Last night’s film not only drew a full house it was also was a chilling surprise. Jessabelle is a shocker from the director of Saw VI, Kevin Greutert. The dude seems to know how to scare the audience because both films delivered. Even though I warned Beth not to be scared, I saw her jumping or cringing several times during the picture. OK there was a totally unexpected car crash, which is kind of an easy way to get viewers hopping. But beyond that there were some genuine creepy moments and a strange story about an extremely dysfunctional family.
Jessabelle is set in the deep south on the bayou, probably Mississippi or Louisiana. A crippled girl goes to live with her father, who seems like a real jerk. She finds some VHS tapes of her mother and they actually have a working VHS player. She starts watching the tapes and her dad gets really bugged out. The tapes are weird, the mother is weirder, the girl starts to hallucinate, people start dying. Her high school sweet heart shows up like a knight in shinning armor. Then the voodoo crew put in an appearance, I did mention that Jessabelle is set in the deep south didn’t I?
Jessabelle reminds me of another surprisingly good film, Skeleton Key. They’re both set in the same local and cover many of the same concepts. Both films are about people who feel they’ve been wronged, getting revenge on innocent people. Jessabelle in particular is about blaming the victim. The explanation for the need to seek revenge is really convoluted and seems to have timing issues. Jessabelle is one of those refreshing movies where almost everyone is at least a little bit of a villain but the real villain is the guy who saw himself as the victim. Nice film, nice performance by Sarah Snook, nice surprise ending.
Beth was so shaken up by Jessabelle that I had to take her out for a mid afternoon beer the next day. We went to the Hop DeVine on Vasco Road. It’s in a great location, just before you get to the part of the road where people routinely crash their cars. My friend Michelle was behind the bar and in addition to a selection of craft beer from all over California, they have some really excellent cannoli. Interestingly enough, despite the limited food items, the place is kid and dog friendly. No problem, I used to hang out at the Camphill Sportman’s Club outside of Carnegie Pa, starting at 4 years old and look how …. See you at the Hop DeVine and “Don’t forget the cannoli”.