Ghosts of the Void
by Christie Robb
Jason Miller’s directorial debut Ghosts of the Void is successfully unsettling.
Jen (Tedra Millan, Daddy’s Girl) is barely keeping her shit together. She’s been supporting her husband Tyler’s (Michael Reagan, Lovecraft Country) ambition to become a novelist. He’d shown promise in college, but now they’ve been evited from their home and are trying to find an inconspicuous place to park for the night with only $40 and the contents of the car to their names.
They’ve driven to the “nice” side of town, just outside a country club’s fence. But physical proximity to the middle class will not be enough to secure their safety.
Jen’s not slept in weeks. They don’t have health insurance. And what’s with those creepy masked folks in the woods?
The film flashes back from the couple’s chilly car to scenes of the past, depicting the growing strain of the financial and creative pressures on their marriage and Jen’s growing emotional servitude to an unstable partner.
With a cast of just eight people and a very limited number of locations, Miller delivers an unexpected amount of creeping unease. Danger could come from multiple angles, so you find yourself scanning the screen, hoping to keep one step ahead of the jump scare.
Millan and Reagan deliver layered and realistic performances that keep the pace of this slow-burn of a character-driven horror moving.
With themes of financial and housing insecurity and lack of access to health care, Miller really taps into the ways in which the American capitalist system can easily shift from an ambitious dream to a living nightmare.