Jack Goes Home (2016) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: After his father is killed in a car crash, Jack travels home to Colorado to help nurse his mother (who was injured in the crash) back to health. There, he uncovers long buried secrets and ... Runtime: 100 mins Release Date: 14 Oct 2016
I give kudos to Thomas Dekker for writing and directing a layered psychological drama with horror elements that I found utterly compelling. I'm so grateful that I took a chance on it... because I hadn't read or heard anything about it. I just recognized some of the names on the cast/crew list... and now, in the afterglow, I feel like I won a cinematic jackpot.Rory Culkin, Lin Shaye and Britt Robertson all had Oscar-worthy moments in the clarity of their emotional expressions. I must also give mention to Daveigh Chase and Louis Hunter who did fine jobs as well.This movie won't be <more>
for everyone, unfortunately. But I think people who appreciate good, methodical, dramatic storytelling and those who understand how torment can warp the psyche should find this flick an immensely satisfying piece of art.
Thomas Dekker's new delightfully creepy psychological thriller, Jack Goes Home, is an intriguing dive into a young man's overwhelming grief. It was a favorite at the 2016 SXSW and was released October 14, 2016, to theaters, and on Video On Demand and iTunes. Don't miss this one.Dekker has learned his craft well and mastered the art of storytelling. Watching this film is like crossing a stream and trying to keep your feet dry by stepping on the rocks. When you get to the rapids, it's impossible to keep from getting swallowed whole and being completely immersed in the horror in <more>
Jack's mind. You lose track of which way is up, and what is real and what is not.As the film begins, Jack Thurlowe Rory Culkin is at work. He seems normal, if a bit eccentric and acerbic, and we find he and his fiancée are expecting a child. After his parents are involved in a horrific car accident, Jack is forced to return to his childhood home. Being there stirs up memories, real or imaged, in Jack's mind.Jack's mother, Teresa—played impeccably by Lin Shaye, queen of the horror genre— vacillates between nurturing and terrorizing. I found myself wondering how much of his mother was real and how much a projection of Jack. And what really happened up in that creepy attic.The one thing that seems real throughout the story is Jack's best friend, Shanda Daveigh Chase , a large rock for Jack to cling to when the turbulence in his mind threatens to overcome him.Dekker shows a keen ability to get his actors to create believable characters in an horrifying story. Culkin was mesmerizing as Jack, sometimes vulnerable, sometimes stoic, sometimes chaotic. His life-long career as an actor—he's been acting since he was three—shows in the maturity he brought to this role. When the director needed her to oscillate between a loving, caring mother and a vicious, vindictive villain, Shaye was able to do this with ease. Chase captured well the concern of a friend trying to hold Jack in the real world throughout his rejections and violent attacks. Louis Hunter gave a sinister quality to the horny boy next door, Duncan, making me question his motivations.Jack's demons were reminiscent of the ones in The Babadook Jennifer Kent, 2014 , Tale of Two Sisters Kim Jee-woon, 2004 , and Mysterious Skin Gregg Araki, 2004 . The element of a traumatized mind trying to make sense of nightmarish events is there in all of these.The lovely and peaceful setting in Kingston, New York, provided a stark contrast to the turmoil in Jack's mind. The outdoor cinematography, by Austin F. Schmidt, was very impactful—making Jack look small and insignificant as he enters the enormous family home, and later, at the funeral. The score, by Ceiri Torjessun, added ample creepiness and tension—even the soft, lyrical numbers had edgy undertones. It's available on iTunes.Dekker invested a lot of himself in this story. He, too, was a victim of child abuse, and has had to deal with the grief of losing his own father as a young man. Life experiences like these help a writer find real emotions to portray. I recognized my own reactions to people around me trying to make sure I was all right after the death of my husband—their awkwardness, my reassurances, were all there in Jack's interactions with the people he encounters.I'm very impressed with Thomas Dekker. Like Culkin, he's been acting since he was a young child. He's worked with the likes of John Carpenter Village of the Damned, 1995 , Gregg Araki Kaboom, 2010 and Robert Hall Fear Clinic, 2015 , all of whose influences are seen in Jack Goes Home. Dekker wrote and directed his first film, Whore 2008 , at the tender age of nineteen and has also released two music albums.Jack Goes Home was produced by Yale Productions and SSS Entertainment in association with Isle Empire Pictures, and distributed in the US by Momentum Pictures.Dekker and Culkin worked together again this year on Welcome to Willits Trevor and Tim Ryan , which will be out in 2017. It's nice to see these young men continuing to create creepy horror films.
A Harrowing Psychological Trip... (by anrfreelance)
While "Jack Goes Home" may be the first major directorial debut of actor/composer Thomas Dekker, it reads light years from any 'novice' effort on his behalf. The script itself, also written by Dekker, is a harrowing tale of a young magazine editor who finds out that his beloved father has died in a car accident back in his hometown and he must return to set his affairs in order. Along the way, accompanied by his jaded and nihilistic best friend Daveigh Chase , he begins to unravel some very unsettling family secrets and long-buried skeletons in the old homestead. It's <more>
hard to describe the film or give an accurate synopsis because the twists and turns unfold slowly and with such intensity that it would be a crime to deprive the readers of their own journey. Rory Culkin is absolutely magnetic as Jack and it is impossible to look away from him on screen. He is matched by veteran actress Lin Shaye, who takes a sharp divergence from her recent 'Insidious' roles to play Jack's unstable, emotionally- manipulative and completely jaw-dropping inappropriate mother. The supporting performances by Daveigh Chase and Louis Hunter are equally charismatic and effective; Hunter plays the depraved boy-next-door neighbor. With brief roles from Britt Roberson as Jack's fiancée and Nikki Reed as Chase's girlfriend, the cast stays small and intimate, adding to the claustrophobic and smothering emotional tone of the film. The film is shot beautifully, with stunning visuals. And it has several creepy and startling moments, as well as a few genuinely unsettling scares. Most of the horror, however, isn't of the breed one finds in a traditional scary movie. Instead, the horror of "Jack" comes from within; it's in the nightmarish unraveling of a family unit, the internal and external pressures that are putting cracks in Jack's sanity as the film progresses, and the reveals that challenge everything Jack once held dear. The movie is a deeply personal vehicle for Dekker, who suffered childhood abuse as well as lost his beloved father a few years ago, so the moments of emotional truth in the film ring clear as a bell and honest in what could easily be lost to pretense or false sympathies. One can feel the pain of Dekker's loss channeled so beautifully through Culkin and can't look away, a slow-motion autopsy of a grieving soul. All in all, a strong narrative film with bold, unconventional choices and unrelentingly powerful performances from its small indie cast. Highly recommended to those who like psychological drama and horror films that aren't afraid to show their heart instead of gratuitous gore and jump scares.
Reviews are important to me, they're an essential part of my choosing which movies to watch and which ones to pass over, because having a disability I watch A LOT of movies. And for the last five or so years, I've also been rating every movie I've seen on IMDb, to keep a running list and history of them all. Unfortunately I'm not great at writing reviews, I get too overwhelmed with details and trying to put my thoughts down, so I just wind up rambling on... oh well. My point is, I just hate fake reviews are used to plump up a movie's ratings, and I hate those reviews that <more>
make you wonder if the writer actually watched the movie they're reviewing at all or at least the same movie as I did? I say this, because I read so many reviews, by both amateurs and professionals, narratives that are filled with unforgivable mistakes, like the writing the wrong lead character's name for example; how can one watch a 90 min. movie, where the name is spoke many-many times, and still not know what the character's right name is, etc.? This just floors me. Sorry for my rant.