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Rated 3.01 stars
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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Do Do That Voodoo
by Betty Jo Tucker

Sweet and lovely

with luck so bad,

Jessie can’t help

to make us sad.


Two broken legs

and moving to

a house of gloom

touched by voodoo.  


Strange tapes are there

from mother dear. 

A spirit waits

and soon draws near.


One friend arrives

to aid Jessie.

But will that help?

We’ll have to see.


Jessabelle boasts

atmosphere plus,  

and creepy scenes

to frighten us.


Still, things don’t fit

together much.

We’re left confused

and out of touch.


And yet we’re pleased

with actors here.

Snook and Webber

need have no fear.


We’ll watch for them.

They seem so real.

Another chance!

Yes, that’s their deal.

Like the superior The Skeleton Key, Jessabelle takes place in an atmospheric Louisiana bayou setting, which cinematographer Michael Fimognari knows how to highlight effectively for a horror movie like this. The film looks great -- both in the eerie sequences and bright sunlit ones. Another positive involves the way Sarah Snook and Mark Webber succeed in drawing us into their characters’ weird world.

During the first few minutes of the film, we begin to care deeply about Jessie, played by Snook (The Predestination ), because of a horrible tragedy she’s gone through. Our empathy increases as we learn she must live with her estranged father in the run-down home where her mother died. And it doesn’t take long to warm up to Preston, portrayed by Webber (13 Sins), when he enters the scene as Jessie’s old boyfriend who wants to help her.

Jesssie needs all the help she can get. Why is a vengeful spirit out to get her? Why did her mother (Joelle Carter) make VHS tapes for her to play after she dies? How does Voodoo play a role in these events? Jessie suffers through strange and bloody dreams about her situation, then soon comes to realize the house is haunted. 

Before Jessabelle ends, we’re treated to a few intriguing twists and turns. Unfortunately, they don’t come without plot holes. And some horror fans will be expecting more gore, especially since director Kevin Greutert provided so MUCH more in Saw 3D: The Final Chapter and Saw VI.     

Still, many fans who enjoy films about haunting, Voodoo, nightmares and paranormal events will probably find Jessabelle a horrortainment worth seeing.

(Released by Lionsgate and rated “PG-13” for sequences of horror violence and terror.)

For more information about Jessabelle, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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