Film Review: Jakob’s Wife

Anne goes shopping

There are no fans more committed in their dedication to, and their celebration of, iconic stars than the horror film community. A major role forty years ago can lead to a lifetime of appearances at genre festivals and countless film cameos. Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator) has achieved a lot more than just securing bit parts in her autumn years. After being cast in You’re Next in 2011, her career has undergone a resurgence. Indeed, Jakob’s Wife is up there with her best performances.

Anne (Crampton) seems like the perfect wife for a small-town minister. For decades she has been the loyal and dedicated partner to Pastor Jakob (Larry Fessenden), performing all the duties expected of her without even a hint of complaint. However, Anne’s reached the point where she’s desperate for something more. The return of an old flame is the catalyst, but a dark dweller adds the bite she needs to take her life back.

On the one hand, Jakob’s Wife is a bloody and bonkers spin on the vampire mythos. Both leads revel in the material, particularly Crampton who appears to be having a field day. On the other hand, there’s a clunky feminist message fighting for air, which kind of stifles the entertainment. Whilst Anne’s situation could easily embody both, these elements never really marry up. Whilst Travis Stevens’ film is still undoubtedly good fun it’s never quite sure what it’s trying to be. Jakob’s Wife is an entertaining, if somewhat frustrating, horror.

Jakob’s Wife is released by Shudder and RLJE Films in US cinemas, On Demand and Digital on 16 April.

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