Director/writer: Brad Rego.
The Killing of Jacob Marr is a 221 films production, which released in October of this year (2010). The film was written, directed and produced by Brad Rego, with Rego saying of filmmaking: “the sick part is I can’t wait to start working on another movie. I think I need help.” of the film. This is an independent film made for a minscule budget that follows a standard kids-in-the-woods-with-serial-killer formula. Highlighting the horrors of horror filmmaking, there is lots of gore and icicle impalings to entertain fans of the genre.
This is a paint by numbers plotline, as several twenty-somethings venture out into the woods for relaxation and roasted marshmallows. Instead, they find a mysterious, and bruised girl, who shows an inability for piecing information together. But we know how this ends, right? Most of the youths find themselves on the sharper side of a large icicle, with one killer showing that the saying “go with your gut” can be slightly transformed to “go for their guts,” for arguable entertainment value.
Before finishing out the review, let us delve in some new research uncovered by this horror lover in regards to horror films and aggression. Apparently, watching horror films is not catharic in any way shape or form. Actually the opposite is true and horror films like The Killing of Jacob Marr actually induce viewers to solve problems through aggression, or even acts of violence. At the very least, watching multiple films of this genre, like this reviewer has, desensitizes the watcher to acts of violence. So how does desensitization affect one’s view of the environment?
Viewers will generally be less empathetic and helping to others, if desensitized. This is not good for society as a whole. But readers should note that horror films, much like cigarettes and fast food , should be ingested in sparing amounts. However, the show must go on .
Okay, so let us put that rant aside and for those interested in the film, this reviewer made a prediction for the outcome of the film. Here is the prediction: 1) several youths find themselves isolated (because of budget) 2) a series of killings take place 3) there is a showdown 4) there is one female survivor (the Laurie Strode effect). This reviewer got 3 out of 4 right and that is not bad. However, this formula is one that is slightly repetitive. The reason it is followed is due to budget constraints. The 15K budget for this film simply does not allow for many unconventions. So, the path is a familiar one, but this climax is worthy of note.
The face-off between Jacob Marr and an unnamed character makes for a good fight scene. There is also a good stunt or two, with the violence graphically shown. The last scene ends the film on a tragic note, with a cursed rock promising to turn others mad. This is not completely unforseen, as horror is a modern adaptation of Greek tragedy, where killing and harming others is central to the plot. Think Oedipus in Aesychlus’ trilogy. However, Jacob Marr is not this dramatic. The film shows that even independent films must follow a certain formula due to material constraints on creativity.
Bloody, terse and full of visually disturbing images of human beings being killed , The Killing of Jacob Marr shows that we as humans are generally beasts, who enjoy watching the torment of others. This cynical reviewer will sign off here, to give viewers a space to leave their own comments on this film and this review.
Acting/believability/characterization: 7 (seems the film’s strong point).
Writing/story: 6 (formulaic, with some mythos).
Overall: 6.5 out of 10.
The film’s trailer can be seen here;
TKOJM’s Trailer is Here
The film’s homepage:
TKOJM’s Official Website
The Killing of Jacob Marr’s fan page:
TKOJM on Facebook
*Also, a special screening of this film will be held in Jacksonville, FL on Dec 11th at the 5 Points Theatre.