Jakob’s Wife (2021)

Jakob’s Wife
Director: Travis Stevens
Writer: Mark Steensland, Kathy Charles, Travis Stevens
Cast: Barbara Crampton, Larry Fessenden, Bonnie Aarons, Nyisha Bell, Sarah Lind, Mark Kelly, Robert Rusler, Jay DeVon Johnson, C.M. Punk
Part of: SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 25.9.2021

Anne (Barbara Crampton) has always been the good wife to Minister Jakob (Larry Fessenden). Over the years, she has shrunk herself more and more to fit into the role better and better. When her first love Tom (Robert Rusler) comes back to town and they meet, Anne feels first stirrings of her hunger for life again. But it isn’t until she and Tom are attacked, that her hunger turns very real – and very bloody.

Jakob’s Wife starts well enough, but loses steam right when it should be picking it up, leaving a lackluster feeling behind.

The film poster showing Jakob (Larry Fessenden) reading in a bible and Anne (Barbara Crampton) praying next to him in a startling red dress. Behind them is a chruch, and in the sky we can see a half-transparent face of a vampire.

I liked the beginning of the film where we see just how under Jakob’s thumb Anne is, and how it’s considered absolutely normal both by herself and by the people around her, especially Jakob. It’s depressing, but when she finally finds a new sense of self, this suffocating beginning makes things more freeing for the audience as well.

It’s at this point that the story should really get going. Instead it lost the intensity that the beginning had. I just wasn’t willing to forgive Jakob all that easily, or at all, and here the film turns to patching things up between him and Anne.

Anne (Barbara Crampton) going shopping in style.

There were still some excellent jokes here and there (the scene where the two handle the body, for example) and others that didn’t work that much for me (smoking a blunt to quell the hunger? Have you ever heard of the munchies?), but overall I just wasn’t emotionally invested anymore and started to nod off again and again (and I didn’t mind).

Crampton gives the role her all and she is really fantastic. And the vampirism can be read as a stand-in for quite a few things, from sexual awakening to menopause. But I was still hoping for a little more from the film.

Anne (Barbara Crampton) with her chin full of blood.

Summarizing: sounded better than it was.

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