Silence is the worst enemy of guilt. There’s nothing there to help assuage it: no words of comfort, no hope for the future, no sounds of reassurance to let you know that you’re going to be just fine in the long run. Just you and your thoughts, which then start to creep up and attack even the tiniest bit of self confidence and goodness. Sometimes, it even brings on the imaging of things that aren’t there — or are they? Bearing that in mind, let’s take a look at Jazz Walker’s short film, Passenger.
Lack of dialogue is always nice because that makes the film far more universal. This is a scenario that we see across cultures: boy kills girl and gets rid of the body, only to have the ghost come back. It’s reassuring in that the guilty party is punished, even if he got away with the crime — there’s the notion that there is no escaping divine justice, which is comforting. I loved that this one didn’t rely on a contorted ghostly face to scare. If you study it, our ghost merely taps on the window, wanting to be let in, emitting a gutteral growl. And really, if you’ve ever been wronged, sometimes, that’s all that you want: to be let in. I think that’s what makes this one so scary: we have all been the person that wants to be let in (whether to obtain an apology or in some cases, revenge) or the person that has done something wrong. It’s the latter scenario that scares us; oftentimes, we don’t want to be on the receiving end of that rage.