The death of a young man strikes at the heart of an insular, rural Quebecois community that has clearly already been soured by shared tragedies. But as this elegantly unnerving drama peels back the mundane veneer of life in Irénée-les-Neiges, it finds a disquiet that manifests itself in supernatural visitations. The dead are returning and, like their curtain-twitching living counterparts, they seem to be passing judgment.
The film’s blend of the prosaic and the otherworldly calls to mind Joachim Trier’s Thelma, although the approach here is more understated. Adapted from a novel by Canadian writer Laurence Olivier, it makes no bones about its more overt themes – hostility towards strangers, territorialism – but these conceal a deeper mystery. It’s a mystery that includes outbreaks of spontaneous levitation and seems unlikely to be solved by either the townsfolk and their ghostly visitors or the film’s audience.
• Ghost Town Anthology is streaming on Mubi from 21 April
Source: The Guardian