Jug Face – aka The Pit – is a 2013 American horror film written and directed by Chad Crawford Kinkle and starring, Sean Bridgers, Lauren Ashley Carter, Larry Fessenden (Wendingo, I Sell the Dead), Sean Young and Daniel Manche. The film was produced by Andrew van den Houten and Robert Tonino.
The story follows a teen (Carter), who is pregnant with her brother’s child and tries to escape from a backwoods community, only to discover that she must sacrifice herself to a creature in a pit.
The film has received generally positive reviews from horror websites, like Bloody Disgusting, which rated the film a 3.5 out of 5, noting: “Jug Face feels really small, in a good way, and captures the essence of this tiny group of worshippers. It’s aesthetically similar to other Modernciné (Studio) movies; it’s a look that gives the film quality and technical shows expertise. Although, it’s carried by strong performances, and a few explicate shots of gore.”
Brad McHargue, writing for Dread Central praised Kinkle’s script, as well as, “the stellar performances of Carter and Bridgers.” McHargue also wrote, “Jug Face is a film loaded with talent, both in front of and behind the camera. Despite a few minor quibbles, Kinkle’s debut feature is filled with emotion and just enough blood to keep the gore hounds satisfied. Even when it flirts with convention, Kinkle never strays away from the underlying themes of blind devotion, resulting in a truly compelling tale that will knock you flat with its final scene.”
Scott Weinberg, writing for Fearnet, also praised the performances of Bridgers, Carter and Fessenden, as well as noting, “the director’s steadfast insistence on presenting a potentially outlandish horror tale as plainly and realistically as possible that elevates Jug Face beyond that of a mere curiosity.”
In a Fangoria review, Samuel Zimmerman wrote: “While Jug Face is clearly on a tiny budget, it’s never bothersome until the frankly cornball appearance of the dead is revealed.” Though, Zimmerman adds, “These rough patches are slightly alleviated thanks to grounded work from Jug Face’s cast and Kinkle’s own depiction of this small community.”
In a Twitch Film review, Ben Umstead wrote, “While steeped in thick atmosphere and anchored by some interesting riffs on classic horror tropes the film is far more underwhelming in execution than it is dynamic and provocative — elements that feel largely left on the page.” Though Umstead, praised Kinkle as an up and coming director: “Still, one can’t entirely shun an earnest talent while it is still developing. With another movie or two under his belt Kinkle should be primed to join the current ranks of the smart, subversive horror directors.”