Tuesday, 13 January 2015


"Jessabelle" (2014, Kevin Gruertert, Blumhouse Productions, Lionsgate) is a strange horror film.

Jessie (Sarah Snook) and her fiancé are about to move in together and have a baby. But this is a horror movie, so before they can get that far they have a horrific car accident which kills him and causes Jessie to lose the baby and the use of her legs.

Several months later, Jessie moves back to her dad's house to recuperate. Her dad, a strange and impulsive man, puts her up in her mum's old room. Jessie finds a shoebox marked "Jessabelle" filled with video tapes. She plays the first one to discover that it's her mum giving her a tarot card reading from beyond the grave. Her mother tells her that there's someone in the house with her and they want rid of her.

Terrified, Jessie begins to experience creepy happenings. This is by far the film's strong point. The effects are good, the scenes with the bed are really effective and, although clichéd, the mirror scares are really well done.

Eventually, Jessie and her friend, Preston (Mark Webber), begin to unravel the strange circumstances surrounding Jessie's family and the deeper they go, the more convoluted the plot becomes.

In fact, the plot was so complicated that I just did not understand a whole segment at the end. It was holding it together until the last act when it just got very cheesy and complex. The scares were promising and, as tropey as the action was, it was an otherwise well paced film with Sarah Snook providing a strong, yet sympathetic lead role, however, the plot just goes haywire at the last moment, going from slow burning creepfest to fast action, voodoo-ghosty-adultery-racism vibes. It just makes a mess.

[Image: Blumhouse Productions]

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