Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Chad Crawford Kinkle
Lauren Ashley Carter
What's it about
Jug Face tells the story of a pregnant teen trying to escape a backwoods community when she discovers that she may be sacrificed to a creature in a pit.
Is it good movie?
This little backwater fairy tale managed to capture my attention, to
say the least. It isn't overly gory, but it does have a true sense of
defeat and desperation about it. See, this small town is sort of
revolving around this black pit. People believe that some sort of evil
beast dwells at the bottom of this pit, and that the only way to
satiate it is to throw people into it (charming!). How do they find out
who's going in next? Well there's this local potter (Sean Bridgers, in
an excellent performance which adds depth to a seemingly shallow
character) who goes into a freaky trance-ish state who managed to forge
the next victim's face in a pot (hence the clever title). As long as
the people can keep the beast happy, they believe no harm will come to
them or the town. The story of the town and their relationship with the
pit is told brilliantly through a chalk drawing sequence at the
beginning of the film. Unfortunately on the production side of things,
the actual pit in the film is a bit cheap looking and unimpressive.
This world is otherwise well constructed and well-contained, with loads
of frustration and defeat mixed in for good measure.
Ada is our heroine, played by Lauren Ashley Carter (with gusto too,
she's got a lot to tackle here). She's in a tough spot- she's in a bit
of an arranged marriage sort of deal with someone in the community, her
parents(Sean Young) are essentially pure evil and make her life hell,
and if that isn't enough, she's pregnant. With her brother's child. On
top of all that, she's the next face on the jug! Her character is
naturally loaded with conflict, and makes all kinds of decisions that
can wind up bad for the folks who surround her.
I won't blabber on much about the plot, but I'll comment on it- it's
brilliantly layered. The more you get to know each character, the more
of their story that gets unveiled, the more things begin to click in
place. Things that you thought felt a certain way take on a whole new
meaning once you uncover the different layers of the story- it's really
quite impressive. It's worth noting that the characters in this
community are far more than spoon-playing mouth-breathers too. They're
imbued with different subtleties that reveal more and more about them
as the film goes on. The creature is a threat, but the way people
interact with one another in this film is the real horror. If you're
looking for a ton of hack and slash action, look elsewhere- this is
I was pleasantly surprised by Jug Face. It's well acted, slow building
and constructed in such a way that you'll look differently on certain
scenes once the film is over.
Video / Audio
Video: 2.35:1 widescreen in 1080p, with a
transfer that's pretty sharp, though colors can feel flat at times.
Good enough though.
Audio: Dolby 5.1 that can feel downright
screechy at times. It just seemed to be a bit piercing when it got loud.
The Story of Jug Face runs
about a half hour long, and is an honest and candid documentary that
features interviews and behind the scenes footage with its stars. It's
great stuff, dealing with director Chad Crawford Kinkle's inspiration
for the film, all the way to Lucky McKee(whose influence is noted)'s
role as executive producer.
Organ Grinder is a short film
from Kinkle that runs about 6 minutes long and is far gorier than this
one. Still though, it's funny, dealing with a lady who has to take out
some folks possessed by demons.
A Trailer rounds things out.
This bizarre little bit of off-kilter horror absolutely worked for me. It's a different kind of horror film for those looking to branch out a bit, and operates well within the world it creates. Recommended without a doubt!