Jessabelle (2014)
Mostly just dumb cheap scares
15 January 2015
Jessabelle has so much potential for horror. Firstly, it follows the story of a woman in a wheelchair after an accident to better convey the feeling of helplessness. It's also set in rural bayou and uses old VHS "farewell message", the premise is certainly sound. However, it falters just as it needs to deliver the terror and ends up using unintelligent loud noise.

There's relentless amount of blaring sound effect as if the volume spikes when something is supposed to happen. It also shamelessly blasts footsteps, screeching noise, some gibberish soundtracks and most annoyingly; crippling screams. These are not the level of intensity for fright, it's irritatingly bad like stuck in traffic jam with horn honker. The movie wants the constant scream to infect the audience by producing high amount of them, I'm not sure if the characters are vehemently screaming to each other or to audience, horror just doesn't work that way.

First half is considerably decent, mostly when the movie starts to piece the plot together. Its village and confinement of a wounded girl do create some atmosphere, although as it progresses the movie just keeps falling with flawed logic and reused pattern. It's really unclear if the entity can possess, just haunt, Final Destination-esque or omnipotent entirely, much of it are described with lazy voodoo or tarot narrative. The movie attempts to produce some sort of sense of insecurity by going with this theme back and forth, but without any direction, or logic for that matter, the plot becomes more baffling.

Jessabelle herself (Sarah Snook) acts contradictorily. She might be giggly at one point, scared brainless later and then inexplicably confrontational. I can't believe this is the same girl in Predestination. Other characters aren't likable as well. They are restricted by odd script and implausible development. Their reaction or motives are sketchy at best. It's hard to relate with them with such unrealistic behavior.

It gets worst towards the end. With more screaming, witless belligerent scenes Jessabelle culminates into a tired ending.
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