Rare is the actual scary or creepy horror film. It is a delicate balancing act to create something which contains enough scary moments, but does not go too far or over the top in its efforts. When you read a description of a film which contains things like satanists, reverse exorcism and ancient spellbook you worry. Worry that this is going to be another ridiculous horror film which goes too far. Instead Anything for Jackson, which is screening as part of the Blood in the the Snow Film Festival, ends up combining real scares with fun.
Director Justin G. Dyck (Monkey in the Middle, Super Detention) keeps a tight rein on things even when the snow removal guy sticks his head in the snow blower. Don’t believe me? Then read on.
After tragically losing their only grandchild, Jackson (Daxton William Lund – first film), in a car accident, Audrey (Sheila McCarthy – Die Hard 2, The Day After Tomorrow) and Henry Walsh (Julian Richings – X-Men: The Last Stand, Urban Legend) are beyond grieving. Being Satanists they turn to what they know. Using an old book, which Henry bought in Israel, they believe they can bring Jackson back.
To do this they have to find a pregnant woman. Henry has a patient who is 37 weeks pregnant. Shannon Becker (Konstantina Mantelos – first feature film) is pregnant and not married. The perfect candidate. The older couple plan everything out meticulously and then kidnap her.
After locking her in a room in their house which they have soundproofed, Audrey and Henry perform the ritual which they believe will invite Jackson’s spirit into Shannon’s unborn baby. But being ripe amateurs they soon realize that things haven’t gone exactly to plan. People start dying and other spirits begin appearing. Now their hopes lay with a fellow Satanist from their church named Ian (Josh Cruddas – appeared in episodes of Cardinal and Baroness Von Sketch Show).
A serious twist on the usual possession or exorcism movie. Everything is rather original about the film. You will not feel like you have seen it all be while watching this. Screenwriter Keith Cooper (Fast and Furriest, My Dad is Scrooge) manages to keep things fresh while still using enough of the usual horror tropes.
Atmosphere varies between somewhat humourous and really creepy. The creepiness comes mainly from all the spirits which appear. There is one especially scary one, a man with a bag over his head, which will remind people of the classic horror film The Exorcist. You know crab-like walking is always going to make your blood run cold.
I really like the fact that the sorta bad guys are two older people. Not your typical horror characters. They are doing something awful while still remaining quite sweet at the same time. The two actors who portray them do a great job balancing the two sides of their characters.