The grief of a loved one is constantly brought up as a central theme in psychological grief films and, although at times it seems to play on the audience’s feelings, in reality an unusual way of defining grief is being expressed from the director’s perspective. In Anything For Jackson, we can see something similar to Pet Sematary but with a darker and demonic touch to deal with the mourning of a lost child.
After losing their grandson and daughter after a car accident, Dr. Henry Walsh (Julian Richings) and his wife, Audrey Walsh (Sheila McCarthy), decide to deprive of her freedom a pregnant patient of the doctor, Shannon (Konstantina Mantelos). The couple meticulously plans, from beginning to end, the how-when-and-where to successfully hear their grandson’s laughter at home again. Is it enough for them to steal someone else’s baby and pass it as their own? Of course it goes beyond complexity. Before the woman can give birth, the couple will perform a satanic ritual with a book relic so powerful they could accidentally call all the spirits wandering in limbo.
Anything For Jackson starts with a good premise that kept me stuck to the first act of the film. It has its ups and downs as it loses consistency in the pace and form to tell the story— it began with a back-and-forth flashbacks storyline and suddenly the rhythm is interrupted to keep a linear story. I probably would have appreciated that it stayed that way to bring the mystery high rather than so many twists and turns close to the denouement.
You can see the way in which tools that are used every day are implemented as tools in the development of history— this clearly implies the budget with which the project was carried out but these are details that puts production on high to avoid searching for details that in the end may not add value to the development of the plot. But, after complimenting something so good, I can’t pass up how bad the jump scares are— these are just a collection of loud noises with visuals possibly based on the rejected concept art of Thirteen Ghosts.
Despite maintaining a focused line on the actions of the characters, there are some inconsistencies that can lead the audience to lose focus. How is it that nobody notices what is happening outside the house when they are surrounded by neighbors? It may be that this is a rhetorical question to an ironic basis of the dialogue since at times it lingers with comedy giving it a slight touch of farce to the story.
With an ending that will leave you thinking beyond the end credits, Anything For Jackson is worth a watch as it plays around without thoroughly touching on a plot that can sometimes be tiring but, this time, turns out to be fresher than the blood used in ritual scenes.
8 OUT OF 10 EVIL BOOKS