“Jethica’s” ghosts are more solitary than living people in general, mostly because they can only touch each other. (Their hands go through the living, like “Ghost.”) Other than that, there is not much difference between the living and the dead in this film. Both hang around, aimless, haunted by the past, and paralyzed by the future. And the film’s whimsical, sardonic approach to its ghost story is refreshing, as is the lack of fear with which its characters confront the dead people in their front yards.
Ohs’ sense of humor recalls the “withsaid Lucky McKee or “Excision” director Richard Bates Jr., but drier. And, like the directors, when one of Ohs’ jokes lands, it rings true. And if not, never. “Jethica’s” comedic instinct is to make Kevin less of a joke, which seems right; who should be mocked here is the psycho stalker. But the way Ohs and his co-writers go about it is to let Kevin speak at length about how he I love Jessica so much and one day he will see that we are really together—a tactic that simultaneously keeps the audience on edge (seriously, he’s really annoying) and softens the edges of Kevin’s crimes.
At one point, Madden walks and monologues for a full four minutes, highlighting another fatal flaw in the film: Even at a trim 70 minutes, “Jethica” feels stuffed, like a a good 30-minute short that revolves around the content of a feature film. . In practice, this means a lot of lingering shots of the mountain valley surrounding Elena’s grandmother’s trailer. Again, this motivation is understandable: An independent film needs to capture production value whenever possible, and the stark landscape of New Mexico in winter adds significant natural beauty to the movie. But it also slows down an unhurried film.