Mr. Jones… the illusive artist that has been around for decades creating rather eerie looking “scarecrows.” A young couple staying in a remote cabin may have just happened upon this man that no one has ever seen. At first thinking this is a blessing, the couple decides to make a documentary about the artist, even going to New York City to interview people that have dealt with his work. Soon this blessing becomes more like a curse. Most importantly, Mr. Jones is not at all what he seems.
In general, I love “found footage” films. The format makes them seem so real to me that it usually scares me more than any other kind of horror movie. While I wouldn’t really call this a very scary movie, it is definitely unsettling. Similar to films like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, the film gives you a slow burn. It takes a while for the creepy things to start happening, but once they do things build quickly into the climax. The climax isn’t what you think it would be either. The things I really enjoyed about this movie is that, while it didn’t have the scare factor that I was anticipating, it had a very original storyline that kept me guessing right up to the end credits.
While there are many aspects of the movie that I loved, there were a couple that I didn’t like so much as well. I’ll start with the good stuff first. As is common with found footage films, there is really great character development. In fact, it takes up just about the whole first half of the film. I’m a stickler for character development. I want to get the back story of the people I’m watching and I want to ultimately care about their well-being, which is practically impossible if the character development is lacking. As I stated earlier, I also loved the overall story. It was something I have never seen before, and I really enjoyed the concept.
Moving on to the things I did not like as much, the first thing is basically just a plot hole. I don’t like unanswered questions. They haunt me. In the film they talk about how Mr. Jones sent a few scarecrows to specific people, none of whom had any connection to each other and there was no apparent reason that they received the scarecrows. They never tell you why! You can kind of put the pieces together on why different people received scarecrows, but they never explain how the people were chosen. The only other thing that bothered me is more about continuity. Obviously, since this is a found footage/mocumentary type of movie, it is mostly shot by the main characters. At one point some of the camera perspectives are not from the two main characters. For the most part, it works and they do a great job of explaining why that is. However, there are just a few times where it is clear that we are not seeing what is happening from the perspective of someone in the film, and that bugs me.
I would definitely say this is a must see movie. It’s creepy, it has great acting, a unique storyline, and it is the kind of film you can discuss with people long after it’s over and still find new things to talk about. I would definitely recommend watching it with someone. I watched it alone, and while I have you fine people to “talk to” about it, you will want to discuss what you just watched with another person. Be sure to watch it in total blackness as well, otherwise I think the unsettling feeling you get while watching won’t be as prominent.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5/10