Jack Goes Home (2016) Movie Review

By: Salvador Garcia (Two Beers) –

Man… I don’t know if I should stand and slow-clap or walk to the nearest mirror and slap myself in the face – because overall I liked this dark artsy drama, horror, thriller of a film.  Jack Goes Home follows the story of Jack Thurlowe (Rory Culkin), a magazine editor expecting a child with his fiancé Cleo (Britt Robertson) who is 7 months preggers. But, his life is put on hold when his parents suffer a brutal car accident and he goes home to take care of his mother Teresa (Lin Shaye) who survived the wreck.  But, as soon as he begins arranging for the funeral some suppressed dark family issues begin to surface and things get weird; especially when he finds some audio recordings of his father in the attic that makes him believe that his life and his parents weren’t really good people, testing his sanity and his friendships.

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A Toast

I raise my glass to the chemistry between Rory Culkin and Daveigh Chase, who plays Jack’s childhood friend, Shanda.  From the beginning Jack is a character who clearly has psychological issues and from the moment Shanda hears about the accident she goes over to him – as it’s later revealed Jack has always been there for her during tough times.  Jack, however, has issues that only a friend like Shanda would understand and endure; for example, Jack sleepwalks and gets very violent at night and Shanda helps keep him safe.  She is ultimately Jack’s caretaker, checking in on him throughout the film and ultimately playing a big part of helping Jack cope with his loss.

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Overall, I believe the casting of the film was great.  Lin Shaye’s turn as Jack’s mother was particularly loving, frightening, and wicked.  She’s one of the hardest working actresses out there and I felt like given the complexity of her character, she held it together and portrayed a caring mother, a victim, a psychologically abusive mother, and an animal abuser.

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Jack Goes Home takes has a few scares here and there that are difficult to understand until you realize that something is wrong with Jack and what he sees and hears isn’t necessarily actually there.

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There’s a masturbation scene that I don’t believe added any artistic value – and for this reason you’ll need a second beer.  It’s a controversial way to introduce a character, Duncan, into the film, but ultimately this intro soured my impression of the character and subsequently his future scenes.

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Verdict

You can enjoy Jack Goes Home with two beers.

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Jack Goes Home (2016) Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time Teresa (Lin Shaye) is on screen.

Take a Drink: every time Jack presses play on a tape player or VCR.

Take a Drink: every time you hear the name Andy.

Take a Drink: every time Shanda appears on screen.

D0 a Shot: when you see Duncan masturbating.

Pour Out a Beer: for Rusty the family dog, never forget.

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