Jessabelle (2014)

Director: Kevin Greutert
Writer: Robert Ben Garant
Stars: Sarah Snook, Mark Webber, Joelle Carter

Jessie (Snook) is moving into her boyfriends house and is also expecting a child. Shortly after leaving her old house behind they are involved in a car accident, her boyfriends pickup being t-boned by a large truck. Jessie awakes in hospital only to be told that unfortunately her unborn baby did not survive. Neither did her boyfriend. Two months later after much rehabilitation and treatment, she is allowed to go home, or more relevantly, to her fathers home to continue her recuperation.

Jessie’s dad Leon (Andrews) lives in an isolated house by a river. The house is old, dilapidated and a little creepy (as these houses always are). Dad does not speak much and he tells Jessie that she can stay in her mothers old room. Her first night back home is restless and it appears that she may be seeing things too. The next morning it Jessie is home alone, and while looking around comes across some video tapes that her mother made for her before she was born. The contents of which become more chilling.

Ok now the first thing wrong with this film is the audio. I moan time and time again about bad audio and here’s another film that just gets it all wrong. The music is far too loud for the dialogue, along with the area affects and background ambience. Everything drowns out what is being said and it quickly becomes annoying. It is also badly equalized, with the loud sections bursting your eardrums while seconds later you are turning up the volume.

The acting is passable if nothing spectacular but then none of them have a great deal to do, with the exception of Snook. Snook is actually a reasonable actress but the material and direction given to her here is not the best. The script is very lazy and quite simplified and the story tries to use jump scares more than intelligence or actual good film making to build atmosphere. Unfortunately (if you rely on them) most of these jump scares miss their mark and fail, resulting in a rather weak dull story that plods along with no real pace.

Jessabelle is also jam-packed full of inconsistencies with many things seeming rather absurd and pointless. I won’t go into the main part of the plot and its twist, but really, why wait twenty years? Just completely nonsensical in every way (other than for making this dumb movie). Set in Louisiana, the fake accents begin to grate very quickly, it is a real shame they couldn’t find a suitable filming location and had to film in another state. Not sure why though, when most of the film is shot in the interior of a house (or set design of one).

In the end it is difficult to be kind to this movie as there is not a lot going for it and plenty going wrong with it, though I have certainly seen worse films this year alone. If you’re bored one night then stick it on to help get some shut-eye, otherwise give this one a miss.

The Sage’s Rating:
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Posted in Horror, Thriller and tagged , , , , .

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