Having established the rules within this world of the supposedly oldest jack in the box, containing the demon trapped inside, only to be released to gather six souls in order to replenish him.
Much like its predecessor this film doesn’t try to hide the fact that it is a low budget feature, relying on the strength of performance and the storyline itself. Both films are told in a secluded setting but this time around the narrative feels richer and more entrenched in the mythology surrounding it.
The prison-like setting takes place in a mansion with only an aisling mother, Olga Marsdale (Nicola Wright), her son Edgar (Matt McClure), the cook Frank (Jason Farries), and the maid, Janet (Michaela Longden). Joining them is Amy Proctor (Mollie Hindle) and providing our entry point into the estate as hired help.
We learn early on who our antagonists are when Olga acquires the mysterious jack-in-the-box to aid her in her recovery. The ever-dutiful Edgar tuning into a Norman Bates-esque style performance…”Mother!”. McClure does a fine job here, showing a range of emotions from anxious and reserved, to unhinged anger and mania. It’s his portrayal that is the hook in this movie and keeps you wanting to know which way he will fall.
While the movie does walk the line of predictability and suffers under the restraints of the budget where it could do with a serving on the gore front to make Jack more threatening.
This can be forgiven due to Director Lawrence Fowler’s vision and attention to keeping the entertainment on the lust for power and the elixir of life.
- Saul Muerte
The Jack in the Box: Awakening is out now on DVD and VOD (Fetch TV, Telstra TV, Google Play, YouTube Store and iTunes) from Eagle Entertainment Australia.