Another week and another horror is released in which the bogeyman is in the shape of clown! Is it time for Pennywise to move aside? Is “Jack” the new king out of the box?
Having a clown as a killer in any horror movie is not something new, the 80’s classic Poltergeist used a clown toy to maximum effect and the genre has been awash of them for many years, but it does seem the huge recent success of Pennywise has brought an influx of horrors jumping on the bandwagon.
In this British attempt, the makers take a simple toy -A Jack In The Box-and to their credit, create a pretty cool bad guy that when its on screen, our interest spikes, it’s a shame that the rest of the film goes for a more sluggish approach with its story-telling!
The opening is a pretty strong display of what the film could have offered. When a man on the hunt for buried treasure, using his trusted Metal detector, stumbles upon a buried ancient Jack in The Box toy, he thinks his luck is in! It is, but of the bad side, because the Jack inside is an evil entity, with a blood thirsty rage and soon his beloved wife is sucked into the dark pit within the box .
A good set-up that promised a lot, but as the film skips forward a few years, the story-telling becomes a chore. The box is now stored in a museum and attracts the interest of Casey (Ethan Taylor) an American who loves antiques. Alongside Lisa (Lucy Jayne Quinlan), they unwisely open the box, out pops Jack, a creepy looking dummy, but soon the real life Jack emerges and people start getting killed.
Sounds like a riot and something we can just sit back and enjoy. But not quite. The trouble is, the film want’s to be taken seriously, which sadly the weak script fails at!
You can categorise most horror films in two. There are the ones that love the slow burn, an unsettling tone that builds to a fantastic finale, or the other route in which films go for the throat and offer up non stop bloodshed and deaths aplenty.
Here the film can not distinguish itself from the two It wants to be and ends up sort of getting lost. It tries for the slow build and sensible storytelling which ends up more of a chore, for the viewer.
Endless scenes of dialogue becomes a strain to both, ears and the eyes and when the film does show its hand with the killings, they are too quick and too far in-between.
Believe me, the design of “Jack” is fantastic.
When Jack appears on screen, he lifts the movie up a few notches, but the trouble is, it’s too little, with killings way to brief for us to get excited.
It’s because of this, the scares are non existent and while the climax offers up a predictable outcome, the final itself is so deliciously dark that it sums up the whole film…..
That underneath it’s lameness, there is a sparkle of quality, but much like the Jack In The Box at the beginning of the film, its buried deep and desperate to be found!