Justin G Dyck’s Anything for Jackson is one horror movie that goes for the unconventional and subtlety to send the shivers up your spine. Take the story’s two leading characters for example. They are deliberately portrayed as two sweet elderly couple who have the outward persona of people who are nice, and won’t hurt a fly. Sheila McCarthy and Julian Richings are unfamiliar faces in the film industry which makes them even more believable as kind hearted souls. But it doesn’t take the movie long for this illusion to be dispelled when we see them kidnap a young pregnant mother (played by Konstantina Mantelos) into their house. Apparently they are doing whatever it takes to bring their dead grandson Jackson, back from the dead which includes engaging in satanic rituals.
The calm manner in which our two elderly Satanic followers go about with their plans, even when faced with unexpected risks of being discovered, is both humorous as well as spooky. Just as this begins to get a bit too cutesy, things pick up unexpectedly unleashing along with it some nasty and violent circumstances. The horror does not let off as we progresses to the bloody and horrific conclusion, where literally we have hell breaking loose!
As a horror movie, Anything for Jackson works as it plays with this contrasting portrayal of evil being hidden behind a nice and calming surface. Director Justin G Dyck also likes to place his camera at a distance to freak us out with glimpses or shadows of what’s happening in the background! The story’s implication on what happens at the end and what was triggered is something that is left basically unexplored further. Indeed it has so much potential as material for a far more scary story. However, given the context of this story, that ending is justifiable. The story of “Anything for Jackson” is complete .. however, it has inevitably opened a pandora box of possibilities of what happens next. In that sense, the film makers have succeeded in the viewers involved by making its closure open ended. This is not going to be something that would please everybody so you need to manage your expectations. For me, I found it refreshing to see something that is different from the usual stuff in the horror genre.