Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A review of "Jug Face"

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A Review of “Jug Face”

By: Brian Cotnoir

It’s funny, how the most minuet things can make you want to watch a film.  Now, I’m the type of person who will watch a film solely because it features one of my favorite actors or was made by one of my favorite directors, even if I think the movie is going to be terrible.  However, what made me want to check out the film I’m watching today isn’t one of my favorite actors or directors, but rather a very obscure musician who did the soundtrack for the film.  In my review of “The Woman” I praised the soundtrack for the film, claiming that it was one of my favorite parts of the film.  The soundtrack was done by an obscure musician by the name of Sean Spillane, when I was doing a search of the internet and saw that he also did the music for another Horror film called “Jug Face” I decided that I wanted to check it out as well.   
    Jug Face” was a film released in 2013 and tells the story of a backwoods community where the people pray to a mysterious pit in the woods that apparently has mysterious healing powers and protects all those who pray to it. However, the protection and healings come with a grave price.   A member of the community named Dawai makes jugs for the other members of the community to store and sell their moonshine in.  He is said to see visions and creates jugs with the images of one of the communities residents on it.  If a person becomes a “jug face” then they have to be sacrificed to the pit.  If the person on the jug face is not sacrificed to the pit, then the pit will send out in unknown creature to slaughter another one of the town’s residents.                                  
Ada sucks as a protagonist
    This is where we meet our main character, Ada; a young girl who is in a sexually relationship with her brother Jessaby.  Ada has a lot of things going against her early on in the film.  She is arranged to be married to another one of the community’s residents—a portly country boy named Body—she is pregnant with her brothers baby, and struggles to keep her pregnancy a secret, and she just learns that she is to be the next sacrifice to the pit.  Ada hides her jug face in the woods, in hopes that it will go away, but people in the community begin to turn up dead, including Ada’s best friend, her brother, her fiancée, and her father.  Ada is faced with a huge moral dilemma, does she tell people that she was supposed to be the next jug face and face her fate, or does she keep lying, hiding, and attempt to escape the community to save herself and her unborn child?               
Dawai & Ada chained to tree, about to be K-I-L-L-E-D
I found some of the aspects of “Jug Face” to be quite enjoyable.  The opening credits sequence consists of these wonderful hand drawn illustrations that are supposed to give you the gist of how “the pit” works and its origins, it doesn’t explain everything with total clarity, but it was visually appeasing.  Now, normally I’m against the “Evil Redneck or Hillbilly cliché” in a Horror film, but I think think the actors in the film did a great job, not overdoing their characters.  Now that I think of it, I wouldn’t consider any character in this film to fall into that category.  They are backwoods people, but they’re not evil rednecks, they’re more like eccentric religious zealots, like the cult in “Silent Hill”.  Now as for the music, I will be honest with you; I felt it was very underwhelming.  Sean Spillane’s music and scores from “The Woman” were great, they were catchy, they were memorable, and I honestly didn’t find any of the songs or scores form “Jug Face” to be on that same level.  The songs aren’t terrible, they just weren’t very memorable.                                             
    Now let’s look at the characters.  I feel like Ada is a very week and unlikable character.  Everything bad that happens in this community is her fault, and she doesn’t want to own up to any of it.  She’s made some mistakes and let things get way too far out of hand, and almost never takes responsibility for it.  So much death and destruction happens because of her selfishness and, I just found her to be a weak and unlikable character.                         
Now the character Dawai I found to very likable.  He’s sort of the “town prophet”.  He’s a slow man, who is said to have visions caused by the Pit and he makes jugs with the faces of the next sacrifice the pit wants.  What was most amazing about Dawai is that I did not even recognize the actor who was playing him.  Dawai is played by actor Sean Bridgers, who also played Chris Cleek in “The Woman”.  I bashed Bridgers acting in that film and constantly referred to him as “Not Quite John C. Reilly”, but I didn’t even recognize him in “Jug Face” and found his role of Dawai to not only be good, but enjoyable too.             
   I found “Jug Face” to be a rather good film.  Fun Fact about it: it was produced by Lucky McKee (Director of “May” and “The Woman”) which I think explains how people like Sean Spillane and Sean Bridgers became a part of the film.  I would describe this film as a low-budget version of “Minority Report” meets “Pumpkinhead”.  I would recommend this film to people who are fans of Lucky McKee’s works, you should definitely check out “Jug Face”, it’s a decent and enjoyable low-budget horror film, if you ask me.

1 comment:

  1. So an incestuous pregnant teen bride...not asking for controversy on that protagonist, huh? But seriously nice work on the review, I'll have to pay more attention to movie soundtracks!