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By James Whittington, Friday 28th January 2022 Jakob's Wife Acorn Media Certificate 15 ****
Streaming service Shudder has started to allow some of their product onto physical formats, giving fans the chance to keep their favourite movies. Now streaming services are all well and good but, like many, I like to be able expand my collection of horror movies which are proudly on display on my shelves. I like to have extras such as featurettes and director's commentaries etc and streaming, well, it doesn't offer this sort of thing. Anyway, Jakob's Wife, starring Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, and Bonnie Aarons is one of their best.
Anne (Crampton) lives in a small town and is married to minister Jakob (Larry Fessenden) but, after 30 years, life is rather dull, and she yearns for something more. Following a chance encounter with 'The Master' she discovers bite marks on her neck and suddenly an overwhelming sense of power and an appetite to live bigger and bolder than before consume her. But Anne soon discovers these changes come with a heavy burden... An ever-increasing body count and a serious toll on her marriage.
This is the movie that any casual fan of horror needs to see, not for its gory sequences or smart premise but for the central performances from Crampton and Fessenden. They are truly something to behold here, their on-screen chemistry shines in every scene they are in and makes the whole thing so believable. What makes this movie so much fun is the way it shows Anne's transformation, the butcher sequence itself is a joy to behold, and never takes itself too seriously.
We mustn't overlook the way Fassenden keeps everything grounded in reality, his take as a conflicted minister is key to the movie. As for Crampton, she's a vamp in more ways than one and delivers one the finest roles in her long career. The film takes smart swipes at organised religion, marriage and the drudgery of a repetitious lifestyle, but remains committed to its fantastical main plot and delivers, sometimes quite heavily on the red stuff.
Girl on the Third Floor director Travis Stevens, who also co-wrote Jakob's Wife, allows the film time to breathe, to help build the characters up which lets the audience connect to them both in very different ways. He then hits us with blood and considered violence in bold and uncompromising strokes.
The disc comes with a few extras such as a short making of but the real gem here is the deleted scenes section which lasts for over 13 minutes. There's also some trailers for forthcoming titles from Acorn.
This is a cracking film, which takes the vampire subgenre into a wonderfully fresh area.
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