FILM REVIEW: JAKOB'S WIFE
NOW PLAYING AT HARKINS TUCSON SPECTRUM 18
Cult horror film goddess Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, From Beyond) gets the modern day bloody vampire film she deserves in Jakob’s Wife, a fittingly uncomfortable, gory, and often funny effort from writer-director Travis Stevens.
Crampton plays Anne, wife of preacher Jakob (Larry Fessenden). Anne’s life is a bit on the mundane side, that is until she gets attacked by a vampire in an old, abandoned warehouse and gets “the thirst.”
The movie has an eerie slow-burn start, a sort of old school, TV movie from the seventies feel even though it’s set in the present. It takes its time revving up in its first half, but when it pulls the rip-cord and goes nutty, it goes off the rails in a surprisingly fun way. That’s when the movie feels less like Salem’s Lot and more like the bonkers Stuart Gordon eighties horror that Crampton once called home.
This might just be her best screen work yet, a fully realized character that goes from church mouse meek to full blown Nosferatu. Fessenden, another horror vet (We are Still Here and You’re Next) chews the scenery with aplomb once his character has been sprayed with vast gushers of blood a couple of times.
The movie ultimately works not only for its creepy atmospherics and decent horror effects (the main vampire is a doozy), but for its satirical script that takes a good stab at routine marriages that lack a certain excitement. Anne and Jakob wind up being one of the more interesting screen couples 2021 is likely to see.