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jakob's wife

★★★

director: Travis Stevens (girl on the third floor)
Now streaming on shudder

starring: barbara crampton, larry fessenden, bonnie aarons and sarah lind

 

REVIEWER: purdie picot

Bodies start to pile up when a woman discovers a new sense of power and an appetite to live bigger and bolder than ever before.

Jakob’s Wife takes us to the home of a small-town minister and his wife Anne. Their lives change significantly after a chance encounter and husband and wife must confront morals, loyalty and an increasing body count.

 

Anne (Barbara Crampton) is growing tired of her dull life, being talked over and playing happy housewife for decades has finally caught up to her. A business meeting with an old flame from her past sets off events that will change her life and Jakob’s life forever. Anne really embraces her new passion and confidence, and now husband and wife must decide how to move forward and how to conquer the evil that has entered their lives. 

 

The film has the elements of a classic horror story, moving along the story with a handful gory moments, and a solid amount of increasing tension throughout each act. The low budget means that the few moments that there is gore, it tends to stand out, a change in pace, feeling and aesthetic from the rest of the more dramatic film. These beats, while somewhat predictable, certainly resets Jakob’s Wife in a horror genre, unafraid of violence. 

 

The classical story tropes also ring true, something that I personally found a little stuffy; the neglected wife, the religious values, small-town mindset. Themes that aren’t overly common in recent horror felt a little out of place in 2021. However, Anne’s journey is satisfying, no breakout feminist tale sure, but still a good journey nonetheless. Brought home in the second half of the film, The Master allows Anne to see her potential and the relationship between husband and wife comes to a head. 

 

The blending of elements of drama, family, and horror can feel a bit choppy at times, but overall Jakob’s Wife is a good watch.

★★★