Jacob is a film that dives into themes of domestic abuse, child abuse, alcoholism, child neglect, mental deficiencies, and more. If a ghost story is the heart of the film, then revenge is its soul. And what does a massive 16-year-old boy with severe mental challenges and little to no conscience do when he is wronged in the worst way imaginable? He goes on a killing spree. While Jacob’s rampage of murder is a huge nod to slasher films, the lead up to this moment was firmly planted in the dramatic and shocking elements often seen in exploitation films.
And of course, you can’t bring up exploitation and not get into the gore. Larry kept a lot of things hidden from the camera, allowing the viewer to use his own imagination, but that’s not to say that there isn’t plenty of blood, gore, and spectacular kill scenes to go around. One of my favorite gore scenes, and one of Larry’s too since he was riddled with boyish excitement to tell me that it was filmed in one take with no cuts, was when Jacob rips the arm off one of his victims.
Another favorite scene of mine is the domestic abuse scene, which comes in a very close second to the most shocking domestic violence scenes I’ve ever witnessed. The first being Casey Affleck and Jessica Alba in The Killer Inside Me. The scene in Jacob is so well portrayed and stomach churning that there was an audible groan of discomfort from many of the viewers. Krystn Caldwell (Edith) played the part of abused mother/wife perfectly.
I have to recommend this movie. It’s so raw and full of youthful energy and ambition that it’s just compelling. There’s also enough maturity and experience behind the story and camera to make Jacob believable. Plus, gore, baby, gore. And a killer revenge story. I won’t be surprised to see a sequel to Jacob, and I wouldn’t be surprised if our beloved Jacob becomes the protagonist in a slasher franchise. The only challenge there would be to make him a righteous slasher.
I know a lot of people and reviewers will slag on this film, but those are the views of the narrow sighted. I can’t recommend enough that you see this movie.