Monday, August 16, 2021

Jakob's Wife (2021)

Streaming Services: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Jakob’s Wife (2021)
Genre: Horror
Length: 98 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: AMP International, Eyevox, AMP International, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Première TV Distribution, RLJE Films
Director: Travis Stevens
Writers:  Kathy Charles, Mark Steensland, Travis Stevens
Actors: Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Bonnie Aarons, Phil “C.M. Punk” Brooks, Jay DeVon Johnson, Mark Kelly, Nyisha Bell, Omar Salazar, Robert Rusler, Sarah Lind, Angelie Simone, Ned Yousef, Giovannie Cruz, Armani Desirae, Monica L. Henry, Skeeta Jenkins, Kathe Newcomb
Blurb from IMDb:  Anne, married to a small-town Minister, feels her life has been shrinking over the past 30 years. Encountering "The Master" brings her a new sense of power and an appetite to live bolder. However, the change comes with a heavy body count.

Cat’s Point of View:
Jakob’s Wife started out as a slow burn and then took a delightful turn into enjoyable territory.
My first thoughts were of confusion since the movie starts out with a focus that drifts away from the titular character. Soon enough the reason is clear, however. My next impression was, unfortunately, tedium. The first chunk of Jakob’s Wife nearly lost me. My eyes felt like they might glaze over.
I couldn’t bring myself to relate to the meek and soft-spoken pastor’s wife. I did appreciate that the potential for boldness was just beneath the surface, though, waiting to be set free. I grabbed onto those hints like lifelines, begging things to improve sooner rather than later. Thankfully, Jakob’s Wife delivered relief as the story began to pick up.

While the film is ostensibly a vampire tale, it’s not entirely a traditional one. I can’t say I’ve seen it done exactly in this way before. I don’t want to give any spoilers regarding this particular brand of bloodsucker. Sadly, that keeps me from mentioning too many details about the character of The Master, either. I quite enjoyed the surprise revelation at the end regarding their identity and the method to their madness. I’m hoping that same light bulb moment happens for other viewers as well.
Barbara Crampton (The Lords of Salem, We Are Still Here, Creepshow) really dug her teeth into this part. By the end, I was able to forgive the blandness of her character in the beginning. The difference became literally night and day. Larry Fessenden (Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, Southbound, The Dead Don't Die) brought subtle comedy into this genre flick while at the same time embodying the Minister role to a T.

I couldn’t say that Jakob’s Wife is a pure genre production, as IMDb would suggest. It’s largely a social commentary on marriage along the lines of a drama; and stays mostly in that lane until the horror elements creep in.
While some of the gore effects were a little on the hokey side with blood fountains galore, the effects for Jakob’s Wife were solid and predominantly practical. The big-bad character design was really interesting as well. I enjoyed that while somewhat following the traditional vampire recipe, they threw these new ingredients into the mix and had that reflected in the creature effects also.
When all was said and done, I found myself entertained by Jakob’s Wife and adoring the way things ended.
If you’d like to catch this new spin on a vampire tale, you can check out this Shudder Exclusive premiering on Thursday, August 19th.
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 85%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 63%
Metascore – 59%
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.3/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 3.5/5
Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – R
Movie Trailer:

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