Don’t let the unpolished look of this film put you off, The Killing of Jacob Marr is a great little indie horror gem.
What makes it work so well is a cast of characters that work so well together.
The dialogue feels natural and the self-aware humour regarding horror films set in the woods means that it never takes itself too seriously.
At first, the film seems like it’s going to go down the alien invasion route, with a young boy finding a crashed meteorite in the woods which quickly takes over his mind and leads him to off his parents in a particularly brutal opening.
However, the narrative quickly gets itself on track as a ‘cabin in the woods’ type venture as five friends head out to a remote cabin for a bit of R&R.
Of course, it’s the same cabin that the murderous young boy once lived in so things quickly go south.
The carnage takes a little while to get going and, although it is very typical of this genre of film – figures in the window, creaking doors, all escape routes blocked – it never feels stale.
Unlike many low-budget films in general, the actors in this are remarkably good.
Although there are moments that feel a bit cliche for the genre, the scenes are always delivered with a hint of knowing from the characters, as if they are aware that, “yes it is a cliche, but hey, we’re running with it.”
There are a few rough edges, of course – an alien invader plot that never really goes anywhere other than to establish the ‘other’ in the film – but on the whole, this is a decent indie horror film and worth checking out.