Review: Jakob’s Wife (2021)

  • Director: Travis Stevens
  • Writer: Kathy Charles, Mark Steensland, Travis Stevens
  • Stars: Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Bonnie Aarons 

Review

The influence of Stephen King looms large over Jakob’s Wife but this in no way does the film a disservice. It’s not a copy but something all it’s own – and it’s really bloody good.

Annie Fedder (Crampton) is the bored, frustrated, repressed wife of Pastor Jakob Fedder (Fessenden). When an old flame Tom comes into town for a business venture, Annie is tempted by him. Their tryst is rudely interrupted and Tom is taken down and Annie is taken by… something. Annie beings to change and starts behaving differently and certainly has become more deadly. When Jakob realises what his wife has become he decides to try and track down the head vampire, to free his wife of it’s influence.

The film plays with the dynamics of marriage in playful ways, noting the power shifting paradigm between Jakob and Annie. Annie won’t be the submissive missus anymore, she’ll take of herself, of her wants and needs. At one stage she says to Jakob ‘we are doing this as equals’ – Jacob responds with ‘lets get this over with’. Jakob can’t understand why Annie would even want to change, it’s a pretty dark and funny look at marriage, especially one that has lasted such a long time.

Everyone knows Barbara Crampton is a horror icon, however this film is probably her best performance ever. Her Annie is so well done, from the meek human to the confident ‘monster’ all the while never losing her charm. Larry Fessenden is also an icon himself and once and yet again, he puts in a fantastic performance as Jakob, a man who loves the power the church affords him but never really understands that power. These two work so well together, the film may not have worked as well with different actors.

Travis Stevens creates a really good atmosphere, having a creeping camera that creates the tension when needed and then when required giving us full frontal gore. Stevens manages both the intimate face to face dialogue and the crazier scenes easily. A fantastic second film and one that you should seek out.

Jakob’s Wife is available On-Demand & Digital now.

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78

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