Movie Review: ‘Anything For Jackson’ On Shudder

by | Dec 10, 2020 | Movie Reviews, Movies | 0 comments

Review by James Lindorf

Currently streaming exclusively on Shudder in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand is “Anything for Jackson,” the horror debut from Canadian filmmaker Justin G. Dyck. After their only grandchild is killed in a car accident, an elderly couple will go to any length to ease their grief. The only thing capable of that is having Jackson back. Turning to devil worship as a last resort, the couple kidnaps a pregnant woman to perform a reverse exorcism to bring him back. Opening the gate to the afterlife can give them what they want, but Jackson isn’t the only thing that can come through that door.

“Anything for Jackson” is an intensely atmospheric demonic possession story centered on characters seldom seen in horror films. The heartbroken but villainous turns Dyck’s film, which Is based on a script by his frequent collaborator Keith Cooper into an instant cult classic. The film is slow-paced, taking place over a couple of days while we await the child’s birth and the conclusion to their plan. As things outside of their control begin to take place, the film uses these mini hauntings to add shock value and keep the audience’s attention. There are several of these temporary ghosts whose presence ranges from gross to deadly.

The best of them involves an amazingly talented contortionist that can move his body in incredible ways. His appearance is much longer than the rest showing that Dyck knew what he had. The prolonged take is the only time the tension boils over because for several moments; you don’t know what he is capable of and who his target may be. The others exist for jump scares and jarring moments, giving them impact within the film’s 97-minute runtime, but the imagery of that character will be a lasting memory. Along with the contortionist, it is Julian Richings (Hard Core) and Sheila McCarthy (Die Hard 2) who are a great blend of weird, evil, and heartbroken that make the film stand out from its competitors. Unfortunately, the pacing and some of the acting from side characters will prevent “Anything for Jackson” from being a true classic that transcends the genre. Still, horror focused Shudder should have another streaming hit on its hands.

Genre: Horror
Director: Justin G. Dyck
Producer: Keith Cooper, Justin G. Dyck, Christopher Giroux, Bill Marks
Writer: Keith Cooper
Release Date (Streaming): Dec 3, 2020
Runtime: 1h 37m
Production Co: Vortex Productions