I've been a movie enthusiast my whole life and been writing movie reviews for over 156 years.
Kathy Charles, Mark Steensland, and Travis Stevens
Those of you that know me know that my real name isn’t what it says on the titles of all my reviews.
I use my stage name because I want to protect myself and those I love around me from prying eyes. And with the wide reach of the internet, it’s getting more difficult to do that so I must keep my secrets safe.
*looks at you*
But I don’t know. I don’t know how they found me Marty, but somehow the makers of the vampire movie Jakob’s Wife know that my real name is Jakob (though I spell it Jacob like a normal f*cking person) and that my wife is a vampire.
For a vampire…
Just as long as you don’t have a neck with blood in it, then you’re fine.
Then you’re safe for now.
This might be my last review for now (or just until next week). After anyone sees Jakob’s Wife, then they’ll look at me with an askew eye, because this movie practically mirrors my life.
Now I’ll have to write reviews under a different name. Wear different pants. Move to a place where the citizens have bloodless necks.
But for now, here’s my last review until 3 to 7 days.
The Hitman’s Bodyguard’s Wife’s Synopsis
Jakob’s Wife opens in a church, where our good minister Jakob (Larry Fessenden- The Dead Don’t Die, every independent horror movie from 2010 on) is giving his sermon about loving your wife, which is in no way on the nose.
Jakob may love his wife, but he sure has a funny way of showing it as he pretty much ignores her when he’s preaching.
No, because as the movie points out Jakob is a minister, not a Catholic priest. So there will be no altar boy b*ggering in this movie. Onscreen anyway.
Jakob’s wife Anne (horror movie icon Barbara Crampton) is pretty much relegated to the background. Jakob constantly talks over her, but Anne also doesn’t seem to want to assert herself much. She may not be happy, but she’s not terribly sad. The marriage has just been ‘meh’ for forty years.
Jakob and Anne console a member of the congregation named Amelia (Nyisha Bell) because her mother is on the sauce again. Jakob tells Amelia he’ll come over and talk to her mother.
Amelia is grateful, and she walks home with a lightness in her step. Amelia is black, and for a moment we’re worried that she’s going to get shot by a cop.
But no, she’s taken by a giant hooded figure and disappears.
Meanwhile, Anne is going to see an old flame Tom (Robert Rusler) to try to convince him to do business in an old, abandoned mill that in no way would be a good place to house vampires.
Tom reminisces about how Anne used to be wild and crazy.
Anne says she’s happy being married to, um, whatever his name is.
Tom and Anne go to the abandoned mill. They start to make out. They notice giant crates that Anne says wasn’t there before. Tom opens one up because that’s always a good idea. It’s nothing but giant rats. Because Tom is a huge fan of giant rats he decided to open the other crate and then gets attacked by what looks to be Amelia from about three paragraphs ago.
Amelia looks different. She’s got teeth and there’s blood all around her mouth.
Tom has a suitcase and not a gun. Suitcases don’t to d*ck against vampires and Tom is dead AF.
Anne is freaking out.
But not to worry because the same thing that attacked Amelia just grabbed Anne.
We fade to black.
Anne wakes up hours later. She has a sensitivity to light. She’s craving raw meat, or rather the blood around the raw meat.
Jakob comes home and Anne feels like going out. Jakob wonders what’s up with his wife.
Jakob goes to work and Anne hasn’t made breakfast. She’s too busy working out and gardening. Jakob thinks his wife is acting strange this morning. Jakob wonders if it has anything to do with Tom. He’s not the jealous type, but this is very irregular.
Jakob doesn’t know the half of it.
Anne is going through some changes. All of which will be a surprise to anyone who has never seen a vampire movie before. At best, Anne is gaining some independence, becoming her own woman besides Jakob’s wife.
Probably having to do with being a vampire. Because nobody in this Podunk town has seen a movie.
What Works With Jakob’s Wife
- Barbara Crampton’s stellar lead performance carries the movie, even through the more predictable spots, especially through the more predictable spots. You actually care what happens to Anne as she makes her arc from dutiful wife to…something else. Anne dancing to Concrete Blonde is one of the more joyous scenes of 2021.
- “I’m going to tongue-f*ck in your neck until you puke blood” should be put on a T-shirt. Tastefully of course.
- As predictable as the first act is to those who’ve never seen a vampire movie, the third act is equally as unpredictable. Director/co-writer Travis Stevens (The Girl on the Third Floor) doesn’t reinvent the vampire movie, but there are enough surprises to keep a seasoned horror fan relatively off balance.
- Credit the movie’s three(!) writers for giving the movie a decidedly feminist edge while also giving Larry Fessenden more shades to play than you’d initially expect. You may not like Jakob at first, but he’s not the one-dimensional a-hole you’d make up he was based on the first thirty minutes.
What Doesn’t Work With Jakob’s Wife
- Don’t credit the movie’s three(!!) writers with finding a consistent tone. There are times when the movie wants to be a comedy. Then it wants to be a vicious vampire movie. But it can’t find the footing to be both. This is by no means a dealbreaker and genre fans should definitely see it, but it keeps Jakob’s Wife from being great. You’ll have to settle for rather good.
Jakob’s Wife is, by far, the best vampire movie of 2021. Beating last March’s popular vampire movie as well as last February’s immensely popular vampire movie you all saw in theaters because that was a thing in February. It’s a solid vampire movie that should satisfy your um, thirst.