Shout Factory has been distributing the defining versions of cult classics and forgotten gems for five years now, but it was only just recently they started making original horror films of their own.
Their first effort, Fender Bender, was a delightful and intense surprise. Jackals, just like its predecessor, was a surprise as well. I loved the central cast of characters and its small scale story. It takes a creative and fascinating idea and plays it out to full effect. We get a story of a cultist, an exorcist for members of cults who have been brainwashed, trying to save the some of the family who hired him.
Right off the back, we get a fascinating new idea and it only gets better from there. The broken family’s dynamics, flaws, and interactions were emotionally gruesome. You got to see them at their worst and their best and these characters are what you can say as the perfect depiction of real people.
Then there are the villains. In their quiet ferocity, they become a sort of omnipresent entity, which adds to their silent warped mindset. The costumes are great and the idea that comes with it, equally so.
However, there’s just some hunky dialogue towards the beginning. It sticks out like a sore thumb and while gone after the first twenty minutes, bogged the film down. The plot raised it back to glory which is a survival horror with smart moves, scary character conflicts, and great resolution.
You get sucked into the world of this family and you really feel that you’re along for the ride during the instances that someone outside tries to kill them and what’s inside threatens to tear them apart.
The stylish cinematography was gorgeous to look at and the soundtrack was purely phenomenal. The ending of the film may leave some gasping, but I loved it as a vicious call back to horror films of the 70’s.
Overall, Jackals is one of my favorite horror films of the year. It’s strong cast, ferociously creative ideas concerning cults and family survival horror, great cinematography, as well as great tracks are all bogged down by bad dialogue at the beginning of the film.
I’d recommend you watch this gem because it bring everything to the table! 7/10