The horror genre is a good starting point for any novice director. Financially, you are likely to attract more investors if your low-budget film turns out to be a horror film. Most of them are not that expensive and there are a lot of people who want to see something scary, disturbing or disgusting.
But apart from the market value of the horror function, the genre is also an ideal playground for the efforts of art houses. A horror movie should not only tell the story of a crazy chaser of girlfriends with big breasts – not that there’s anything wrong with that – it can tell a lot more. Several exemplary horror films have covered important topics in a lively way. Genre directors like George A. Romero and Wes Craven have treated many aspects of social injustice. One of the most interesting films about race relations was actually a horror film: Go away, Jordan Peel. Netflix recently released a fantastic horror film called His Home, which tells the story of a haunted house whose tenants are Sudanese refugees.
But even when we talk about films that deepen the general state of mourning or aging, there are films like Babadok, Heredity or Relica 2020. Three films that are as strong in their emotional content as the conventions of the genre.
Streaming services like Shudder expose a lot of people to small independent horror movies that otherwise wouldn’t get the attention they deserve. Like Anything for Jackson, which premiered earlier this month in Shroud.
Everything for Jackson is another great horror film about grief, and as in the aforementioned films, the emotional journey of his characters is as effective as the use of fear.
Everything for your grandson….
In the opening we meet the elderly couple Audrey (Sheila McCarthy) and Henry Walsh (Julian Richings) who, after a pleasant breakfast devoted to the pants short of breath, kidnap a pregnant woman named Shannon (Constantine Manthelos) – this scene is presented in a large two-minute single shot.
Their motifs will soon be revealed: They want to bring their deceased grandson Jackson (Duckston William Lund) to life by performing a satanic ritual designed to transmit his spirit to Shannon’s unborn child.
At first, like Jackson’s spirit, Shannon, they hope to appear with enthusiasm, a promising sign for future events. Using texts from an old book, they perform a ritual.
But shortly afterwards, the three main characters visit the disturbing spirits, all desperately trying to soothe the body of the unborn baby Shannon. While the old couple tries to solve the problem, the many obstacles that follow result in a big and unfortunate massacre.
But the couple will do anything to give their grandson a chance to live again…
No one has more time than a grieving family.
What makes Jackson as interesting as a horror movie are his morally dubious heroes. Walsh has to do terrible things: kidnap a pregnant woman and, depending on the circumstances, kill her if it means the resurrection of her grandson.
But it’s impossible not to regret their situation. His motives are not selfish. The end result of their monstrous act can lead to the resurrection of the child’s life. They’re not angry, they’re grieving. These people are suffering, and the more the film develops and the more we learn about their past, the more sympathy we feel for them.
They, in turn, are also antagonists to the film. Shannon’s the victim here. They chose her because of her weak position in society. She doesn’t deserve to be hurt, but if she disappears, a lot of people won’t miss her.
But that makes it all very good for Jackson. We know this is impossible, but we want all three of us to finally find peace and happiness. Wales is desperate for grief. It’s the most painful of all human experiences. The couple understands the pain they’ve inflicted on Shannon, but they’ve accepted it. Believe me when I tell you that we’ve thought of everything, Sheila told Shannon, who grabbed him and closed him down, no one has more time than a grieving family. Nobody…
Sheila McCarthy and Julian Richings
The concerts are going well, even though it’s definitely Sheila McCarthy and Julian Richings. The whole film depends on their chemistry and the plausibility of their relationship. Even though she is interested in black magic, the sweet nature of their relationship persists. You can feel the time they spend together in their behavior. They’re both absolutely believable, like a couple that’s been sleeping together for decades.
Their common scenes also give us a lot of black humour throughout the film. Their warm jokes and casual conversation topics – typical conversations of a ten-year-old couple – are a welcome distraction from the inevitable horror that will follow.
At the same time, the characters don’t play for fun. Given the age of their characters, there was plenty of room for cheap gags, but the script is much higher than that. Their age, their alienation from the modern world are obvious, but not simulated. Periodic humour comes naturally without forcing the faith of the characters.
As in a drama, everything works for Jaxom as a study of the path people are willing to take to correct their grief. Like a horror film, the film works for its true part in the sinister moments. Despite the fact that there are sometimes familiar musical rhythms of horror strings and a few jumps, the greatest effect is the widespread use of inspired visual effects. One of the best sequences contains a mind that tends to floss compulsively. Another effective order is that of the ghost in a homemade ghost costume, walking around the house begging for the soul.
These fears are represented by interesting camera perspectives – one of the most remarkable is a brief look at the mind itself as it ascends into the elevator. In addition to paranormal phenomena, there are also some raids, even an astonishing example of decomposition.
The filmography of director Justin G. Dyke is also interesting because his curriculum vitae is combined with holiday films in the style of Hallmark. It is not the best choice for such a project. It’s like he kills years with this thoughtful piece of film work.
One of the best horror films of 2020
Of course, the film is not perfect. The end didn’t really work. Without spoiling too much, let’s say that there is a turning point with a secondary character who feels superfluous.
Still, everything for Jackson remains one of the best horror films released this year. A good example of this genre that has an infinite lifespan, when filmmakers are willing to take a risk.
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