A young couple moves to the woods and soon finds their nightmares and reality colliding.
I didn’t realize until I started watching it that “Mr. Jones” is another ‘found footage’ movie. It follows in the footsteps of “The Blair Witch Project” and “Paranormal Activity”, to name but a few and while I’m not overly fond of that particular genre, “Mr. Jones” is a rare exception. It actually has a story to tell and while the last twenty minutes initially seem to be nothing but loud banging noises, flashy cuts and surreal images, by the time the movie actually ends, everything, from the opening to the last shot, makes sense. And in the world of independent horror movies, that’s a rare thing.
When Scott (Jon Foster) and Penny (Sarah Jones) sell all their belongings in the city and move to an old house in the woods, things couldn’t be better. The house has a beautiful view of a valley below and Scott has just bought the latest in video equipment as he is working on a nature documentary. After a few weeks though, his enthusiasm has all but dried up and all he does is mope around the house. One day, while he and Penny are walking in the woods, they come across some bizarre, ominous sculptures. Penny recognizes them as the work of a reclusive artist who calls himself Mr. Jones.
As they investigate some more, they come across a dilapidated old house and upon entering the basement, they encounter more of the sculptures. Soon after, Scott heads to New York after Penny has given him some leads and he interviews an assortment of experts in regards to Mr. Jones. He finds out that he is hermitlike and that nobody has ever seen his face or knows his real name. One person even exclaims that he is a savior, one who protects our world from the netherworld. After returning to their country home, Scott and Penny are determined to go back to Jones’s house and retreat to the basement to do more research.
While exploring, Scott finds a labyrinth of underground tunnels beneath the basement that stretches for miles. It is while he is down there, he realizes that the sculptures he and Penny found in the woods, are not works of art, rather, they are effigies, more akin to scarecrows and when he realizes what it is they are trying to ward off, he and Penny must band together and support Jones in order to stop the darkness from reaching our world. The premise for the film was intriguing, something I don’t see in a lot of horror movies these days. Usually it’s all blood and gore and nudity but here, thankfully, none of them exist.
Instead, the film concentrates on telling the story and as it develops, we come to care about the two leads. They are the perfect couple who love and care for each other and both Mr. Foster and Ms. Jones have indisputable onscreen chemistry. The movie is, at times, frightening and as the end approaches, Scott realizes that something he took from the tunnels earlier on, is of vital importance to their outcome and very reluctantly, he must venture down there, one last time.
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