After losing their only grandson in a car accident, grief-stricken Audrey and Henry, a doctor, kidnaps his pregnant patient with the intentions of performing a “reverse Exorcism”, putting Jackson inside her unborn child. It doesn’t take long to figure out Jackson isn’t the only ghost the grandparents invited into their home. Now it’s a race against time for the couple, as well as the pregnant woman to figure a way out of the haunting they’ve set upon themselves.
Starring: Sheila McCarthy, Julian Richings, Konstantina Mantelos, and Yannick Bisson
Directed by: Justin G. Dyck
Written by: Keith Cooper
A Fantasia International Film Festival Review
It doesn’t take long to realize that “Anything for Jackson” really means anything for Jackson. The opening scene sets the tone, as it appears to be just another morning for Audrey (Sheila McCarthy) and Henry (Julian Richings). Before anyone knows it, the elderly couple is kidnapping a pregnant woman, Becker (Konstantina Mantelos), and strapping her to a bed upstairs. This isn’t something they have done before, but have clearly taken the time to plan out. They try to be as detailed as possible, and in doing so get this off to kind of a funny start.
However, there won’t be as much to laugh at in the days to follow. They’ve kidnapped Becker in order to bring back their dead grandson Jackson. Using an ancient book, they perform a spell thinking they’ve put Jackson in her unborn baby. Things seem to have worked, but like using modern technology this elderly couple has done something wrong. Jackson starts as the only spirit in the room, but company is on the way.
Great performances from Sheila and Julian make this elderly couple great to watch from beginning to end. They seem so innocent for a pair of Satan worshippers. They try hard to pull this off, but quickly become way in over their heads. The situation puts the audience in a very interesting position when it comes to who to root for. The couple has great intentions but are hurting a pregnant woman. When things get worse, and everyones’ lives are in danger will the audience root for them then?
While the couple provides moments of comedy, there’s some serious horror on the way. The other spirits come to haunt those in the house, and they’re some truly frightening spirits. The best one might be suffering from tooth decay, and shows just how serious things are going to get. There’s another one that seems kind of simple, but also somehow is scarier than ever. And if the audience is looking for blood, there is one haunt that will bring all the blood that’s needed.
Audrey and Henry aren’t messing around when it comes to Jackson. They’re really willing to go above and beyond for him, but definitely go too far. Turning to the devil, and others that worship him proves to be a huge mistake. “Anything for Jackson” creates such an intriguing situation where the audience might want to hate the couple, but will find it hard to do so. They provide just enough comedy along the way, but make no mistake this film hits hard with the horror as well. The spirits created here mean business, and it all leads to a very thrilling ending. Because fans should definitely do anything to see this film, I give it 4.5 pools of blood.
“Anything for Jackson” played as part of the Fantasia 2020 Virtual Festival.
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