Jessabelle (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes

Jessabelle (2014)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Jessabelle hints at a bright future for star Sarah Snook, but clouds her performance with a cliched -- and tasteless -- storyline.

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Movie Info

From the mastermind producer of Paranormal Activity and Insidious comes the ghostly tale of Jessabelle. Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate from a horrific car accident, Jessabelle (Sarah Snook of Sleeping Beauty) comes face to face with a long-tormented spirit that has been seeking her return -- and has no intention of letting her escape. (c) Lionsgate
Rating:
PG-13 (for sequences of horror violence and terror)
Genre:
Drama , Horror
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Sarah Snook
as Jessabelle
Mark Webber
as Preston
Amber Stevens
as Dead Girl
Chris Ellis
as Sheriff Pruitt
Fran Bennett
as Mrs. Davis
Paul Garrett
as Christophe
Jason A. Davis
as Surgeon
Lucius Baston
as Mr. Woods
Charles Black
as Old Creole Man
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Critic Reviews for Jessabelle

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (13)

As the film racks up incidents and characters and explanations, the mystery dissipates. It's a strange spectacle: a horror film that spends as much time dismantling suspense as it does building it.

Full Review… | November 7, 2014
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

An ineffective, derivative, and awkwardly executed mash-up of ghost flicks and voodoo movies.

Full Review… | November 7, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

"Jessabelle" is interesting in some of the small details, and in its strong sense of the Louisiana bayou atmosphere, and then it completely falls apart when it starts being a horror film.

Full Review… | November 7, 2014
RogerEbert.com
Top Critic

Credit lead Sarah Snook's gentle, sympathetic performance for holding together this atmospheric film, especially during its silly-campy third act.

Full Review… | November 7, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

How are VHS tapes, voodoo and the specter lurking in a house connected? Your impatience for answers is likely to eclipse your trepidation.

Full Review… | November 6, 2014
New York Times
Top Critic

One of the nice things about Jessabelle is that it isn't trying too hard.

Full Review… | November 6, 2014
AV Club
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Jessabelle

½

Terrible movie. While the film is beautifully shot, Snook's performance is solid and the Southern hoodoo element is interesting, everything else about it lacks good quality. The scares are dull and boring, the buildup is lacking and the pace is slow.

Grant Hermanns
Grant Hermanns
½

A girl goes back to New Orleans to deal with her dead dad and finds the place haunted and a whole lot more... Good movies and creepy as shit.

John Trifiletti
John Trifiletti

A terrible movie that wastes the talents of Sarah Snook. This movie just has nothing to offer outside of that honestly. It relies mostly on its atmosphere, but even that is lacking. I'd say that this film is vanilla, but you can still be vanilla while not being a particularly bad movie. This is a bad movie. Absolutely no scares to speak of, nonsensically stupid story involving voodoo, ghosts, among other cliches. Done in as haphazard a manner as is humanly possible. There's just no rhyme or reason for this, it's happening just because it is. Talk about ineffective. There's just something incredibly lazy about the film's attempts to build up suspense leading to its, supposed, scares. There's some decent ones here and there, but there are just as many, if not double, shit ones. That also seems to suggest that the film had more than, say, 20 scares. That's just a number I came up with, not the actual number. This just feels empty and shallow. It struggles to come up with interesting narrative threads in order to carry it throughout its running length. Let's just say it struggles to do even that. You'd think a movie involving voodoo would, hopefully, explore that concept, other than taking just a glancing look at it, but you'd be wrong. Explore how it influences the people that practice it. Just do SOMETHING. There was no real effort. It's like they thought 'oh hey, voodoo is cool, put that shit in there' and then they did a wikipedia search of it and just put it in there in the most simplified and basic explanation possible. Laziness personified. I don't wanna say it's disrespectful, but it could also be misunderstanding or even misinterpreting what voodoo is actually about. Which is probably not a good idea considering the perception about voodoo among people as it is. I'm not saying people take horror films THAT seriously, but misinformation can permeate our society because a movie, a book, or a TV series happened to shine a light on them in an inaccurate fashion. Of course, seeing as this film wasn't really that successful, then it doesn't really matter. But this is a problem in many films. Have I mentioned how bad this movie is yet? Because it sucks. There's this one really unintentionally scene, where Jessabelle, who's wheelchair-bound thinks that the ghosts of 'mother' and Moses are pushing her down the walkway into the lake, but it's really her rolling herself down into the lake. She just looked so fucking stupid doing this that it kinda nullified everything the movie had done up to that point. Not that any of it was good, mind you, it was just too difficult to take the movie seriously after that. Granted, it was close to the end, but the last thing a terrible movie needs is for someone to just give up on it and that's exactly what I did. I don't recall the last time I just gave up on a movie. I watch terrible movies all the time, but I don't know if I mentally quit them the way I did with this one. This is terrible. A decent performance from Sarah Snook does not make this worthwhile. It's not offensively terrible or anything of the sort, but I would not watch this if I were you. Go watch John Wick instead, the next movie I'll review, which was really good. I'm sure Cabin in the Woods is still on Netflix. That was a masterpiece of horror. This is not, obviously.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

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