Jackals is an intense and gripping psychological horror film released in 2017. Directed by Kevin Greutert, it combines elements of crime, corruption, and occult practices with a chilling, suspenseful narrative that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.
The film features prominent actors like Deborah Kara Unger, Ben Sullivan, and Chelsea Ricketts in leading roles, with skilled performances that drive the eeriness and intensity of the story. Their performances bring credibility and emotional depth to the narrative, making the chilling plotlines even more impactful and compelling.
The central narrative of Jackals revolves around a family desperate to regain their son, Justin Powell (played by Ben Sullivan), from the sinister clutches of a psychotic cult. The family, comprising Justin's parents (Deborah Kara Unger and Johnath Schaech) and his significant other, Samantha (Chelsea Ricketts), hire Jimmy, a hardened cult deprogrammer, in a desperate attempt to salvage what remains of the life their son once knew. These events are set in the 1980s, adding layers of period authenticity to the film’s chilling atmosphere.
The plot thickens when the cult, referred to as the ‘Jackals,’ show up at the secluded cabin where Justin is held. Clad in creepy, animalistic masks, the cult members lay a deadly siege on the wheedling family and Jimmy, precipitating a psychological war of wills. As the film progresses, it becomes increasingly evident that the Jackals are ruthless, highly determined and will stop at nothing to reclaim their lost member.
Deborah Kara Unger plays the role of Justin's concerned and devastated mother who must cope with seeing her son tangled up in such dangerous circumstances. Her performance successfully manages to convey the desperation and pain that the character is going through. One can see the inner turmoil experienced by the character, portrayed with precision by Unger.
Ben Sullivan delivers an intense performance as Justin, transitioning effectively from a wayward youth to a manipulated and brainwashed cultist. Sullivan effectively portrays Justin's internal struggle and vulnerability, allowing audiences to empathize with the character despite his dark circumstances.
Chelsea Ricketts plays Samantha, Justin's former girlfriend and mother to their infant daughter, who adds another layer of emotional depth and complexity to the narrative. As the intense standoff unfolds, Samantha proves pivotal in raising the stakes, often pulling at the heartstrings of both the family members and the audience.
The direction by Greutert, known for his work in the Saw franchise, is commendable and has a natural flair for suspense and dread. The cinematography by Andrew Russo enhances the eerie atmosphere and brings out the essence of the ’80s through intricate detailing. The filmmakers successfully evoke a palpable feeling of unease, and the potent combination of tension, fear and impending doom keeps one glued to the screen.
The screenplay by Jared Rivet, interwoven with flashbacks, brings to light the extent of Justin's indoctrination and the cult's depravity, thus elaborating on the cult's hold over its victims. Despite the confined setting, the movie manages to evoke anxiety and a claustrophobic feeling that elevates the narrative's suspense.
Complemented by ominous music by Anton Sanko, the film’s sound design adds another layer to its perforating dread. There’s a potent score that accompanies the scenes, creating hair-raising moments that complement the film's gritty ambiance and the actors' visceral performances.
In conclusion, Jackals is a gripping thriller that blends elements of horror, mystery, and psychological drama, producing a film rich with tension and suspense. Its look into cult practices, family dynamics, and the extreme lengths that people will go to in the name of love makes it a fascinating, albeit chilling, viewing. The blend of standout performances, eerie visuals, and a suspense-laden narrative make it worth watching for fans of the genre.
Jackals is a Horror, Thriller movie released in 2017. It has a runtime of 85 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it mostly poor reviews, with an IMDb score of 4.9. It also holds a MetaScore of 33.How to Watch Jackals
Where can I stream Jackals movie online? Jackals is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Peacock, Peacock Premium, Plex, The Roku Channel Free, Tubi TV, Vudu Free, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Jackals for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.