Every town has that one house with a scary story to accompany it, but this story is far from over.
Jennifer Help Us (2014)
My Rating: **** 4/5 Stars
A group of vindictive high school girls kidnap a fellow student and leave her in a house with a violent history and a legend of a haunting, but things don’t go as planned when the house’s brutal history comes back to bite them in their stupid asses.
First and foremost, I need to immediately inform you of two important things about this movie. One, it was filmed entirely on an iPhone 4S, and two, it had a budget of only $1,000.
Jennifer Help Us takes place some time in the 1970’s and the film’s editing does a wonderful job of making this clear. It’s edited perfectly with just the right amount of grainy texture, and the cinematography is absolutely beautiful.
I don’t have enough words to express how impressed I am by the quality, camera work, and direction that was used, especially considering it was filmed with an iPhone 4s! The angles were beyond interesting, and there were so many moments where I felt as though if I paused the film, the still frame would’ve looked like a photo from a high fashion shoot. This is also partially because the wardrobing, mask, and color scheme of the villain, mixed with the scenery, was absolutely gorgeous.
TThe house, barn, and other locations where this movie was filmed included a great mixture of stunning and eerie. Part of me wanted to be there, and the other part wanted to make sure I never step foot near that house. To be honest, I really enjoyed that sensation.
The score! Oh my God, can we please talk about the score! It was phenomenal! Multiple times throughout I thought to myself, “this score is perfect.” A couple times I felt like maybe one or two tracks didn’t exactly fit, but upon viewing the credits I realized that multiple artists had worked on the soundtrack, and this made sense. Over all, I felt that the score was extremely fitting and reminiscent of great horror movies from this time period.
Now… Just a couple things that rubbed me the wrong way…
The wardrobing and styling of the teenage girls was a bit lacking to me. Jennifer, specifically, appeared to be wearing an outfit straight outta my super goth days from 2003; shaggy shoulder length greasy brown hair, a baggy black shirt with a semi-patterned long-sleeved shirt underneath, skinny jeans, and topped off with all black converse shoes. (Which weren’t made until much much later.)
The other girl’s wardrobes weren’t as noticeably off, however they weren’t exactly “on” either.
Additionally, most of the murder scenes were off camera. (Boo!) However, this may have been because they had such a small budget, and that’s understandable. I guess I would rather see a movie done well rather than too ambitious, and failing miserably.
As a new, fresh, independent film, I adored this movie. I thought it was entertaining, moderately creative, and executed wonderfully.
The film is available to watch FOR FREE on their website now! If you’re interested in watching, just click this link.
Currently, they have a Kickstarter up and running for a second film, “Jennifer Help us Too,” which I personally donated to and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it gets funded. This time around, the film will be set in the 1980s (F*ck yes!) and will have a budget of $10,000.