Jackals (2016) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Jared Rivet
Starring: Deborah Kara Unger, Johnathon Schaech, Stephen Dorff,
Rated: UR/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Scream Factory
When Justin Powell (Ben Sullivan) is captured by two ski-masked men and dragged back to a secluded cabin, it’s anything but a standard kidnapping. Waiting for Justin at the cabin is his father (Johnathon Schaech, That Thing You Do!), mother (Deborah Kara Unger, Crash, Silent Hill), brother (Nick Roux), and former girlfriend (Chelsea Ricketts). Together, they are dedicated to freeing him from the sinister brainwashing he’s undergone at the hands of a vicious cult known as The Jackals.
You’ve probably seen this done better with “You’re Next”. Or at least that how it feels as people with interesting masks stalk and try to kill everyone in a house. The rest of the plot is different, don’t get me wrong, but I think this movie won’t have any easy time shaking those comparisons. So, a boy has been brainwashed and joins a cult. The family has him kidnapped and tied up in order to try to bring him back to himself, but as they do that the cult (people in masks I spoke of) come out of the woodwork and try to break into the house. The cast here will be some faces you’ve seen before. We have such names as Deborah Kara Unger and Johnathon Schaech, but man oh man do these characters bring a lot of this stuff upon themselves. You’d think with a film that has a plot such as this complete with a pure call-back to the original Halloween during the opening that we’d have more blood than we ultimately end up with, but that isn’t the case. This movie can’t get by on gore because we only really have one good kill.
The plot is simple enough, but a little rocky from all points of logic from time to time. The family in question really aren’t prepared for a situation like this and you’d think they would be seeing as how they know that their son is part of a cult. I’ve not been watching SyFy in a long time but I’d not be surprised at all to turn it on and see this movie playing on it because it looks and feels like that type of film. I won’t go as far as to say that I hated this one, but let’s just say that you can probably guess how all of this will be playing out soon into watching it. It looks good enough in HD and has some cool looking masks, but it all seems to feel like something we’ve seen before because we probably have.
– Audio Commentary with director Kevin Greutert and writer Jared Rivet
– Interviews with the cast and crew
– Original theatrical trailers
Quality of Transfer: 96%