Friday, 22 June 2018

Jack in the Box (2009)




Synopsis

Find a chair and you can stay, But if you don't you'll go away. The last survives another day... Pop Goes the Weasel. Welcome to Junior's world where six invited guests, trapped in a room, play a deadly game of musical chairs for their lives.

Review

The synopsis there pretty much says it all. Six guests enter a room and are forced to play musical chairs. If you lose, you die. No spoilers this time, though.

Shot in a single location - this is a one room play - and on an obviously minuscule budget, it's trying to replicate a Saw franchise feel, and to be honest it does a pretty good job of it. The premise of playing out a single Saw game to movie length proves one problem. How do you make it interesting? It can only be through character interaction. The game of musical chairs occurs every ten minutes. The film plays out in real time.


Sorry about the image quality. High res images of this film don't appear to exist.

None of the actors in the film are experienced - this goes with the budget, but they do a pretty good job with what they're offered, which sadly isn't too much. The problem isn't with the script - that's okay - but there is little to no character development, or indeed exposition to enlighten the viewer on the characters. We know nothing of them, and therefore care little as to whether they live or die.

It's the final outing for writer/director Frank Kerr, best known for writing many episodes of The Legend of Prince Valiant, and he does a good enough job.

The film does have the addition of a "major twist ending" but it's so boldly telegraphed I knew how it was to end before the half way mark.

Without caring for the characters, and because of the budget, no real horror, it's easy to become dis-engaged, and it's just not scary. That said, I've seen worse. Have a beer and you may enjoy the 88 minutes enough.





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