Review: What Jack Built

Directed by Matthew Mahler and co-written with Ross Mahler, now the less said about what this film is, the more enjoyable it will be, so simply the story revolves around the mystery of who is Jack? And what is he building? Starring Timothy J. Cox as Jack.

It makes the job of talking about a cast much easier when the list extends to one person only, although there’s still plenty to talk about with Timothy J. Cox’s performance. As an audience you receive no information whatsoever about our lead and yet that has no negative effect on the film, Cox does well to create the sense of intrigue surrounding his character. There’s an unusual mix of qualities being portrayed, mysterious and somewhat erratic yet confident and of course, inventive, it’s interesting to watch as the way the film is put together constantly shows different sides of the character, leaving the audience in a position to have no idea what he may be capable of. Although you do have to hope Cox enjoys smoking cigars, as it’s very much a recurring habit throughout the film.

The film itself has a very immediate ominous aesthetic which continues to hold your attention throughout, which is helped even further by the choices to have zero dialogue and give no context, forcing you to try and figure things out for yourself. The story progresses in a way that slowly builds your interest and curiosity and leads in a direction which does not disappoint. There are however the slightly strange choices, firstly being the choice of a score which almost feels akin to video-game music and struggles to compliment the progression and tone of the story; secondly that the setting of the film is quite bright and clean in most parts which is surprising given that the story may have called for something more dark and menacing. Despite those factors, you still can clearly get the message; the gradual increase of threat, danger and survival which all add up to a captivating story.

Once viewed, there will still be a lot of unanswered questions but the film definitely benefits from that mystery. It’s an interesting story backed up by Cox’s lead character whom you can’t quite decipher, that will spark your curiosity.

Verdict: 7/10


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