Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Anything For Jackson Review: A Humorous and Unsettling Ritual Story

Sheila McCarthy	...	Audrey Walsh Julian Richings	Julian Richings	...	Henry Walsh Konstantina Mantelos	Konstantina Mantelos	...	Becker Josh Cruddas	Josh Cruddas	...	Ian Yannick Bisson	Yannick Bisson	...	Rory Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Ai Barrett	Ai Barrett	...	Trick or Treat Ghost #1 Mikaela Bisson	Mikaela Bisson	...	Charlotte Claire Cavalheiro	Claire Cavalheiro	...	Talia Scott Cavalheiro	Scott Cavalheiro	...	Colin Jayne Eastwood	Jayne Eastwood	...	Ian's Mom Troy James	Troy James	...	Suffocating Ghost Ryan Christopher Kotack	Ryan Christopher Kotack	...	Bird Man Rebecca Lamarche	Rebecca Lamarche	...	Vanth Kaitlyn Leeb	Kaitlyn Leeb	...	Yolanda Daxton William Lund	Daxton William Lund	...	Jackson

Release date: December 3, 2020
Running time: 95 minutes
Starring: Sheila McCarthy, Julian Richings, Konstantina Mantelos, Josh Cruddas and Yannick Bisson. 
Directed by: Justin G. Dyck

A SHUDDER ORIGINAL.  After losing their only grandson Jackson in a car accident, grief-stricken Audrey (McCarthy) and Henry (Richings), kidnap Henry's pregnant patient with the intentions of performing a “Reverse Exorcism”, putting Jackson inside her unborn child. It doesn’t take long to figure out Jackson isn’t the only ghost the grandparents invited into their home. Now it’s a race against time for the couple, as well as the pregnant woman to figure a way out of the haunting they’ve set upon themselves.

Claire Cavalheiro	...	associate producer Scott Cavalheiro	...	associate producer Keith Cooper	...	producer Audrey Cummings	...	executive producer Justin G. Dyck	...	producer Christopher Giroux	...	producer Ali Goldthorpe	...	associate producer Jesse D. Ikeman	...	executive producer Rebecca Lamarche	...	Consulting Producer Bill Marks	...	producer Evan Ottoni	...	associate producer / line producer Justin Rebelo	...	executive producer
Anything For Jackson succeeds with this really unsettling but also quite comfortable style.  The film mostly takes place in Audrey and Henry's house, which is decorated like any modern dwelling occupied by well off octogenarians.  It is well appointed and feels comfortable, until you find out more about what is going on.  In fact, the opening sequence had me wondering where the horror would come from, but it didn't take long for it to manifest.  Then you start to see the depths that the couple will go, thus the title Anything For Jackson.  But throughout it all, the main characters maintain their generally nice, old person demeanor.  Despite the fact that they start having horrible plans and the inevitable result of their overall scheme, the pair generally act like normal grandparents would.  It is a wonderful contrast that keeps this feeling fresh and fun, while at the same time being unsettling.  

A lot of the conflict in this story is that the pair are working towards their end goal but really have no idea how to get there.  It leads to some humorous moments, but also keeps the overall style of the film consistent.  Contrasts between outwardly nice exterior and personalities with potentially depraved acts exist throughout this movie.  Audrey and Henry have a well thought out plan, but have never done this so often act like a bumbling pair.  And that is aside from the horror elements that get in their way.  As their plan progresses, the occurrences around them get more and more unsettling.  You eventually have some very creepy scenes as a result; some frankly disturbing manifestations occur around them and you start to wonder what is real and what is not.  And in the end, the pair's overall purpose is noble, just the lengths and avenue that they pursue it is unsettling.  The story of loss and grief is relatable, as is the desire to do whatever it would take to make that go away.  It is an interesting dichotomy, as you want to root for them but also you really don't want them to succeed.

Anything For Jackson is a fresh take on the horror ritual genre, with a fantastic style, great performances, and a humorous and unsettling story for these inexperienced cultists.

Watch it.

Cult Cultist Satanist Ritual Reverse Exorcism Kidnap Horror Tension Funny Drama Unsettling
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Anything For Jackson is available to stream on Shudder starting December 3, 2020. 

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