Jessabelle (2014)
6/10
Not perfect, but one of the better horror flicks in recent years
24 January 2015
I first saw the trailer for this flick in April of last year, at a showing for The Quiet Ones (bad movie, by the way; do not recommend). Being quite the fan of the southern Gothic genre, I wasn't exactly impressed by the trailer but wanted to see it regardless. For some reason or other, Jessabelle never made it to my local theaters - thus, I had to wait for the inevitable RedBox release to follow in January.

And what do you know, I finally got to watch it.

Jessabelle is not a perfect movie. It does have its flaws. It does have its clichés. But it is an honest attempt at making a horror flick and it does work. The atmosphere lends a hand, with spooky southern mansions and dark bayous. And as it so often does in stories like these, voodoo eventually takes center stage.

After recent horror releases like the dismal Oujia (a movie I personally despise), Jessabelle is a welcome change of pace. It is a slow-burner that brings to mind films such as The Skeleton Key (albeit 'Key being a superior effort).

The cinematography is quite good and the acting is effective. Sarah Snook is certainly leading lady material, and you can see her potential here front-and-center. Providing a sympathetic lead can make or break a film like this and Snook does not disappoint. A side note is that she is totally gorgeous and looks just the part for a sweet southern belle.

Final verdict: Jessabelle is nothing groundbreaking but one of the better horror flicks in recent years. Sarah Snook is one to keep an eye on. Worth a rental, but if you want to buy I'd say wait for it to hit the bargain bins.
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