Jessabelle (2014) Poster

(2014)

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6/10
Good Not Great
Slasher_Lover2310 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Following an accident that leaves her crippled, Jessabelle "Jess" (Sarah Snook), returns to her childhood home with her father (David Andrews). It is during her stay there that she discovers video tapes for her made by her deceased mother (Joelle Carter). As she begins to recover more of the tapes, Jess finds herself being haunted by a vengeful spirit that is out to get her. Enlisting the help of her old friend Preston (Mark Webber), Jess sets out to uncover the secret of the home she thought she knew.

Prior to viewing the film, my expectations were really low. It didn't look bad, but it didn't look exactly enticing either. Seeing the trailer in the theater, only to have it receive a limited release and a VOD release. While I wasn't entirely blown away, it wasn't as lousy as I was anticipating. Sarah Snook provides a very well-done performance as the title character. I admit the accent was irritating a lot of the time, but she did very well with the role and conveyed the emotions she was supposed to spot on. The rest of the cast, while not bad, doesn't provide anything noteworthy. As for the story itself, I did find myself growing antsy, it was consisting of so many elements of a typical haunted house flick. However, once the final act approached, things began to get interesting, and when the final act does happen, I found my attention completely glued. It features some pretty decent twists and turns, unfortunately, it bares a strong resemblance to particular horror film which I will not indicate in order to avoid giving anything away. Despite this fact, it was satisfactory and it actually made sense, and was very enjoyable. The Louisiana setting also worked very well for the film and provided a decent but familiar atmosphere.

While not exactly original and takes a while to finally gain momentum, Jessabelle goes out with quite a bang, and in the end provides a semi-interesting story. It also shows that Sarah Snook has what it takes to make it in the horror genre.
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7/10
Better than expected
MisterAwesome8 January 2015
I found out about this movie through IMDb and decided to give it a spin. It had a lot more than I was initially expecting. It has got a couple of clichés that we have seen before, but besides that the movie definitely creeped me out. The house and it's setting give of a chilly vibe and works as a set. The movie creates a creepy atmosphere and doesn't rely on jump scares. The lead gives of a decent to good performance and is convincing in her role. Jessabelle is not really predictable, but when the ending explains how everything fits together there is a part of you that did know deep inside this was how it was gonna turn out. It doesn't disappoint in the end and it's surely is a movie that's worth the watch. Be sure to watch it alone in the dark so the atmosphere can creep you out at it's fullest.
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7/10
Ghosts in Louisiana
claudio_carvalho17 August 2015
Jessabelle "Jessie" Laurent (Sarah Snook) is pregnant and accepts to move to the house of her boyfriend to raise a family of their own. However they have a car accident where her boyfriend and her baby die. Jessie is seriously wounded and trapped to a wheelchair, and the direction of the hospital asks her to contact her estranged father to help her. Leon Laurent (David Andrews) brings his daughter to his house in Louisiana and lodges her in her mother's room. Jessie snoops around the room and finds a videotape where her mother Kate Laurent (Joelle Carter) is pregnant and reads tarot cards to her. She tells that Jessie would never left Louisiana; she is attracted by water; and another woman wants her out of the house. However Leon arrives and destroys the tape. On the next morning, Jessie watches another videotape when her father is out of the house, and her mother talks about the man that had taught her to read cards, Moses (Vaughn Wilson}. Jessie is haunted by the ghost of a woman and her father discovers the two other videotapes she has hidden. When he tries to destroy them, something happens to him and he is burnt to death trapped in a shed. During the funeral, Jessie meets her high-school friend Preston Sanders (Mark Webber), who is unhappily married. Preston decides to help Jessie after watching the videotapes. Who might be haunting Jessie?

"Jessabelle" is a creepy and melancholic ghost story, with an original story of haunted house and a well-written screenplay. The plot is developed in a slow pace and the conclusion is totally unexpected. The gorgeous Sarah Snook has a great performance and the supporting cast is also excellent. The IMDb User Rating is totally underrated. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Jessabelle: O Passado Nunca Morre" ("Jessabelle: The Past Never Dies")

Note: On 05 august 2016, I saw this film again.
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7/10
This is one of the few movies that creeped me out in the last year. The movie doesn't need to rely on jump scares to get you.
cosmo_tiger15 December 2014
"It says you're not alone. There's a presence in the house with you. She wants you out of the house." Jessie (Snook) has everything going for her. She is the happiest she has ever been and moving in with her boyfriend whom she loves. In an instant her life is changed. Now alone and paralyzed from the waist down she has no choice but to move in with her father whom she hasn't seen in years. When she finds and plays tapes that her dead mother left for her strange and horrifying things start to happen. I have to open by saying that I am not a big horror movie fan. Mainly due to the fact that recently the horror genre has been Saw-like or found footage type. The ones that scare me are the more psychological movies that mess with your head rather than show you how many ways people can be chopped up. This falls into that category. The movie doesn't need to rely on jump scares to get you. The fact that this one in grounded in reality with the random scare thrown in really makes this work. Overall, if you like movies like The Conjuring or Insidious then you will like this as well. This is one of the few movies that creeped me out in the last year. I liked it. I give it a B+.
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6/10
Excellent main actress, average film. Still fun and worth watching!
nitzanhavoc26 February 2015
After watching the trailer for this film, I must say I had really high hopes. As a devout Horror fan with a declared preference towards ghost stories and hauntings, I had looked forward to seeing another usual film of the genre, mediocre yet frightening and fun to watch.

While Jessabelle is light-years away from competing with the sub- genres best like The Grudge or Dead Silence, it completes the task it unofficially took upon itself, as it obviously had no intentions of being profound or in any way great. Sarah Snook, while definitely not painful to look at to say the least, is far more than your usual Horror Eye-Candy made famous in classic Slashers. Trust me, this professional knows a hell of a lot more than screaming convincingly and looking fine in a bathing suite. This was my first encounter with her, and I must say she just might be the best thing about Jessabelle. Apparently she's been making quite a name for herself since 2012, and I can definitely see why. Even though her character is stuck in a wheel-chair, the empathy towards its desperation and helplessness is greatly created by Snook's acting skills.

As for the story, it suffers from one of the known banes of Horror - a mediocre plot twist leading to an anticlimactic ending, after a finely made build-up. At least there is a plot twist, true, as Horror films are highly upgraded by these in my opinion, but the one in Jessabelle simply feels unfulfilled. I find it difficult putting my finger on what should have been better about it, I just know it didn't create the sensation we expect from such twists. I believe that was the main reason for the ending being slightly wanting.

All in all, I found Jessabelle to be quite average, meaning anyone who doesn't expect to have their mind blown and being swept off their feet by a masterpiece could enjoy it quite a bit, as I did. Snook's acting and the sufficiently smart plot make it even slightly above average. As always, I would recommend that you ignore my humble opinion, watch it and judge for yourselves. If you ask me - as far as this one is concerned, it's definitely worth it.
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6/10
Not perfect, but one of the better horror flicks in recent years
nightshade07124 January 2015
I first saw the trailer for this flick in April of last year, at a showing for The Quiet Ones (bad movie, by the way; do not recommend). Being quite the fan of the southern Gothic genre, I wasn't exactly impressed by the trailer but wanted to see it regardless. For some reason or other, Jessabelle never made it to my local theaters - thus, I had to wait for the inevitable RedBox release to follow in January.

And what do you know, I finally got to watch it.

Jessabelle is not a perfect movie. It does have its flaws. It does have its clichés. But it is an honest attempt at making a horror flick and it does work. The atmosphere lends a hand, with spooky southern mansions and dark bayous. And as it so often does in stories like these, voodoo eventually takes center stage.

After recent horror releases like the dismal Oujia (a movie I personally despise), Jessabelle is a welcome change of pace. It is a slow-burner that brings to mind films such as The Skeleton Key (albeit 'Key being a superior effort).

The cinematography is quite good and the acting is effective. Sarah Snook is certainly leading lady material, and you can see her potential here front-and-center. Providing a sympathetic lead can make or break a film like this and Snook does not disappoint. A side note is that she is totally gorgeous and looks just the part for a sweet southern belle.

Final verdict: Jessabelle is nothing groundbreaking but one of the better horror flicks in recent years. Sarah Snook is one to keep an eye on. Worth a rental, but if you want to buy I'd say wait for it to hit the bargain bins.
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8/10
Refreshing, spooky, recommended .... BUT OMG the ending!
A_Different_Drummer3 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Stumbled onto this by accident on cable and was delighted with the find.

I like horror films, I have seen a lot, and it is no easy feat to catch my attention, but for the first 99% of this movie (more below), I was having a heck of a time...

First, Sarah Snook. What a career she has ahead. She is charismatic and empathetic enough to carry this "lone woman by herself" story and hold the viewer's attention like glue. She seems like a normal character, the kind you might meet in the supermarket, then the camera will suddenly catch her at just the right angle and the entire screen fills up with those amazing eyes. A plus.

The story (except for the last 5 minutes) is also a big plus. It seems like a demented version of the 1973 drama "Message To My Daughter" with Bonnie Bedalia, except here the mother leaving the message (joelle Carter) is possibly insane and the message is nothing short of terrifying.

Another big plus is the supporting cast. David Andrews is just brilliant as the father whose erratic behaviour could scare the $%&% out any kid. When he finally comes to a bad end, even though he is the only friend that Snook's character has in the world, the audience actually feels relieved. That's acting.

And Mark Webber as the "ex" who seems to be trying to help Snook out of compassion -- against the protests of his confused wife -- also nails his character dead on.

Lots of spooky bits, more than a fair share of scenes that would make you regret watching it by yourself.

In other words -- and I want to be clear on this -- going into the ninth inning we were way ahead on points and this film looked like a gem.

And then you have the "twist reverse" ending, and a lot of the air suddenly seeps from the fun balloon.

My job as a reviewer is to call 'em as I see 'em. Just keep in mind that the last 5 minutes may introduce a jarring note to the story, and try to get your enjoyment from everything that comes before.

And you will confidently scared out of your wits.
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6/10
Swampy Louisiana and voodoo.
HumanoidOfFlesh25 November 2014
Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate from a horrific car accident (which left her unborn child and fiancé dead) Jessabelle(Sarah Snook)comes face to face with a long-tormented spirit that has been seeking her return—and has no intention of letting her escape.The action of "Jessabelle" takes place in backwoods bayou of Louisiana.The film was directed by Kevin Greutert of "Saw VI" and "Saw 3D" fame.The storyline is quite interesting and captivating and the voodoo imagery is quite spooky.Unfortunately long black haired female spirits in the vein of "Ringu" are too routine to be seriously scary.I must say that I quite enjoyed final twist,though.6 bayou ghosts out of 10.
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6/10
Jessabelle Faces Her Ghosts, Both Paranormal and Not
gavin694213 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate from a horrific car accident, Jessabelle (Sarah Snook) comes face to face with a long-tormented spirit that has been seeking her return -- and has no intention of letting her escape.

"Jessabelle" is directed and edited by Kevin Greutert, who made his name as part of the "Saw" franchise crew (he was involved in all of them, and directed parts six and seven). Keep in mind, though, these may be targeting two different groups of horror fans: "Jessabelle" is a much slower burn than the "Saw" films, and relies much less on the use of shock and gore.

Sarah Snook is relatively new on the scene, her acting career really getting launched in 2009. She is front and center here and makes a strong leading lady with a good look, too. No one should be surprised she has half a dozen projects coming out in the next year.

For much of the film, the eeriness relies on a dead mother with a strong interest in the occult (especially tarot), who communicates to her daughter through old VHS tapes. This is something of a clever way to unravel the plot... somewhat slow, but not quite boring.

For those who want a little something more, the terror picks up in the third act. Things never really get above a PG-13 level of scary, but sometimes that is all you need. For those who loved the "Saw" films and want to see that Greutert was not just a one-trick pony, this is something to check out.
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4/10
"What did you say? She was black?!?"
utgard1427 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Disappointing mystery-thriller that fails utterly as a horror movie (which, from the marketing, I assumed it was). It's not a terribly original movie. There will be plenty of things you see coming a mile away. It also peddles in clichés and stereotypes. It takes place in the South so, per the Hollywood rule book, there has to be a black/white conflict in the story. More specifically, since it takes place in Louisiana, the same Hollywood rule book dictates all the black people practice voodoo. Heaven forbid we try to play against these clichés in 2014. Oh and nobody has a convincing Southern accent here. I guess they watched some episodes of Designing Women and figured they'd nailed it. Sarah Snook does okay but with her big eyes and permanently open mouth, it does make it hard to take her seriously when the movie needs you to. On the plus side, she does display some nice cleavage throughout the movie. So thanks for that.

Hated the stuff with the tapes her mom made for her. These scenes have the same air of implausibility that most found footage movies do. It's just unbelievable that someone would do stupid things like make a video of themselves crying and telling their unborn baby "you're already dead." Or my favorite: "You don't know where you are. You don't know who you are. You don't know s**t." While I'm bitching about things, who digs up a grave in the swamp at night just out of curiosity? Then, once they've done that and found a coffin, who opens it? Freaks, that's who. Whatever the movie has going for it (and there isn't much), it all falls apart in one of the worst endings in recent movie history. It's so dumb and the way Sarah Snook acts will make you laugh out loud. If taken remotely seriously, it's actually kind of offensive. And since the filmmakers saw fit to exploit race for a cheap "horror" flick, I'd say you're well within your rights to be offended.
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9/10
Very good atmospheric thriller
jtindahouse11 November 2014
Sometimes when watching a supernatural thriller/horror you have to ask yourself 'should I really be scared by what I'm seeing, considering it's completely unrealistic and impossible to ever happen in the real world?' Or the other question that sometimes enters the equation is 'should I really be scared by what I'm seeing or is it all just in the character's mind anyway?' 'Jessabelle' doesn't completely avoid these questions being asked, but it does a great job of disguising the fact that they're there lurking in the background.

It's a tense, atmospheric ride from the opening scene right through to the closing credits. Sarah Snook is great as the lead and I couldn't help thinking throughout she might have been great as Carrie in the recent remake of Brian De Palmas classic. The frights are consistent throughout (including a particularly effective bathtub scene) but what really drives it is the story and mystery surrounding it. She isn't simply being haunted for the hell of it, there's a reason and the viewer is left curious to work out what it is.

It's all very similar in nature to 'The Skeleton Key' (a personal favourite of mine) with a unique twist to look forward to and an excellent mystery driven storyline. Director (and editor as he's probably better known as) Kevin Greutert is starting to become a personal favourite of mine. Anything he gets his hands on he works wonders with and creates brilliant material.
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4/10
A Bit Slow But Not Too Bad Overall
dfa12037426 February 2015
Jessabelle is a movie that, unfortunately, relies too much on it's jump/scare moments & atmosphere to entertain rather than the plot or story. Don't get me wrong...the plot of the movie isn't that bad and the story is filmed out decently enough. It's just that it has a wee bit of a tendency to go a bit slow in places and at 90 minutes (which is average for a film these days) it could have been beefed out a bit better I think to make it not feel AS slow.

Another aspect of the story is that, while it's not overly complicated or confusing, you do need to pay attention to what is happening because if you don't then the ending will make no sense whatsoever. In saying that however, even when paying attention, one part of the story still didn't make sense, but I won't say anything for very obvious reasons.

Some of the scare scenes in the movie were actually quite good (especially considering that this film is only a PG-13) even if they were the good old fashioned jump/scare's. Sometimes the old tried and tested methods are the best and they were done well for this film. The atmosphere generated through the film is very decent as well, especially when it is working alongside the more scarier parts of the story. I know it's a given that atmosphere usually works well with creepy moments, but here it is nicely done throughout the movie.

The cast do a pretty solid job too and the film is well acted. I mean there are no stand out performances that are Oscar worthy (no offense to the cast), but they all do a fine job with the script that they are working with.

Given all of that, it does go a bit slow in places like I say, and I think that's really the only thing stopping me from giving it a slightly higher rating than what I have.

Overall, Jessabelle is a decent, well acted out supernatural horror with some nice creepy moments that is just a bit slow. It's nowhere near to being the best out there but at the same time I've seen much worse.
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5/10
A Big Disappointment.
Matt_Layden22 November 2015
When I first saw the trailer for this film, I thought to myself; "Wow, now that seems like it could be a tense film, she's stuck in a wheel chair the whole time". I stand by that comment; any horror film with the main character being terrorized or haunted and they are stuck, immobile, will lead to greater stakes. That individual can't run away, they can't really hide, they're stuck. I was game to see this flick.

Jessabelle tells the tale of a young beautiful woman who has her dreams cut short by an accident, which leaves her unable to walk. Confined to a wheel chair, she calls her absentee father to come and pick her up. She moves in with him and finds these old VHS tapes around the house with messages from her mother, whose dead, about Jessabelle's fate. You guessed it, her fate isn't looking to good. Her mother see's death, torture and ghosts in poor Jessabelle's future and her future lurks behind every corner.

Okay, so now we have a main character, physically confined to her chair. The threat isn't really tangible, it's a ghost, so that can come out of nowhere. You're not safe in any room, any corner, or under any sheets. Great, this is good news, the tension will come....the tension will come....I'm sure the tension will eventually come....the tension never came.

Jessabelle disappoints me so much in that area. Not once did I ever really fear for her character. Sure things get a little creepy, but those scare tactics are clichéd and tired out. Even the added bonus of our disabled character, couldn't save the film from that. This film only works, barely, due to the performance from Sarah Snook. Snook was nominated in last years Mofo Film Awards for her role in Predestination. She failed to win, but did indeed turn some heads. She does so again, for me at least, with her honest performance here. She's beautiful, but that doesn't define her character, as so many horror movie characters go that route. Here, Snook gives Jessabelle some depth and some empathy, something a lot of horror flicks lack. So Jessabelle earns some points there.

The final reveals fail to live up to the moderate build up. So the end result is a poor result all around. The film lacks a lot of much needed scares and more importantly, tension and fear for the well being of our main character here. If Jessabelle looks like an interesting film to you, don't be fooled, it's not.
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7/10
Voodoo something to me
begob10 November 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Well made horror that slowly uncovers a dark secret.

After one frightening scene in the bathroom, no way do you want the helpless heroine to stay in the house.

There's a great plot device of videos from a mother to her daughter, as part of a memory box made when she expects to die from cancer. In the end this gives a couple of tight twists.

The reviews here are too severe - it's well acted, plotted and paced, with the usual non-stop horror soundtrack. If you're looking for scares rather than gore, and you don't mind a bit of voodoo, then give it a go.

Not perfect, but good entertainment. I rank it with The Skeleton Key.
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Eerie Louisiana chiller with some interesting touches
amesmonde13 November 2014
Returning to her childhood home to recuperate from a horrific car accident, Jessabelle after finding some VHS tapes made by her deceased mother comes face to face with a mysterious spirit seeking vengeance.

Director Kevin Greutert offers an interesting deep south Louisiana chiller, in the vein of Angel Heart and the Skeleton Key to name a few. The slow burning mystery's special effects are excellently executed and there are plenty of jump scares. Notable are Mark Webber and Sarah Snook as Jessabelle. Chris Ellis gives a strong cameo as Sheriff Pruitt and David Andrews (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines) gives a solid performance as Jessabelle's Dad Leon.

Even with some surprise deaths those familiar with the genre will have guessed writer Ben Garant's twist by the third act. But the novel idea of a mother making video tapes for her unborn child Jessabelle, then Jessabelle now a grown up watching them with her mother (who has since passed away) giving her daughter information via the tapes is a creepy and emotional idea.

With an abrupt tagged on closing the meat of Jessabelle has been seen before and it loses its originality and scare factor by the ends reveal. That said, Greutert's film is great looking with an eerie atmosphere that is lacking in so many horrors of late.
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5/10
Flaws versus nice story
kosmasp21 February 2016
It's tough to judge or rate this. Because the essence was much better than what I was expecting. Even if you can see things coming (no pun intended), especially if you read reviews who give away certain things or you just have seen enough horror movies to know some things, you'll still be entertained by this.

And I did like where it went at the end (literally and metaphorically speaking). You could call it a nice twist, though many things could have been prevented if someone would have spoken out. The alternate or rather extended ending does not do anything more than the original did. Ending on the note the movie does right now is the best way to go out.
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Nothing new here........move along
SheenaDi6 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
While this film gave the off the same creepy vibe from The Skeleton Key it was no where near as well made. The story is so overdone it's not scary anymore...the vengeful spirit waiting for the right person to come along so their lost soul can inhabit that body.

So many plot holes left unexplained...where did Jessie actually come from, was there no medical professional present at the birth of the real child and why hadn't Jessabelle been torturing Leon he is the one who actually killed her...Jessie was an innocent victim, kidnapped from her real family and raised by an aunt...why should Jessie be tormented and eventually have her soul destroyed and her body inhabited by the evil spirit of Jessabelle? It really made no sense to me.
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6/10
Not my cup of tea horror wise, but definitely enjoyable
UniqueParticle8 July 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Jessie (Sarah Snook) early Into the film gets hit by a car and spends the rest of the majority of the movie in a wheelchair. She is beautiful in this and Succession on HBO! This has fair bit of awesome bits like a very gross bath scene and when Preston (Mark Webber) gets attacked. I'm blown away this didn't receive a hard R-rating at least for terrifying subject matter! This is nothing special, although has a great story and a few cool shots. Also Mark Webber is one of my favorite actors because of movies like Snow Day, 13 Sins, Green Room, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, Antibirth, Boiler Room, and Don't Worry He Won't Get Far on Foot. Jessabelle is solid 6.5 from me.
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5/10
Mediocrity Lurks in the Bayou
makleen26 February 2018
A woman torments her wheelchair-bound daughter from beyond the grave with VHS tapes in this voodoo-themed supernatural thriller. Written by Robert Ben Garant and directed by Kevin Greutert, Jessabelle (2014) keeps you guessing until the end, but an engaging mystery and attractive lead isn't enough to save this mediocre horror film from Blumhouse Productions.

Tragedy strikes pregnant Jessabelle "Jessie" Laurent (Sarah Snook) when her fiancé Mark is killed in a car accident, which also causes her to miscarry and become paralyzed from the waist down. Now wheelchair-bound, she returns home to Louisiana to live with her father, Leon (David Andrews). For some reason Leon has kept her mother, Kate's (Joelle Carter) old bedroom sealed and reopens it for Jessie. Neither Jessie nor their housekeeper seem to think this is odd.

Jessie, who believes her mother died of a brain tumor, discovers tapes her mother recorded as a message for her eighteenth birthday. This instigates several disturbing encounters with a dark-haired phantom (Amber Stevens West). Leon tries to destroy the tapes but ends up burning to death. At his funeral, Jessie reunites with her childhood sweetheart, Preston Sanders (Mark Webber).

Together, Jessie and Preston investigate the strange events and their connection to a local voodoo church. They discover a baby's skeleton buried in the bayou with the same name and birth date as Jessie. The local sheriff (Chris Ellis) discovers the child's origin too late to save Jessie, who is attacked by the ghost of Kate and a voodoo priest named Moses (Vaughn Wilson). I won't spoil the ending, but it's a crazy plot twist that might have been interesting if it was developed a bit more.

Sarah Snook is an Australian actress mostly known for appearing nude in the infamous film Sleeping Beauty (2011). She graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Arts and performs admirably in Jessabelle, albeit with a sloppy Southern drawl. She spends most of the movie wearing low-cut dresses aimed at cornering the teenage boys who have never used the Internet to watch porn demographic. I'll give her character credit for not taking whatever inheritance her dad left and getting on the first bus out of town after watching him inexplicably burn to death in a shed.

There aren't many films set in the Louisiana bayou and even less featuring voodoo. That's what originally drew me to this film, and I wish it would have more fully explored the subject. Jessie never attempts to understand her mother's dalliance with the dark arts until the last moment. It would have been more interesting if she tried to learn something about voodoo and combat whatever dark spirit was tormenting her. But Jessabelle's fast pace doesn't give the characters, or the audience, much time for reflection.

The film grabs you and races toward its conclusion, not giving you time to stop and ask questions like: why wouldn't Jessie's dad get rid of his wife's clothes and personal belongings after 18 years? Why would Jessie's dad make her stay in Kate's old bedroom, where she could discover the video tapes, instead of her childhood room? Why does the ghost of an infant look like a grown woman? Why did Kate have a wheelchair, when she committed suicide and wasn't actually sick? Why does Jessie take a bath fully clothed?

Okay, the PG-13 rating answers that question.

Critics and audiences panned Jessabelle (25% and 31% on Rotten Tomatoes), but I didn't think it was nearly as bad as more recent horror films like The Hatred (2017) and Annabelle: Creation (2017). It has creepy atmosphere, a mystery that keeps you guessing, and a strong lead, but it just doesn't take any risks. Jessabelle would have been much better off with an R-rating and a director who wasn't afraid to get creative or push the envelope.
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7/10
Southern Gothic is still alive and well.
lewiskendell24 November 2015
I enjoyed Jessabelle. If you are partial to a sweaty, swampy, bayou ghost story then it's likely that you will enjoy yourself with the movie as well.

The story benefits from unraveling slowly and leaving some mystery about what's really happening until the very end. After a terrible accident leaves her reliant on a wheelchair, a woman is forced to move back to her family home in the Louisiana swamp with her estranged father. She finds that there are more than just emotional ghosts waiting for her in that lonely house. As far as modern horror goes, this isn't an overly violent or gory film. There are a few jump scares sprinkled throughout, but most of the time Jessabelle relies on building discomfort and unease through glimpses of figures that shouldn't be there, ominous sounds, and unnatural events among the oppressive bayou gloom. That makes it more unnerving when moments of extreme violence do come.

The end of the movie was a highlight for me, especially since many horror movies tend to fall apart in the last act. The closing events actually make sense within the context of the story and bring closure. The only real problem I had with the movie was that the resolution was fairly similar to another movie in the genre. That didn't ruin Jessabelle by any means, but the ending was so familiar that I won't mention the name of the other movie that I'm thinking of because anyone who has seen it will instantly have a fairly accurate idea of how Jessabelle concludes.

I recommend Jessabelle to anyone with an affinity for this type of horror - where atmosphere, mystery, and story take the lead over lots of action and mayhem.
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5/10
Not bad, not great
potterbond007-51-2346110 November 2014
I will say that Jessabelle tried to scare but was unsuccessful.. Other than a few jumps from sudden sounds and camera switches.. there is nothing that the movie really has to offer. The plot is interesting.. there is also a whole explanation about everything towards the end tying up loose ends.. The climax is a bit laughable and has been made just for the sake of it.. Supposed "ghost" that needed help turning on you?? Yeah anyway, the acting by the lead is decent. Obviously, in a horror flick there are no real opportunities for sublime acting but she was convincing. Nobody else has a significant part to play in the plot. I wouldn't call her eye candy but out tastes may differ. The cinematography is decent and the BGM fails to thrill.. overall, watchable..
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4/10
Mostly just dumb cheap scares
quincytheodore15 January 2015
Jessabelle has so much potential for horror. Firstly, it follows the story of a woman in a wheelchair after an accident to better convey the feeling of helplessness. It's also set in rural bayou and uses old VHS "farewell message", the premise is certainly sound. However, it falters just as it needs to deliver the terror and ends up using unintelligent loud noise.

There's relentless amount of blaring sound effect as if the volume spikes when something is supposed to happen. It also shamelessly blasts footsteps, screeching noise, some gibberish soundtracks and most annoyingly; crippling screams. These are not the level of intensity for fright, it's irritatingly bad like stuck in traffic jam with horn honker. The movie wants the constant scream to infect the audience by producing high amount of them, I'm not sure if the characters are vehemently screaming to each other or to audience, horror just doesn't work that way.

First half is considerably decent, mostly when the movie starts to piece the plot together. Its village and confinement of a wounded girl do create some atmosphere, although as it progresses the movie just keeps falling with flawed logic and reused pattern. It's really unclear if the entity can possess, just haunt, Final Destination-esque or omnipotent entirely, much of it are described with lazy voodoo or tarot narrative. The movie attempts to produce some sort of sense of insecurity by going with this theme back and forth, but without any direction, or logic for that matter, the plot becomes more baffling.

Jessabelle herself (Sarah Snook) acts contradictorily. She might be giggly at one point, scared brainless later and then inexplicably confrontational. I can't believe this is the same girl in Predestination. Other characters aren't likable as well. They are restricted by odd script and implausible development. Their reaction or motives are sketchy at best. It's hard to relate with them with such unrealistic behavior.

It gets worst towards the end. With more screaming, witless belligerent scenes Jessabelle culminates into a tired ending.
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6/10
Surprising End
thiagobguzzo8 November 2014
I watched this movie yesterday, the scenes are so electric, you can't close your eyes any time. Jessabelle(Sarah Snook) after suffering an accident will live in a old house with her dad and she pass very problems with ugly and very angry ghosts, the end of the movie was the best, it was so surprising. The effects of the movie are great, and the act too. I recommend for all people who like the genre horror supernatural, the movie is a little different and for me there aren't clichés. In the begin I jump with some scares of the movie, but could have more scares...James Wan work very good with the the credits end, was very cool. Watch this movie and discover the mystery about Jessabelle!!!!!
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5/10
Jessabelle - Above Average Horror Flick
Yuvi7714 December 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Jessabelle is an American horror thriller film directed by Kevin Greutert and written by Ben Garant. The film begins with Sarah Snook (Predestination girl) moving in with her boy friend while she is pregnant. They met with an accident while moving and Jessie looses her boyfriend and her child. She looses her walking ability temporarily. Then with nowhere to go, she returns to here home town to her dad's place for recovery. After she settles down in her mother's room, she soon realizes that she is not alone.

The plot is weak but the atmosphere is good. There were no big scary moments in this movie. There are few jump scares and that's all. There are more logical loops in the movie, but will keep you interested till the end. Not a must watch but can watch once. This is the first movie that shows that a ghost can grow older with time (You will know it while watching the movie). Sarah Snook's performance is outstanding in predestination. I was thrilled to see her in this movie (not knowing that she starred in it). Her performance is good in this one as well. Her performance can't save the movie if the plot is weak. Overall an average flick for killing time. 5/10 - YuvI
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8/10
best thriller since sinister
wycherleyp-960-47065811 November 2014
From the moment I was informed that I would be reviewing this film I was excited as the producers have done insidious and sinister which are great horror/thrillers, so I sat down put this film on and watched and as the film got going. It starts fast then slows down as the plot kicks in, this is a great thriller but the only way this comes under the genre of a horror is the way of the story,way its filmed and put together puts your brain on alert as there may be one or two jumpy bits but overall the scare factor is your brain falling into the story. The way this film was written and acted out its a pleasure to witness such a great film and is a must watch from start to finish it will have you hooked.
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