Review: CLARA’S GHOST Is A Quirky Horror-Comedy

FIRST IMPRESSION

Clara's Ghost is a quirky horror-comedy, and that provides for a surprising and interesting experience, but the film does lose its footing at times.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Clara’s Ghost is a new film written and directed by Bridey Elliot and starring Elliot and her family. The movie is about a woman who finds solace from the constant drama of her showbusiness family in a supernatural entity that inhabits their home. It debuted at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews.

If you have ever wondered what a horror film made by Hal Ashby would be like, look no further. This movie is an always odd, frequently amusing, and often interesting blend of quirky comedy and supernatural horror. This probably seems like a combination that wouldn’t work, but surprisingly, it mostly does.

The main thing that makes this film so appealing is that it is so ambiguous for most of its runtime. You are trying to figure out not only what is happening, but what the movie is trying to say and even what it wants to be. Every once in a while, this does begin to become somewhat aggravating, but when everything comes together, the reward is great.

clara's ghost adelia
Isidora Goreshter as Adelia in“CLARA’S GHOST”, a film by Orion Classics. Photo courtesy of Orion Classics.

The film does meander a few times, though. In some scenes, it seems to lose track of its plot and begins to feel more loosely contemplative. This would have been fine if this were the intention; however, this seemed less like a deliberate move and more like a side-track.

The movie also struggles with character development. Obviously, the protagonist’s family is not meant to be likable, as the story is literally about her trying to get away from her family drama. The protagonist should be compelling, though, and she just isn’t sympathetic enough. At times, we sympathize with her because of how awful her family is, but there is nothing else to make her appeal to the audience further.

claras ghost sisters
(L-R) Abby Elliott as Julie and Bridey Elliott asRileyin the “CLARA’S GHOST”, a film by Orion Classics. Photo courtesy of Orion Classics.

In fact, the most interesting and sympathetic character is an outsider, played by Haley Joel Osment. He is as charming as ever in the role, adding a lot of comedy to the film. That being said, he plays the lovable fool character, and that character doesn’t have enough impact on the story. If only the characters that truly impacted the story were more compelling.

The execution is great, though. The visual style is very retro and works quite well. The whole movie has a grainy, homemade feel to it that makes it more immersive and absorbing. The music is also refreshingly old-school and lends it a classy, retro vibe.

Overall, Clara’s Ghost is a solid film with an interesting tone and premise. Although it does stumble a few times, especially towards the middle, it is a unique and satisfying watch.

Clara’s Ghost opens in theaters December 6 and is on VOD beginning December 7.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

HBO Replay: Single and Fabulous? | Sex and the City

If you're going to call Carrie Bradshaw single and fabulous, there had better be an exclamation point at the end of that sentence. #HBOReplays brings you the must-rewatch scenes from your favorite shows, specials, and more. #HBO #SexandtheCity #CarrieBradshaw Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 How do single women and men find mates in New…

AXIOS on HBO: Melinda Gates on U.S. Leadership & COVID-19 Crisis (Clip) | HBO

Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses leadership as the major determining factor in the impact of COVID-19 in the United States. #HBO #AxiosOnHBO #MelindaGates Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Known for delivering news, coverage, and insight with a distinctive brand of smart brevity, Axios on HBO helps viewers better…

Niko Gutiérrez-Kovner | The Latinx List • All Accents Welcome

Niko Gutiérrez-Kovner sits down with his parents for a conversation about Latin Heritage Month and representation in TV and film. ABOUT THE LATINX LIST The Black List has teamed with Hulu for the 2020 Latinx List, which focuses one-hour and half-hour original pilots written by at least one Latinx writer and featuring a Latinx or…

How To with John Wilson: Official Teaser | HBO

Buckle up, baby. From Executive Producer Nathan Fielder, How To with John Wilson premieres Oct 23 at 11PM on @HBOMax. #HBO #HBODocs Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Stream on HBO Max: http://itsh.bo/hbo-max Get More HBO Official Site: https://itsh.bo/dotcom Twitter: https://twitter.com/HBODocs Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hbo Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hbodocs How To with John Wilson: Official Teaser | HBO

We Are Who We Are: Meet the Characters | Caitlin, Richard, Danny, and Jenny | HBO

Jordan Kristine Seamón, Scott Mescudi, Spence Moore II, and Faith Alabi introduce you to their characters in the new series from Luca Guadagnino. #HBO #WeAreWhoWeAre #JordanKristineSeamón #KidCudi #SpenceMooreII #FaithAlabi Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 From Luca Guadagnino, the director of Call Me By Your Name, We Are Who We Are follows a group of…

Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth | Official Trailer | HBO

The rise and fall of a beloved shock jock. Wild Card: The DownFall of a Radio Loudmouth premieres October 7 at 9 pm on HBO and HBOMax. #HBO #HBODocs #WildCardHBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Stream on HBO Max: http://itsh.bo/hbo-max Get More HBO Official Site: https://itsh.bo/dotcom Twitter: https://twitter.com/HBODocs Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hbo Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hbodocs Wild Card:…

‘She Knows Something’ Ep. 3 Official Clip | Love Fraud | SHOWTIME

Jean calls up Lee, a former girlfriend of Rick (also known as Scott), trying to figure out his location. Will they find him? Watch the finale this Sunday at 9/8c on SHOWTIME. #SHODocs #LoveFraud Subscribe to the SHOWTIME YouTube channel: http://goo.gl/esCMib Don’t have SHOWTIME? Order now: https://s.sho.com/1HbTNpQ Get SHOWTIME merchandise now: https://s.sho.com/33FGC1D Get more SHOWTIME:…

The 100 | Season 7 Episode 14 | A Way Out Scene | The CW

Stream new episodes of The 100 Thursdays free only on The CW: http://go.cwtv.com/genHNDyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About THE 100: The human race returns, after a 97-year exile in space, to a wildly transformed Earth...only to discover that the human race had never truly left. Clarke found herself forced to lead a band of disposable juvenile delinquents…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here