NYT Critic's Pick: Bridey Elliott's CLARA'S GHOST

‘Clara’s Ghost’ Review: A Family of Performers, a Night of Hysteria

By Teo Bugbee
Feb. 13, 2019


Clara’s private, phantasmal liberation signals the influence of the John Cassavetes film “Opening Night,” but Bridey’s images do not aspire to the sensuousness of that inspiration. The Reynolds’ house may be haunted, but it does not look foreboding — in fact, it’s hard to think of any shot that is memorable in any way. Over time, this visual slackness proves to be a sinuous strength. It prevents the film from indicating its intentions, which would remove the mystery from the tense relationships it depicts. As is perhaps appropriate, given the comic occupations of the Reynolds (and the Elliott) family, this unusual, unsettling and terrific little film presents itself not as a domestic opera, but as a family comedy.

Caryn Coleman