Ah, October, It’s honestly one of my favorite times of year. The weather is cooling down, I can bust out the flannel, hockey is officially back, and of course, it’s the optimum time to watch horror movies. I look forward to this so much as I save specific movies to watch every year, as well as some old films I’ve never seen. Some I love, some I hate, and some are just plain stupid. Jack Goes Home, while not something I loved, I enjoyed a lot.
Jack Goes Home stars Rory Culkin (took me forever to figure out which one) as the titular Jack, a twenty something magazine editor who returns home after his father has been killed in a car accident. The film also stars up and comer Britt Robertson, Daveigh Chase (she was creepy dead girl Samara in The Ring), Louis Chase and, the incomparable, the outstanding, Lin Shaye. She has such an on screen presence in every role she is in; it’s one of my favorite aspects of this film. Everyone else is strong in this film, however I was disappointed in the under use of Britt Robertson. She is fantastic and yet her screen time is minimal, a huge misuse of her talent.
It just wouldn’t be a horror film, especially a psychological horror films, are always filled with a boat load of awesome visuals. This has all of them, as the story slowly unfolds and Jack appears to be losing his mind. Nothing seems to make sense to Jack as he’s unraveling the mystery of his past. There is this sense of dread as he doesn’t know who is his, and the tension grows and started to make me feel uneasy. I was perplexed, disturbed, and fearful, mainly because I couldn’t figure out what was going on.
This could be from one of the bigger flaws of the film, the story. With so many visuals, the story gets lost. Nobody really talks about what is happening, so there is no clarification on what is happening to Jack. I was drifting several times because when there is no story, I can’t get invested. There is a payoff and everything becomes clear, but the time it takes to get there is a struggle.
The other downfall is it’s terribly cliché. We’ve seen certain aspects a million times before, and will probably see a million times again. It’s at least tolerable as the cast is so strong that you can forgive the weaker points.
Overall, a strong cast, powerful visuals and a dark sense of dread carries this movie to its ultimate climax. This is an excellent film to watch this Halloween season, so turn off the lights, pop some popcorn (pumpkin spice optional), grab that hard cider and watch Jack Goes Home.