New Mexico, a big state with nothing but clouds and sky and scattered cows in the fields and emptiness, the chance to be alone with your thoughts and the memory of mistakes that can’t be changed, the ghosts of the past always hanging around, waiting to be noticed. For Elena it’s Barry, a random drifter she knocked down on the highway while looking at her phone rather than the road ahead, and for Jessica it’s her former stalker, Kevin.
Friends from high school in California who haven’t seen each other since graduation, it’s a chance encounter at a gas farm in another state that brings them back together, Jessica confident that Kevin is out of her life until he shows up calling her name day and night, something he shouldn’t be able to do since his corpse is already in the trunk of her car.
A film of melancholy and regret, Jethica is directed by Pete Ohs from a script co-written with his cast, Alien: Covenant’s Callie Hernandez (Elena), The Beta Test’s Ashley Denise Robinson (Jessica), The Wolf of Snow Hollow’s Will Madden (Kevin, his singular obsession persisting beyond death) and Andy Faulkner (Benny, his brain fried in the sun, still staggering along the same dirt road where he died).
The ubiquitous presence of roads and cars suggesting progress, Jethica is less about movement than people who have stalled, Kevin and Benny unable to progress to the afterlife, unaware they are even dead, Jessica and Elena as tied to the men they killed as they are to the land Elena inherited from her mystic grandmother whose legacy has allowed them to manifest.
The evidence presented by Jessica confirming that Kevin was clingy, needy and unstable, is his ghost a true representation of all he was, or is it shaped by her perception and memories of him? For better or worse, they have both changed each other’s lives, and Elena’s insight into such matters limits them to three courses of action, two of which fail leaving only the unsettling option of giving Kevin what he wants.
A film both sad and sweet in its own strange way, tied to a dusty landscape where tumbleweeds blow in dry winds and the empty hours make the journey to acceptance and forgiveness inevitable but no less bumpy, Jethica is unshowy, a simple story of actions and consequences which cannot be avoided indefinitely, and unlike its shambling uninvited guests it does not outstay its welcome, clocking in at a manageable seventy-two minutes.
Jethica will be available on streaming platforms from Monday 6th February