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.