JEKYLL & HYDE (2021) Reviews and overview

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‘Everyone has a dark side’

Jekyll & Hyde is a 2021 British horror film about a lawyer’s investigation into what led to his close friend being accused of murder. Also known as Jekyll and Hyde.

Written and directed by Steve Lawson (Ripper Untold; Saltwater: The Battle for Ramree Island; Bram Stoker’s Van Helsing; The Haunting of Alcatraz; Pentagram; The Exorcism of Karen Walker; Hellriser; KillerSaurus; Nocturnal Activity), based on Robert Louis Stevenson‘s 1883 novella The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

The Creativ Studios production stars Tom Hendryk (Bram Stoker’s Van Helsing; Nest of VampiresThe Mermaid’s CurseThe Haunting of Alcatraz), Mark Topping (The Haunting of Pendle Hill; Bram Stoker’s Van Helsing; The Haunting of Alcatraz), Vicki Glover (Coven of Evil; The Manson Family Massacre; KillerSaurus; Cleaver: Rise of the Killer Clown), David Lenik (An English Haunting; The Curse of Halloween Jack; Robert Reborn; The Barge People; Winterskin), Robin Denys (The Return), Michael McKell (13 Graves; Pentagram; Freehold; Transhuman; Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz),  Helen Crevel (Bram Stoker’s Van Helsing; The Haunting of Alcatraz; Curse of the Witch’s Doll; KillerSaurus) and Francesca Louise White.

When his close friend Doctor Henry Jekyll (Michael McKell) is accused of a horrific murder, lawyer Gabriel Utterson (Tom Hendryk) launches his own investigation, only to discover a secret more shocking than he could have imagined…

Our review:

Initially, Steve Lawson’s take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s oft-told tale seems fairly close to its source material. However, rather than just rehash a story we all know well (what would be the point?), the plot gradually deviates intriguingly and entertainingly, with even a few light touches of humour to make a 19th-century novella more palatable to a 21st-century audience. Purists will undoubtedly get flustered and insist the changes take away the essential essence of Stevenson’s study of good and evil but there’s enough here to still pause for thought.

Granted, as with his previous productions, Lawson’s low-budget is well-evident, with most of the movie shot indoors whilst exteriors are brief and carefully chosen so as to avoid any period incongruities. And yet, he gets away with due to the decent performances from all concerned (both Ripper Untold and Bram Stoker’s Van Helsing – though reasonably enjoyable – were slightly hampered by a couple of weaker thespian performances).

Don’t go in expecting Victorian splendour but do expect a tight well-told take on an old formula with a twist that satisfies.

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES and MANIA

Other reviews:
“Lawson’s micro-budget adaptation relies, for the most part, on accounts and descriptions of the action, rather than the action itself (although the final reel generates some excitement which is pretty amazing considering the paucity of the sets) […] Slight, but not without appeal.” Dark Eyes of London

” …if you are looking for a formula, Lawson does follow that which he set out in Bram Stoker’s Van Helsing and Ripper Untold, namely that the film is small-scale, with minimal locations and feels much like a stage play (which it would be if not for the trip to Jekyll’s home) than cinematic feature – though that’s not a bad thing, it allows the film’s performances to shine. Truly shine.” Nerdly

Jekyll and Hyde is certainly the best of Lawson’s recent films and works up some genuine suspense at times. The final confrontation feels a bit off, utilizing an action film cliche that simply doesn’t work here. But despite that and some serious deviations from the original story, it’s an enjoyable watch. It would have been better with more action of course, but for what it is, it’s quite good.” Voices from the Balcony

In the UK, Jekyll and Hyde will be released on DVD by High Fliers Films on December 27th 2021.

Cast and characters (in end credits order):
Michael McKell … Doctor Henry Jekyll
Tom Hendryk … Gabriel Utterson
Mark Topping … Inspector Newcombe
Vicki Glover… Hattie
David Lenik … Mr Richard Enfield
Robin Denys … Mr Poole
Sophie Marlowe … Lily Palmer
Leah Valentine … Mr Hyde’s test subject
Guy Evans … Constable Evans
Ken Ogborn … Constable Ogborn
Ryan Harvey … Constable Harvey
Ian Poyser … Coachman
Garry Picken … Coachman

Filming locations:
Two Wei House, The Old Vicarage, Darlton Rd, Newark, England
Natural Light Space
Creativ Studios, Leicester, England

Technical details:
85 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1

More Jekyll and Hyde related movies

Also directed by Steve Lawson:

Helen Crevel … Sarah Utterson


MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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