Let's Scare Jessica To Death review by The Grim Ringler

Let’s Scare Jessica To Death

It’s sad and somewhat odd that so many lackluster television series are seeing the light of day on DVD these days when so many really great and moderately interesting movies sit, alone and forgotten, in the vaults of movie studios. Not that Let’s is some undiscovered classic, far from it, but it’s a fun little weird-fest and deserves to find a place on some shelves. Just not every shelf.

Jessica has just been released from a mental hospital after a severe breakdown. She has lived a life in the shadow of a mental breakdown and it finally happened, but now she is ok. She has been released and is better. Isn’t she? She, her husband, and a family friend, all hippies, certainly hope so as they are moving out to the country to a farm they have bought and plans to live on. As soon as they arrive in the town though it’s obvious they are not very welcome, being hippies in a town full of war vets, but they push that aside and eagerly find their new home. Along with the farm they find a squatter a pretty (that’s debatable actually) young woman who has been living in the house thinking it abandoned. The three friends invite her to stay, thinking the more the merrier, but not realizing that she wouldn’t go for the single friend they had brought with them but Jessica’s husband. It doesn’t help matters that Jessica is starting to see and hear things, as if the world around them is full of mysteries and secrets that none save she can see. No one believes her that the people in the town are sick, that she saw a man murdered, or that she keeps seeing and hearing things in the house. No one will believe her and they are starting to suspect she is getting sick again. Or is she? Is the legend of the young woman who had drown on the property of the house just before her marriage, drowned and perhaps returned as a vampire, true? Or is there a plot to make Jessica mad, and push her over the edge? Reality and nightmare blend into one tapestry in this world, and not even Jessica can be certain what is real in the end.

The best part about this movie is the dream-like world that the director captures. Everything has an ethereal quality that makes you question everything as Jessica questions it. This dream is broken, unfortunately, but the mediocre acting of the lead actress, who portrays Jessica with not an ounce of subtlety, and with a series of shrieks and screams. The story itself is very interesting, though the end is a bit cheesy, and the director keeps you guessing until the very end what is happening. It’s funny because moments of it remind me of Picnic at Hanging Rock, and that atmosphere of danger and that something is wrong. The film gets very slow and very tedious, sadly, and doesn’t stand up to a lot of viewings but is well worth a look.

In my heart of hearts, I think that this is a rare film that could do for a remake. I think a remake would tighten the film and punch up the ending so that it felt more sufficient. This is far from a bad movie but it feels like a movie that could have been so much better had the final reel been tightened and the lead actress been, well, better. I definitely recommend it for fans of David Lynch and of surreal horror.

6 out of 10 Jackasses
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