Movie Review-Jack The Reaper

 

2011
directed by Kimberly Seimhamer
86 minutes

Plot-When a group of teens set out on a field trip to a railroad museum as part of their punishment for failing a test on the industrial revolution, their bus crashes and they see a carnival right outside the bus. Little do they know that Railroad Jack runs this carnival and plans to kill them one by one?

Review-Tony Todd and Sally Kellerman have top billing in this film and the funny thing is that between the two of them they had probably 5 minutes of screen time. I did like the Tony Todd character; he played a guy who worked at the museum who told them about the Railroad Jack legend. For his few minutes in the film he was effective and sold the film and the story. This film though, the first few minutes when we get a little background into each character. We have the jock who likes to bully and treat people like crap. We have the slacker whose girlfriend tells him she is pregnant and he says he is not ready. We have a overweight kid who gets picked on, a girl whose reputation is she gets around, and a girl who has a father who can’t keep his hands to himself, and of course, the stereotypes of the Asian girl and the black guy. And, the kicker, with all these characters, we also get a deaf girl. It was almost like they had a checklist, ok we got this and that. And then we should throw in a carnival and reaper. All jokes aside, this film was not too bad. To think about a film it reminds me of, Sweatshop in a way comes to mind. Not for the killings or the killer, but more for the pacing and mood. Both films build on the characters and you just know the story is building up to something brutal, and when it starts to happen it does not let up.
I know a lot of fans were so into Dark Ride, and to me this film is ten times better. The script was smarter and the kills were fun, nothing too over the top, just some fun slasher goodness. There is a scene where one of the characters is on top of the ferris wheel, that is so eerie and worth the price of the rental alone. The sad part for me was this film had to end; I would love this film to be longer than 86 minutes. I got so into the film, that by the end, I was entertained. The ending though, which I should have seen from a mile away, but I know upon second viewing which I have to do, I will see hints all along the way.
To me, in the era of Hatchet’s and all those big budget remakes that fail to deliver, it feels good to see a film that is meant to be fun and that old school fans like me, will get behind and have a big smile on our face. But, this is not a negative, this film is at times so hateful and mean spirited: almost at times to the point that a lot of people may take it personal. It has scenes of love rejection from both male and female that comes across as cruel, and deals briefly with topics in the beginning like bullying and incest. And to see a female wrote this film, I tip my hat. Smart move to write so honest and not be so commercial or PC, and Women in Horror where is any mention of this film or Kimberly? All in all, this film is a buy. If you guys are into films like Sweatshop and any old school slasher films, this is a must…The future has just got brighter.

9 out of 10


  • Joey

    What was the point of the ending? I didnt get it. did they all die?? Or did the one girls live? and what was up with the lady voice? Why didnt the dude on the horse come over and get that girl out of the bus? And were the killer and the dude on the horse the same person?