Ghosts of the Ozarks

Watch Ghosts of the Ozarks

  • 2021
  • 1 hr 40 min
  • 4.6  (623)

Ghosts of the Ozarks is a mystery thriller with atmospheric tinges of horror, set in the post-Civil War period. Directed by Matt Glass and Jordan Wayne Long, the film weaves together elements of folklore, suspense, and the supernatural as it delves into the story of a young doctor who discovers the eerie secrets of a reclusive town nestled in the Ozark Mountains.

The film kicks off with Dr. James McCune, played with earnest conviction by Thomas Hobson, who is summoned to the remote and isolated town by his Uncle Matthew (Phil Morris), to tend to the community's medical needs. With the war's wounds still fresh and the Reconstruction era creating new social tumult, James arrives with an idealistic perspective, eager to offer his medical expertise. However, he steps into a town shrouded in mystery and governed by unspoken rules that hint at a fractured society deliberately cut off from the wider world.

The townsfolk are a peculiar ensemble; they exhibit a mingling of gracious Southern hospitality and an undercurrent of xenophobia, tempered by what seems to be a unifying fear of what lies beyond the town's borders. The peculiarities of the town are further accented by Tara Perry's character, Annie, who becomes a pivotal figure in showing James around and introduces a potential romantic subplot to the narrative.

Ghosts of the Ozarks sets itself apart through its distinctive blend of genres. It's as much a sociological drama as it is a ghost story, examining the trauma left by the war and the deep-seated fears that can lead a community to make pacts and succumb to superstition. The narrative builds an eerie ambiance, as the town is enveloped in a dense fog every night, an allegory for the ambiguous moral and ethical cloud that seems to hang over this secluded establishment. The ghosts in the title are both literal and metaphorical, referring to both the spectral presences that haunt the town and the psychological ghosts of the past that torment its denizens.

Central to the film's escalating tension is the nightly curfew that pins the town's residents indoors, supposedly for their protection. But protection against what, exactly? Tales of shadowy figures and strange sounds permeate the town's collective conscience, fueling a sense of dread about the woods that encircle their community. The border, marked by ominous high fences and watchtowers, is guarded by a group of masked figures, adding a quasi-dystopian layer to the film's rich genre tapestry.

The movie's atmosphere benefits greatly from the period-accurate set design and costumes, evoking the rustic yet claustrophobic life in a postbellum society struggling to rebuild itself. The cinematography employs a restricted color palette, casting the Ozarks in a perpetual twilight that mirrors the story's gravitas. Additionally, the film incorporates a motif of folklore with its music, which often includes haunting renditions of traditional songs that augment the narrative's embracement of Southern Gothic elements.

Phil Morris's Uncle Matthew is a man bound by duty, but he also appears to be harboring deep secrets about the town's real nature. His relationship with James becomes a conduit for the latter's growing questioning of the town and its residents' complacent fearfulness. While the film is a suspenseful ride, it's not merely content with superficial scares. The script, co-written by Long, Tara Perry, and Sean Anthony Davis, probes the darker aspects of human psychology and communal behavior under the pretext of defending against unknown enemies.

As James delves deeper into the town's secrets, the audience is thrust into a crucible of moral ambiguity, where it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish friend from foe, or reality from superstition. James's medical rationality conflicts with the folklore-infused belief system that the town clings to, making his journey not just one of uncovering the mysteries at play but also questioning his own values and the nature of truth.

Ghosts of the Ozarks is a film that requires its audience to be patient, as it gradually unpicks the threads of its narrative rather than hurtling towards the revelations. The pacing is deliberate, drawing viewers in with tantalizing breadcrumbs of information and glimpses into the shadowy forces at work.

In short, Ghosts of the Ozarks is a film that offers viewers a layered narrative, one that combines the haunting appeal of ghost stories, the dense psychological examination of community dynamics, and the eerie allure of an isolated town with an unsettling history. It's a movie made for those who relish slow-burn mysteries and can appreciate the chilling mix of folklore and history against the backdrop of the American South's complex, post-Civil War landscape.

Ghosts of the Ozarks is a 2021 western with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.6.

Ghosts of the Ozarks
Where to Watch Ghosts of the Ozarks
Ghosts of the Ozarks is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Ghosts of the Ozarks for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 40 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    4.6  (623)