Sunday, November 10, 2013

Jack the Reaper - Review - @BrandonCSites / #Horror


Jack the Reaper (2011) *
D: Kimberly Seilhamer
C: Tony Todd, Sally Kirkland, Douglas Tait 

Plot Synopsis: A bus carrying a group of high school students on a field trip crashes in the middle of a long stretch of desert. To occupy their time, the kids check out a nearby carnival that is supposedly haunted by a creature known as Railroad Jack, a creature that is intent on laying claim to souls and ushering them into the afterlife. 

REVIEW: Anytime the plot revolves around a big plot twist, that plot twist needs to either be interesting, unpredictable and/or shocking. The main problem with Jack the Reaper, is that the plot twist is rather predictable. We've all seen it a million times before and we've seen it done a million times before far more interestingly. So what we're left with is a film that drags from one scene to next for well over an hour, waiting for the main characters to figure out what's going on. 

Screen veterans Tony Todd & Sally Kirkland have one scene each and there one scene is towards the beginning of the film. They both turn in competent performances, but they only have one scene. There's only so much that they can do within the context of a scene. 

Another element that the film misses out on is in the use of the film's carnival setting. The filmmaker's somehow or another find to fail the nostalgia and whimsy in a carnival setting, but more & likely, that really wouldn't have mattered. Jack the Reaper was fundamentally flawed to begin with due to poor plotting. What strengths the film had going for it, get sidelined. 

Jack the Reaper wasn't so bad in a way that made me want to cut off the film, but it wasn't interesting enough in a way that made me want to give it 100% of my attention either. Films like this are best suited for when you have to pay bills, do household chores, answer e-mails, etc. [R] 86 mins.

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