Jakob's Wife Review

Does your modern indie horror movie really exist if it doesn’t feature Barbara Crampton or Larry Fessenden? The two horror icons, who have been so good in so many genre movies for so long, are busier than ever, popping up in (and often propping up) countless films made by filmmakers who clearly grew up watching them on well-worn VHS tapes.

But Jakob’s Wife, a gory new horror comedy about a marriage on the rocks before vampirism rears its ugly fangs, understands their appeal more than most. In fact, it knows what horror fans really want: to see them placed front-and-center as leading man and leading lady rather than relegated to supporting role or amusing cameo. And while there are other pleasures to be found in Jakob’s Wife (especially the geysers of blood that erupt with some regularity), these two, together in the spotlight, are the main draw.

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Jakob's Wife Trailer

Barbara Crampton is a minister’s wife turned vampire in Jakob’s Wife, the new horror film from director Travis Stevens (Girl on the Third Floor). Crampton’s character, Anne, feels like she’s been stuck in a rut for 30 years, but that all changes when she ends up attacked by someone…or something. Coming away from the attack with bite marks on her neck and a newfound thirst for blood, Anne’s entire existence is about to change. Watch the Jakob’s Wife trailer below.

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Jakob's Wife Director Interview

A nightwalker strolls into a small suburban town and all hell breaks loose. Married to the local minister, Barbara Crampton’s mousy Anne Fedder has been shrinking over the past 30 years, suppressing her adventurous ways in order to be without blemish. At her husband’s behest, Anne is quiet, withdrawn, devout. It’s not until a creature of darkness descends upon her quaint life that she becomes privy to the fact that she’s lost herself inside of the image of what her beloved wants her to be.

However, once she’s tasted blood, she grows an insatiable appetite to live a little larger. Be a little bolder. The only problem is that her fierce new attitude comes equipped with the added bonus of a heavy body count.

I was fortunate enough to speak with writer/director Travis Stevens about his sophomore feature Jakob’s Wife, which is world premiering at SXSW via their online platform. We discuss vampire lore, subverting genre tropes, giving Crampton the chance to wield more of the many tools in her arsenal, what it means to have a lust for life, and making movies for adults.

 Jakob’s Wife premieres this week during the virtual edition of SXSW.

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