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Spooky Shudder Spotlight: ‘Jakob’s Wife’

Spooky Shudder Spotlight: ‘Jakob’s Wife’

Spooky Shudder Spotlight: ‘Jakob’s Wife’
October 01
14:09 2021

Vampires have ruled pop culture for as long as I can remember. From “Twilight” to “What We Do in the Shadows,” I will always make time to watch bloodsucking protagonists in the media. The horror genre allows filmmakers to take a basic concept, like a struggling marriage, and mix it with something spooky to create a masterpiece. Once again, Shudder delivered the goods with “Jakob’s Wife,” and gave me another reason to give the platform nothing but love and praise. This film is one of my favorite horror flicks of 2021 so far.

This cast is a horror fan’s dream, with Barbara Crampton, known for early classics like “Chopping Mall” and “Re-Animator,” as Anne Fedder. In “Jakob’s Wife,” Crampton gives a performance with real emotion and relatability. Whether it be a relationship with a partner or friend, audiences can relate to her struggle to revive a dying bond. Her husband, Jakob Fedder played by Larry Fessenden, is a constant reminder of how easy it is to care for someone else more than we care for ourselves, as Anne tends to prioritize Jakob over herself. Jakob is a minister at the local church which creates a fun, yet tense relationship with Anne. The title “Jakob’s Wife” implies Anne is not looked at as Anne Fedder, but more of the woman always at Jakob’s side. It is rare we get horror movies with this much human emotion, so I must tip my cap to director Travis Stevens for balancing such a pressing concept with heavy splashes of vampire violence and gore throughout the film. For any fellow wrestling fans, this movie also gives us an extremely fun performance from Phillip Jack Brooks, better known as C.M. Punk of All Elite Wrestling fame. This is another film where the performance lacks during a scene or two, but never enough to take the viewer completely out of the film. If there is one thing Shudder movies will always get right, it is the casting.

This movie feels like it was made for me, so much so they even included my favorite wrestler, but I would understand this film not sticking the landing for some viewers. There are strange needle drops, most overstaying their welcome during a good chunk of scenes. I am a huge fan of effective music in movies, but when it falls flat, it can really take me out of the whole experience. The film takes a while to get going, but believe me when the plot begins to finally move along, it does a perfect job of getting your attention. There are super tiny nitpicks here and there, but when looking at low-budget movies like “Jakob’s Wife” it is better to praise what they pull off despite having a smaller budget.

My biggest praise goes toward the use of practical effects. This is an extremely gory movie, and it will have you squirming on multiple occasions. A movie centered around vampires already implies blood will be involved, but there were still moments catching me off guard in the best way imaginable. This movie is pretty free of jump scares and solely relies on scaring the audience with situational horror. In this film, having your partner watch your every move in distrust is just as terrifying as being stalked by vampires. Crampton was the perfect protagonist, and going on this journey with her was a perfect way to keep the audience on their toes.

If you love vampires, you will love this film. Watching a vampire cower from sunlight will always be entertaining, just like how seeing Barbara Crampton in a horror film will always be an attention-grabber. I have barely scratched the surface when it comes to diving into Shudder’s exclusive content, but they have already shown me the amount of care going into each project they make. These are horror movies made for horror fans by horror fans. It may not have been perfect, but “Jakob’s Wife” achieved what it intended to do. Shudder seems to always know what horror fans want. I have full confidence Shudder will continue to deliver, and movies like “Jakob’s Wife” only strengthens my confidence in them.

Final rating: 3.75/5

Image source Reviews.org

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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