Movie Review: ‘Anything for Jackson’ – Blood in the Snow Film Festival 2020October 27, 2020
Exorcisms in horror have been done to death, both in a good and bad way. However, in Anything for Jackson, we get a little reverse exorcism and combined with the acting talents of Julian Richings and Shelia McCarthy, turn this movie into a wonderful horror film with some comedic elements as well.
Henry (Richings) and Audrey (McCarthy) have lost their daughter and two-year-old grandson in a car accident and they want their grandson back…at any cost. To this end, they kidnap the pregnant Becker (Konstantina Mantelos) in order to perform a very old Satanic ritual to transfer Jackson’s spirit into Becker’s unborn child. Unfortunately, they also open a doorway that allows other spirits to come calling as well, and they aren’t in the best of moods.
Director Justin G. Dyck and writer Keith Cooper craft a well written and engaging story here, that is heavy on horror, mood and gore yet have some light and funny moments as well. It moves at a good pace, with the viewer never feeling they are wading though some padding or filler in terms of story. Much of that success can be attributed to both Richings and McCarthy, who you can’t help but like at certain points as they fumble and bumble their way through the ritual. What they are doing is wrong of course, and deep down they know it, but they are so full of grief they aren’t really thinking clearly.
Along for the ride and causing the Walsh’s endless headaches are Detective Bellows (Lanette Ware) who is investigating the disappearance of Becker and snow-clearing neighbor Rory (Yannick Bisson) who just really needs a friend. Add Ian (Josh Cruddas) to the mix as their guide through the dark ritual they are trying to perform and you have a small but wonderful cast. Everyone plays their parts well and each part is important.
The movie also looks great, painted in dark colors and lighting from start to finish. Every setting is dark, the house, the doctor’s office, the dreary winter outside, helping to set the tone of the whole film. Although there is a hint of comedy throughout the movie, the sense of dread hangs over everything, because you know damn well that what Audrey and Henry are attempting is beyond their comprehension and shit will hit the fan at some point, which it does in the final act.
There is gore, ghosts, humor, and combined with some solid direction, great story, and wonderful performance, help make Anything for Jackson a wonderful film from start to finish.
Four stars out of five