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  • Writer's pictureMartyn Wakefield


Updated: Jan 9, 2022

Dir. Lawrence Fowler

Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield

THE JACK IN THE BOX: AWAKENING is a sequel to the 2019 movie JACK IN THE BOX which delivers on providing more of the same but with lessons learnt from it's predecessor that make this one of 2022's franchises to watch.

A bed bound woman (Nicola Wright) watches on as the Jack in the box takes a victim in front of her. Behind shock, she watches on as the corpse is consumes by the box. Moments later we learn that she is in fact in on the murder as the box requires six victims to give her the strength to walk again, bringing her son (Matt McClure) into her pact, the pair, through personal struggles, strive to complete the act.

There will be blood and like a dark rendition of ALADDIN, this box harbours a demon that will complete it's promise at whatever cost. Lawrence Fowler has picked up the lessons from the first entry and while a strong film, focussing on more physical and constrained storytelling, improves on a legend that has only just begun.

Where AWAKENING does well is it's commitment to character but more importantly, maintaining a steady level of bloodlust as JACK is blended perfectly and like all good horror, remains practical throughout to make every scene as believable as the next despite watching a killer jack in the box ride through it's quest for souls. The film manages to stoke fear through great character and sound design and the Jack is perfectly executed balancing between the practical toy element and reality of the demon that is captured inside. There is, and somehow always will be, something dastardly about a clown and in whatever form, the blend of human and otherworldly evil is captured brilliantly here.

THE JACK IN THE BOX: AWAKENING is out now on Digital & DVD in the UK and available in the US on January 18th 2022

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