When reviewing a horror film, I think it is important to create a standard for all movies that we use as a guideline. I judge films equally and don’t give bonus points for movies that are independent or have no budget. Jug Face is a case of not lowering expectations simply because it is an independent horror. While some people may not agree with this, I ultimately feel I need to set a score that will depict the viewing experience of the film. While Jug Face may be impressive considering its lack of resources, it ultimately doesn’t deliver.
The film follows a backwoods community that believes a local pit has healing powers. The village artist, Dawai (Sean Bridgers), supernaturally creates jugs depicting the face of one of the villagers. If it is your face on the jug - you better run because you are about to be sacrificed for The Pit. The main character, Ada (Lauren Ashley Carter), runs into some bad luck and has to cover up the fact that The Pit selected her for sacrifice. The fact that she is pregnant, betrothed, and exhibiting supernatural behavior doesn’t help. The battle between Ada, the community, and The Pit creates the storyline for the film and pushes the viewer to have sympathy for the main character. While she isn’t insanely lovable, she exhibits the fear and decision making that any person would have in her situation.
Where does Jug Face fall short? While the story is very interesting, there is absolutely no background about The Pit. We also have no clue where the story takes place, although I think it was Georgia or West Virginia. With no background and no firm setting, I had trouble grasping the characters. The acting and special effects weren’t great. I get that it is an independent film, but there was unintentional comedy due to overacting and supernatural buffoonery. When it comes to the scare department, this film was much more about a sinister environment. It does deliver in a lasting quality that makes you remember the film, but I didn’t lose any sleep due to fear. Jug Face could have been salvaged with a good ending, but that doesn’t happen. The ending pretty much sucks and shot down any feelings I had for the main character.
The one good thing this film had going for it was an interesting backstory, but when it wasn’t explained I felt myself asking a lot of questions. Ultimately, Jug Face doesn’t provide a fun or entertaining viewing experience. When it comes down to it, watching a film is all about having fun and this film just wasn’t that fun to watch. Horror island is receiving a rookie that shouldn’t be in the pros yet. If you want to play with the big boys then you have to have the skill set. Jug Face just isn’t developed enough to be anything more than a lackluster horror film.
If you liked Jug Face, you might also like Wake Wood