C47Houston Flix Review:

"Jacob"

 

 

When a young girl is tragically murdered by her drunken step-father, her lonely and disturbed older brother, Jacob Kell, is forced to listen to the demonic voices in his head and retaliates the only way he knows how and anyone who crosses his path will know that there is no limit to his brutal vengeance in this feature motion picture by Houston Director Larry Carrell titled "Jacob".

Written by Mr. Carrell, this feature suspense/thriller and ghost story follows the events leading to the murderous rampage of Jacob Kell in the fictional town of Melvin Falls, Texas  in 1979.

Now an urban legend, the house where Jacob was allegedly killed, is currently a place where kids are afraid to pass. 

On a dare, a young boy (played by Travis Hester) is bullied by his school mates into proving his courage by approaching the front door of this now dilapidated house, knocking three times and await for Jacob. Whether Jacob is a ghost or is for real...this dare is the stuff for Halloween and the recipe for nightmares. 

Flashing back to 1979, a young Deputy Billy Keller (played by Larry Carrell) and Sheriff Andy Morgan (played by Leo Wheeler) are called to the Kell house on a disturbance. There we find Edith Kell (played by Krystn Caldwell) and Otis Keller (played by Larry Carrell and twin brother of Deputy Billy Keller) having an argument that leads to Edith being beaten by Otis. When Jacob (played by Dylan Horne) sees the violence he tries to stop Otis and loses his temper. We find that Jacob is as strong as he looks and has a temper that can only be quashed by his little sister Sissy (played by Grace Powell).  Otis is taken away and now he is set on revenge. 

While looking in the mirror and the damage done, Edith reflects about her late husband Larry "Lawrence"  Kell (played by Michael Biehn), and how they inherited the Macleod house on old Ivans Road, a house reputed to be "haunted" and is now their house and a reason for Jacob's psychotic personality and the demise of Larry Kell. 

In a subplot, Edith's late husband, Larry, enters his inherited home and stumbles upon some occult relics and begins his journey into being possessed, hearing voices and demonic obsessions. All changing his personality and becoming violent and disturbed.  Years later, the house is now calling on Jacob.  

Now out of jail, Otis is drinking himself drunk and aims to do some payback with Jacob for laying hand on him the night before.  Drunk and angry Otis comes across little Sissy. Scared for her life, Sissy starts running and Otis chases after her.  Sissy takes a fall and hits her head on a rock.  Still alive, but nearing death, Otis in his drunken state pulls off his belt and whips her severely. Her last words before dying is "Jacob".  Jacob now alone with no one to control him and hearing voices starts his killing spree starting with the brutal attack on Otis. News spread and now the town folk are after him.

Twists and turns and several stories lines that lead to a climax, "Jacob" has an interesting entertainment value played in flashback. Vengeance is Jacob.

 

Technically, and, without sound, the movie is an entertaining movie to watch. It's easy and not too demanding. Shot by listed Cinematographer (and director in his own right) Stacy Davidson, "Jacob" has some very nice camera work that will keep the audience watching this movie. His movement of the camera and his angles are pretty amazing. But, we will talk about that later.

I wouldn't really call this movie a "slasher" movie and I wouldn't even try to compare it to "Carrie" or "Frankenstein" but "Jacob" was interesting. We found it to be more of a ghost story prequel following the events that started an urban legend in "small town anywhere". Not bad for Larry Carrell's directorial feature effort.

With the sound on, Sound design, for our particular copy of the movie, was a little weird, in that  it wasn't consistent throughout the movie and often there were dubbed sound to boom sound differences and discrepancies. It was quite noticeable. As well, foley was often not matched with what was happening in the scene, although, not everyone will pick up on that. In some of the scenes where gun fire was shown and heard, the lack of foley was prevalent and a little disturbing even for the novice movie watcher.  With conversations between two or more people, for example, in the same scene one could tell the dubbed VO verses boom sound.  

It is interesting to note that the look of "Jacob" was apparently done with four to five different style cameras. Each having a different effect on the movie. And, the first half of the movie was quite different in "style" from the second half of the movie. (excluding the final scene), making us think there was a transition of cinematographers in mid-term. 

The opening of the first act and the final act of the movie was crisp and current while the rest of the movie was just a bit lower in quality. I would imagine that this was to give one an illusion of the style of filmmaking in the late 1970's early 1980's (excluding the flashback within a flashback). It was quite apparent that cinematographers were changed the point where Jacob enters the cemetery.  Rack it up to getting tired or just plain apathy, but the camera work wasn't as good as the first half of the movie.  Take a look at the acting, the camera work and the seriousness of the characters in the first half of the movie as opposed to the campy, silliness and camera work in the second half of the movie. It was a totally different movie.  

The attacks by Jacob although violent and cold were, at points, just down right campy and laughable. Although, some were really gross. Good job on those. 

Editing was done my Stacy Davidson. The movie ran some one hour thirty-three minutes. There were several scenes that could have been taken out as they didn't help with the story or the movie. Some scenes seemed to drag on and on. And, some scenes were just tiring, to say the least.  Again, we say that editing was seemingly done by two people. 

As a story, writer Larry Carrell's "Jacob" was somewhat lacking in character development. The focus of the movie was "anger" and with Otis and Billy Keller and not necessarily with Jacob. Sure, Jacob goes crazy and starts his killing rampage, however,  the focus should have been the Macleod house and it's relationship with Jacob. After all, it is the house that is demonic.  Too much emphasis was placed on the escalating rage of Otis and events surrounding then Deputy Bill Keller.  The house was the subject from the beginning of the movie, the middle of the movie and the end.

Actors Dylan Horne and Gracie Powell did an outstanding job in their  performances in front of the camera as Jacob and Sissy. They were both quite believable. As well excellent performances were delivered from veteran actors Michael Biehn and James Hampton. We know for a fact that Mr. Biehn was a last minute addition to the movie and his parts were later added to the movie.  Mr. Carrell made it work and it was a subplot that was outstanding and tied some loose ends.  A lot has been said about the over the top acting of the actors in this movie.  We tend to agree, but only on the second half where there is an apparent difference in the style of the movie.

Our impressions: "Jacob" is a very good effort by Director Larry Carrell.  His movie was entertaining, although 3/4's in I wanted to turn it off as the style of the movie changed quite drastically. But, we watched the entire movie. Would I give it another chance and watch it again? I sure would.  What we enjoyed about watching this movie, again as it wasn't too demanding to follow. What we didn't like was the change in style from the first half to the second half of the movie. Altogether, Director Larry Carrell did a great job in making his first feature venture.  

C47Houston rated this feature motion picture as a strong 4.4 out of 5 stars on the TSIRS scale. 

Production Company: Odyssee Pictures

Studio: Kino International

Running Time: 1 hour 30 Minutes

Premiere: Premiere: Friday, September 30th, 2011 at the Alamo Drafthouse-West Oaks Mall, Houston Texas as part of the 2nd Annual Splatterfest-Houston   

Written by: Larry Carrell

Director: Larry Carrell

Executive Producers: Bob Willems, Cynthia Lauer and Nick Nicholson

Producer: Stacy Davidson, Larry Carrell and Chuck Norfolk

Co-Produced by: Catherine Rushford, Frederick Rushford, James Martinelli, William Davis

Associate Producers: Jennifer Blanc, Carrie Ellis, Carlotta Hillert, Larry Foresee, Sheree Davis, David Ellis, Trey Hillert and Brandon Martin, Tim Powell, Liz Thomas, Jason Snow, Adam Montoya, Devin Thomas, Jeremy Sumrall, 

Cinematographer: Stacy Davidson

Editor: Stacy Davidson

Unit Production Manager: Molly Vernon

First Assistant Director: Chuck Norfolk

Second Assistant Director: Courtney Sandifer

Steady Cam Operator: Jason Snow

1st AC:  Bruce Forest / 2nd AC Adrian Sanchez

Script Supervisor: Kristen Elliott

Key Grip: Andrew Peacock

Stunt Coordinator: Jackson Burns

MakeUp Supervisor: Jenifer Baez

Hair and Makeup Artist: Andrea Schutter

Hair Stylist: Misty Reed

Costume Supervisors: Jenifer Baez and Liz Tee

Visual Effects: Stacy Davidson

Special MakeUp Effects: Kristi Boul

Location Manager: Larry Carrell and Courtney Sandifer

Sound Editor: Luke Odom

Original Score: Iain Kelso

Casting by: Larry Carrell

Cast: Grace Powell as Sissy Kell, Dylan Horne as Jacob Kell, Krystn Caldwell as Edith Kell, Larry Carrell as Billy/Otis Keller, Leo D. Wheeler as Sheriff Andy, Jennifer Blanc, James Hampton as Mayor Jack Flynn, Michael Biehn as Lawrence Kell, Joe Grisaffi, Jeremy James Douglas Norton, Parrish Randall, Travis Hester, Shane Stewart, Dustin Lane, Karen Schlag, Sandy Ray, Ash Cook, Deke Garner, Nick Nicholson, Peyton Cottrell II, Danielle Jones, Keli Wolfe, Roxy Hixon, Jake Messinger, Sara Gaston, Kelly Burns, Amy Michell, Scott Frank, Kerry Beyer, Howard Calvert, Tedd Dicus, Payton Wetzel, Robert Buttrick, Phillip Lanier, Johnny Blanco,  Todd Jason Cook, Danny Gallehugh, Montgomery Wade, Lassiter Holmes and Norma Jean Lipert. With Jeff Henniger, Cynthia Lauer, Courtney Sandifer, Ashley Atwood, Benjamin Duckworth, Rebecca Torrellas, Elizabeth Redpath, Kristina McCormick, 

Extra Casting by: Southwest Casting

Websites: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1801063/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/JACOB-The-Film/130901536923035

 
 

             

   www.C47Houston.com

2008-2014 C47Houston News & Entertainment Magazine -  All Rights Reserved