jug face | chad crawford kinkle | sean bridgers | lauren ashley carter | kaitlin cullum | larry fessenden | cult | religion | lovecraftian | ghost | ghosts | drama | thriller | united states | katie groshong | scott hodges | daniel manche | alex maizus | jennifer spriggs
Film: Jug Face
Director: Chad Crawford Kinkle
Writer: Chad Crawford Kinkle
Starring: Sean Bridgers, Lauren Ashley Carter and Kaitlin Cullum
This was a movie that when I first got into listening to podcasts it came up. I don’t think anyone did a featured review to my knowledge, but I know I heard some mini-reviews of it. It was decided that along with my co-host on Side Quest Podcast that we would cover this as a film never of us had seen. The synopsis is when she learns the supernatural pit worshipped by her remote community in the woods has demanded her as a blood sacrifice, Ada (Lauren Ashley Carter) struggles to find a way to survive, while the pit lashes out in anger.
Now we start this movie off getting what looks to be pastel drawings. I wasn’t sure if we were getting the James Bond opening where it was showing us everything that we’re going to see, but it seems more in filling us in on the back-story. I think the synopsis really helps there as well. We have this remote community that lives out in the woods and they worship a pit with water at the bottom.
We then see our main character of Ada. She is being chased by something and it turns out to be Jessaby (Daniel Manche). He wants to have sex, but she doesn’t want to so close to the pit. She observes that he’s warm on top of being sexually frustrated. He plays it off like it is nothing. The two end up having sex. The real problem here though, they’re brother and sister.
This community is quite odd, aside from just what they worship. Ada and Jessaby’s father is Sustin (Larry Fessenden), who seems to be the leader of their community. He has agreed to marry Ada off to Bodey Jenkin (Mathieu Whitman). His father Coops (Marvin Starkman) is there to sign the deal. This is all predicated on her being ‘pure’. To stave off under the guise in getting everyone over for a dinner and to celebrate, she goes to Dawai’s shack. It is there that she paints her underwear red like she started her period. Her plan is to marry Bodey and play off that’s she’s pregnant like it is his. There’s a problem though.
Dawai is a bit slow, but the pit uses him for their sacrifice. It will send him into a trance where he will make a jug that looks like someone in their community that is to be given to the pit. When Ada tells him of the party, she checks his kiln to find that the jug he has made looks like her. In a panic, she hides in the woods.
She tries to find a way to not be discovered for not being pure, but the pit complicates things. It comes for Eilen (Jennifer Spriggs), who is Bodey’s sister. Sustin and the community knows there is something wrong and Dawai is blamed for losing the jug. The pit requires a sacrifice, but the longer that Ada hides the truth, the more victims it claims.
That’s where I want to leave this recap of this movie. I did remember the basic premise coming into this movie, but that was it. Now that I have seen it, this has some interesting social commentary. I did watch this with Jaime and I’m not going to lie, I did get a bit nervous when I saw that Lucky McKee and Andrew van den Houten’s names in the credits. My worry was that this might be a bit too brutal for her. She likes horror, but until meeting me, it was really only more of the mainstream stuff. Thankfully, this movie didn’t go too far that it would scar her.
Where I want to start would be the society they’re living in. It is in the middle of the woods and it is quite backwards. What is interesting though is that Sustin goes into town where he sells moonshine. I’m assuming it is illegal so it has to be done behind closed doors, but that is a way for them to get money to buy what they can’t produce for themselves. What is scary is that this could legitimately be happening. It is interesting that van den Houten was attached as I saw his movie Offspring. This community isn’t like that one, but there definitely are similarities to it.
Taking it farther, it did bother me as well as Jaime that this society is extremely misogynistic. I do think that a lot of that is how isolated they are and the lack of education. There would be no punishment for Jessaby as he’s a guy so no one would ever find out. Learning that he was having sex with his sister would be the only issue. Ada though is at risk of being shunned and punished for giving up her purity. She also doesn’t get a say in who she is marrying. Her mother is extremely harsh with her where father isn’t as cold.
The last thing to go over with this group would be their religion. I do like that we get to see that pit does communicate with people so it isn’t just them noticing it and worshiping it. Despite what a lot of religious people say, I have yet to see anything with other faiths to make me believe it is real. I don’t want to upset anyone too bad or try to push them to question their faith. I do like that both Dawai and Ada’s eyes go white when they’re being told what to do. I could have done without Ada being visited by the emaciated boy though, who is portrayed by Daniel Manche. It doesn’t really add much value for me and I think there are better ways of relaying the information given through him.
I can give the reason I wasn’t a fan of this boy which would take me to the effects. There is some CGI with him that makes it look like smoke. I actually didn’t think there was anything wrong there. I would just rather it be visions than seeing someone who is cursed and the pit is using to relay information. The changing of eyes of characters is creepy and I like the effect for the visions they are having as well. There are practical effects as well. Some are quite brutal, but they don’t linger on it enough. There is also a horrific scene in the bathtub, but how it is shot really helps in my opinion. The cinematography is well done also.
The last thing I want to go over would be the acting. I thought that Bridgers as Dawai was good. We see that he’s stressed when he can’t find the jug, but I like it is established that he makes them in a trance. He is supposed to be mentally handicapped and I think he does well there in not going over the top with it. Carter is really good also. I feel bad for the plight that she was born into and really has no control over her life. Her decisions cause all of these bad things to happen, but I really can’t fault the decision if I’m honest. I liked Fessenden and the rest of the cast rounded this out for what was needed in my opinion.
Now with that said, this movie really tackled some interesting concepts that I wasn’t expecting. The background of their society and this odd religion they’re following had me hooked to see where things would go. I even like that in town, Christie (Kaitlin Cullum) and her father, who runs the drug store, knows something is going up there, but they can’t get involved. The acting really helps to drive this along with how good the effects were. As I said, there are some things I could have done without, but they don’t ruin the movie for me. The soundtrack was also fine, but it didn’t stick out to me either. Overall I would say this is an above average movie for me. It does do some good things, but not enough for me to go higher. This might be a bit too brutal for some fans. I’ve seen much worse for sure. If you can handle that, I would say for the concept, acting and effects it is worth it.
My Rating: 7 out of 10