom together with flavorless. And nothing virtually “Jethica” is prophylactic.

By akagami