Sommerleigh Pollonais, Horror Head Writer
Plot: A bereaved couple kidnap a pregnant woman so they can use an ancient spellbook to put their dead grandson’s spirit into her unborn child. Instead they end up summoning more than they bargained for.
Review: So I saw three new horror movies this week and like Goldilocks the third one was just right! Anything for Jackson is the kind of horror movie gem you just love to find. You know little to nothing about it, the reviews sound promising, and in the end you find it lived up to expectations you didn’t even know you had.
Actors Sheila McCarthy and Julian Richings play Audrey and Henry respectively. They are an older couple who seem quite lovely, with their beautiful home and their cute morning banter. But the movie quickly establishes they are anything but ordinary when in the first ten minutes they kidnap a young pregnant woman and hold her hostage. Their ultimate goal? To summon a demon who will use her unborn child as a vessel for their deceased grandson Jackson. What starts out as a dark comedy turns straight-up horrific, and I was on board for every minute of it.
I love a good horror comedy, the likes of Shaun of the Dead or Zombieland, but I loved how Anything for Jackson got darker and deadlier as it unfolded, kind of like Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. McCarthy and Richings also manage to imbue their characters with so much depth and humanity, you might find yourself strangely disappointed when things don’t go their way. Which isn’t a spoiler by the way. Everyone whose ever seen a horror movie knows summoning a demon and hoping to have your wishes granted is NEVER going to work out. This ain’t Aladdin folks!
Huge props to director Justin G. Dyck for the smart choices he employed to pull you into his story and never let you go. The jump scares are extremely effective, the characters are all well-constructed (and, thanks to the actors, well-performed) and the blood and gore is just the right amount for a movie as sharp and twisted as this one.
If you’re like me and you initially missed out on this one when it dropped last year it’s not too late to catch up. This film would’ve easily made my Top 20 list in 2020 if I had known of it then. And remember, if you come across a thousand year-old book with weird drawings and symbols in it, maybe put it back where you found it. To take a page out of singer Meat Loaf’s book, “I would do Anything for Jackson, but I won’t do that.”
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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