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JUG FACE
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Chad Crawford Kinkle

Starring:
Sean Bridgers
Sean Young
Lauren Ashley Carter
Larry Fessenden

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
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 psychological horror.

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 Extras
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.
Last Call
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!
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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