Connect with us
Anything for Jackson

Film

Anything for Jackson Gives the Satanic Business a Refreshingly Normal Touch

How far would you go for your grandchildren?

Anything for Jackson Review

“No one has more time than grieving grandparents”  – Audrey Walsh

We all say we love our family, and would do anything for them. But as the title of this horror suggests, Audrey (Sheila McCarthy) and Henry (Julian Richings) Walsh really will do anything in order to bring their grandson Jackson back from the dead. Finding an ancient dusty book from Jerusalem — bought off a guy who was only too happy to rid himself of the material — they decide to perform a reverse exorcism order to imbue a pregnant woman with the spirit of their dead grandchild. 

Their unwitting victim is the soon-to-be single mother Shannon (Konstantina Mantelos) who they lure to their house and capture in a great opening one-take that expertly blends horror with banality. They are otherwise kind and loving people, taking care of each other and saying nice things to the poor kidnappee — they’ve just happened to have brokered a deal with none other than Satan himself. And making a deal with Satan is not something that should be entered into on a whim… 

Sprinkling just the right amount of comedy throughout to add levity to an otherwise gruesome premise, the Canadian horror Anything for Jackson is a funny and sharp reverse take on The Exorcist that examines familial trauma and the possibility of reincarnation. But the old couple has more than they bargained for in the presence of a local detective (Lanette Ware), doggedly in pursuit of the missing woman. Then there’s the very practical issue of actually performing the ritual, leaving them to rope in weirdo Ian (Josh Cruddas). He disapproves of their methods but is happy to take part, having prepared for such an occasion his entire life. 

Nightstream] ANYTHING FOR JACKSON & the Gothic Horrors of Ageing – Father  Son Holy Gore

By locating the film’s horrors within a realistic context, including somewhat believable performances from the couple itself — who are ordinary in every other way — Anything for Jackson gets a lot of mileage out of the practical elements and challenges of performing a ritual such as this. Cutting down the self-seriousness that has plagued a lot of modern horrors, which are often more obsessed with the theme of the film than providing a genuine freak-show, the film provides a refreshing naturalist take on how this kind of thing might be performed by normal people, as well as the ways that it can easily backfire. 

While the reverse-exorcism itself doesn’t quite reach the heights of classic horror, director Justin G. Dyck — usually found directing about five Christmas TV movies for a year — has a strong eye for getting both horror and comic beats out of the same scene, as well as clearly laying out the problematic theological implications. Appearing to be his first horror film, it shows the ways in which you can use your experience creating traditional families and their run-of-the-mill dilemmas to then subvert them to a deeply creepy effect. Perhaps this signals the end of his (quite established, with about 20 films) TV movie career and the start of something more promising! 

Written By

As far back as he can remember, Redmond Bacon always wanted to be a film critic. To him, being a film critic was better than being President of the United States

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tilt Magazine Logo
Pop culture from all angles...

Trending

Goodfellas Anniversary Review Goodfellas Anniversary Review

30 Years Later: Goodfellas Captured Lightning in a Bottle

Film

The Mary Tyler Moore Show The Mary Tyler Moore Show

The Mary Tyler Moore Show at 50

TV

Crazy Samurai Musashi Review Crazy Samurai Musashi Review

Fantasia 2020: Tak Sakaguchi Takes on an Army in Crazy Samurai Musashi

Film

100 Greatest Horror Movie Scenes 100 Greatest Horror Movie Scenes

Greatest Horror Movie Scenes

Film

Horror Movie Scenes Horror Movie Scenes

Greatest Horror Movie Scenes

Film

The Legend of Baron To’a The Legend of Baron To’a

Fantasia 2020: The Legend of Baron To’a Exemplifies New Zealand Cinema

Film

Fantasia 2020: Tiny Tim: King For a Day is a Moving Look at an American Curiosity

Film

Cosmic Candy Cosmic Candy

Fantasia 2020: Cosmic Candy Hides Reality Behind a Quirky Exterior

Film

Connect