THE JACK IN THE BOX (2019) Reviews and overview

 

‘Once you open the box, you can’t escape it.’

The Jack in the Box is a 2019 British supernatural horror feature film about a cursed creepy clown doll.

Written and directed by Lawrence Fowler (Curse of the Witch’s Doll), the Up a Notch Productions movie stars Ethan Taylor, Robert Nairne, Lucy-Jane Quinlan and Philip Ridout (Dogged).

A sequel, The Jack in the Box: Awakening is released in 2021.

Plot:

When a vintage Jack-in-the-Box is unearthed in Hawthorne and donated to a museum in the heart of the woods, it’s not long before staff member Casey Reynolds has reason to believe the creepy clown doll inside has a life of its own.

As Casey discovers his colleagues are dying one-by-one, will he find a way to end the nightmare, or will he too fall victim to the box’s curse?

Release:

The Jack in the Box is released in North America on VOD and Digital HD on digital platforms and DVD on May 5, 2020, by 4Digital Media.

In the UK, High Fliers Films released the movie on DVD on 17th February 2020.

Reviews:

The Jack in the Box is yet another entry in the slew of new British low-budget horror productions that are saturating the cheap DVD and VOD market. Thankfully, unlike most of its ilk, Lawrence Fowler’s latest offering is reasonably effective.

Sure, there’s the irritating Brit-actor-masquerading-as-a-Yank cliché (Ethan Taylor – no disrespect to his performance but why not just employ a UK-based American actor?), the bare bones real-life museum setting is somewhat uninspiring and some of the dialogue scenes are drawn out much longer than necessary.

That said, the initial premise had promise and when the spindly Jack in the Box emerges he’s a creepy sight to behold so it delivers. This is by no means a strong recommend but as far as homegrown British horror is concerned Lawrence Fowler shows he has a talent that’s definitely developing and this movie is worth a late-night look.

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Buy DVD via Amazon.co.uk

Other reviews:

The Jack in the Box brings an original and interesting concept and a terrifying clown/demon, but the execution of it doesn’t make the most out of its virtues. The clown has little screen time and in general, there are not many horror moments and instead, we are treated to endless scenes of dialogue…” The 10th Circle

” …an astonishingly well-written score which for once eschews the string synthesiser and is played on proper old school instruments […] The cast are also a notch above the usual players found in this sort of thing […] The Jack in the Box has a satisfying downbeat ending and, predictably, a way in to a sequel. Not bad at all.” Dark Eyes of London

“Endless scenes of dialogue becomes a strain to both, ears and the eyes and when the film does show its hand with the killings, they are too quick and too far in-between. Believe me, the design of “Jack” is fantastic. When Jack appears on screen, he lifts the movie up a few notches, but the trouble is, it’s too little, with killings way to brief for us to get excited.” Horror Cult Films

“Whilst the story is quite formulaic, it’s a thoroughly entertaining horror, especially for those who prefer supernatural tales. It’s easy to watch and follow, and it seemed everyone involved in the project had a lot of fun doing it.” The Horrorcist

“Whilst the are moments of silence which will have you on tenterhooks, it’s the score that really racks up the tension and suspense, with haunting strings that – paired with the titular monster – really ups the creep factor. And that’s the real power of Fowler’s film… It’s actually creepy. Shocking I know, a low-budget UK horror that is creepy and actually scary.” Nerdly

“Plotwise, The Jack in the Box isn’t anything new. Cursed object spawns demon, heroes try to figure out what’s going on and how to stop it while people die. You could guess the ending even if it wasn’t pretty much told to you by one of the characters. But it’s well enough told and most of it takes place in the museum which makes for a creepy enough setting that it doesn’t get boring.” Voices from the Balcony

Cast and characters:

Ethan Taylor … Casey Reynolds
Robert Nairne … Jack
Lucy-Jane Quinlan … Lisa Cartwright
Philip Ridout … Norman Cleaver
Darrie Gardner … Rachel Thompson
Vinnie Clarke … Aaron Bishop
Stacey Lynn Crowe … Gwen Parkinson
Charles Abomeli … David Onyilogwu
Simon Balfour … Detective Martin
Penelope Wildgoose … Belle Cleaver
Tom Carter … Maurice Ainsworth
Kathleen Ray … Mandy Hinchley
William Frazer … Steven Moore
Laura Janes … Maria Smith

Filming locations:

Abington Park Museum, Northampton, England

Related:

THE JACK IN THE BOX: AWAKENING (2021) British demon clown horror sequel