Title: Jack in the Box (2019)
When a vintage Jack-in-the-box is un-earthed and opened, its new owners soon have reason to believe the creepy clown doll within has a life of its own. (from imdb.com)
The creepy clown doll has more life than this movie. Not recommended. Read on to find out why.
The movie opens with an older fellow in a field with a metal detector. We horror movie veterans know he’s going to find something he shouldn’t which is going to wreak havoc for the rest of the movie. What does he find? Well, true horror fans, you’ll be pleased to know he finds the creepiest Jack in the Box ever. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of things that jump out of boxes, and this clown is super creepy. But let’s face it folks if it weren’t so scary looking then it wouldn’t be a horror movie now would it?
This opening sequence has very little dialogue but it does have a lot of action and right off the bat we’re privy to what the occupant of the box actually does. I like when horror movies like this do that. It lets the audience know what to expect from the movie monster and all we’re doing is watching to see who gets it first and how.
The movie’s protagonist is some milquetoast dude named Casey and he is supposedly an American. But I will tell you this, he neither looks nor acts like any American I’ve ever seen in any horror movie ever. While I suspect the actor himself is not American I’m not going to quibble about their casting choice. the real movie opens 12 years later after the opening sequence in a Toy Museum. apparently the Jack-in-the-Box has found its way there and sits in the storeroom just waiting to claim its next victim.
Note: The box has four letters along the top and when it is first revealed the letters spell DYBK (I think, I couldn’t be arsed to rewind, so if I’m wrong let me know in the comments), which immediately made me think of the Dybbuk box. Just a side note to show how horribly detail oriented I am. Also, how less than impressed I was with the acting.
After the movie gets going with a bit of character development and backstory, we find out the history of the Jack in the box, which I thought was rather interesting. I love the “expert”: a black dude who comes in, gives his lines, and disappears into the “night”. Very cool part. (Also, he wasn’t around to die.)
I went along with the ride of the movie until about a half hour in, then I became annoyed. There was a lack of …..time passage? I didn’t know how much time passed between scenes. Characters appeared and disappeared without explanation. The main example of this is the woman who worked at the toy museum before Casey got there. She hangs around long enough for the story to get started, then she’s just….gone. She does come back later in the movie, but it’s just odd the way the movie rolls out.
Through the obligatory internet search, we find out about the Jack in the Box and the evil contained within.
What I also found interesting about this movie was the number of people who took the time to pause, stare, and speak to this creepy looking exhibit. Plus, though they seemed to be put off by it, they had no problem insulting it! Personally, I see something like that, I’m walking right by that mess.
All in all it’s not a great movie. I watched the rest of it just to see how things turned out, but as I mentioned, I had checked out thirty minutes in.
After much ado, I did finish it. Sigh. Unfortunately, good premise,but poor execution. In fact, on some levels it was rather boring. There was some stabbing, some yelling and some Latin. I’m telling you, I was so done with this film, I didn’t even bother to rewind to hear the Latin words. I….didn’t care.
Questions and quibbles:
- What was the point of the protagonist being from America? Except for a visit to an American-type diner, this wasn’t mentioned at all. He just as well could have been from France or Canada or Mexico. Also, they never mentioned a state….just “America”.
- In the diner, the glasses of soda they are served have no ice and the glasses are dirty. Also, the straws are already unwrapped and put in the glass. Yuk.
- Most of the women did not carry purses. I’m sorry, but it’s super rare to see a woman without a purse or a fanny pack or something. (Yes, it’s a small detail, which is why it’s a quibble, LOL)
- The protagonist’s backstory was like….wut? It didn’t set him up as sympathetic.
I will say the special effects/costuming of the monster clown was effective and creepy. They did put a lot of work into it and it was done very well.
That’s all folks. I’m sorry this movie wasn’t good and wasn’t bad enough to be fun. It was tedious, illogical, and seemed strung together. Again, great premise, poor execution. The script needed a lot of work.