Image Courtesy of RLJE Films/Shudder

Film Review: Jakob's Wife

12:00 April 23, 2021
By: David Vicari

The marriage between mousy housewife Anne Fedder and her minister husband, Jakob, has grown very cold. She goes through the motions of the dutiful wife, such as making him breakfast every morning and has his dinner waiting for him when he comes home. In return, he cuts her off in conversations with others and waves away her opinions. This all changes, however, when Anne is bitten by a vampire (!).

Anne is played by lovely scream queen legend Barbara Crampton, who starred in two of the late Stuart Gordon's best filmsRe-Animator (1985) and From Beyond (1986). As of late, she has been seen in You're Next (2011), We Are Still Here (2015), and Replace (2017). On this film, Jakob's Wife, Crampton serves as a producer, as this was a passion project for her and took her several years to get it made.

Playing Pastor Jakob Fedder is Larry Fessenden, and he and Crampton are fantastic together. I totally believed them as a couple, particularly as an older couple possibly regaining that spark in their relationship due to a supernatural occurrence.

Director Travis Stevens and his co-writers, Kathy Charles and Mark Steensland, infuse Jakob's Wife with a healthy sense of humor, but also keep it refreshingly adult at times. There is a sex scene in the movie that is actually funny because it happens at the most inopportune moment, but unlike many movie sex scenes that are shoehorned into a movie because studio heads think the film will score better with audiences, the scene here has meaning.

For every familiar horror movie trope presented here, the story and characters take some unexpected detours. This picture really is a pleasant surprise. Jakob's Wife is a refreshing and offbeat take on the vampire film genre and is available to rent on various streaming sites.

*** stars (out of four)

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