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My thoughts on Anything for Jackson (2020), The Bridge Curse (2020) and The Night House (2020)

genre: horror, mystery, thriller

There are several films I have seen for which I haven't written reviews yet. To be honest, I don't really think they deserve to get full reviews, but perhaps later in life I will get back to them. For now these thoughts will have to do.

Starting with Anything for Jackson. This film has a very cool premise where a couple are trying to do a reverse exorcism. In this case, it means that they are trying to transport the spirit of Jackson (their grandchild) into the unborn child of a pregnant woman who is held captive. 

I don't know about you, but that to me is quite creepy and disturbing. However, what happens when a bunch of amateurs are trying to do this high level of satanism? That in essence is what you get to witness. Things don't go as planned and become more complicated over time, to such an extent that at one point I thought I was watching a comedy. You are supposed to feel for the main characters because they do seem to be doing this out of love, but it's obvious they are very misguided and clearly are messing with things they shouldn't be messing with. The film had a real potential for maintaining a sense of creepiness and dread, but gets sidetracked so often that I couldn't invest myself into the events. It dragged and dragged. In my opinion, they failed to deliver on the premise. A lot of events, especially at the end, are immensely bizarre and weird. Still, that is not the same as being unnerving or terrifying. 

People even claim this to be this year's Hereditary. I do remember feeling a sense of dread throughout watching that one, even if I didn't like the ending as much. Perhaps Anything for Jackson aimed to be like Hereditary, but it doesn't even come close.

The Night House also starts with a lot of promise and manages to draw you in. Like the main character, I wanted to find out what was going on and like with most films like these it's usually about the journey and not the outcome. Unless it manages to lose steam and not deliver the impactful ending as promised. Unfortunately, this is the case here. I was on board for a long time until it was clear the film is trying real hard to be ambiguous until the very end. By doing so, the film has no impact whatsoever. It just ends and even makes you forget about the cool moments you experienced throughout the film. Real shame!

The Bridge Curse tries to be like Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018) yet lacks any sense of suspense and dread. Most of the time, it's a bunch of jump scares interchanged with moments I guess we are supposed to be creeped out by. There wasn't a single scene where I felt a thrill or that came close to one. Almost every event is predictable to a tee. And I was a real trooper by having hope that it would improve itself. Then I fell asleep. For a long time, I might add. So I had to go back to the moment where I lost track of the film and watch what I missed. Sadly, not a lot. At least there was nothing in there that compelled me to go back and watch the whole film again to see if I could spot or what is revealed in the end. Next to not delivering on the terror, I also wasn't really invested in the characters. Not that they were unlikeable or anything of the sort. But you don't really get to know them or what they are about, and you aren't really made to root for them, which in films like these is very essential. A real waste of your time if you ask me!

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