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Review: THE JACK IN THE BOX (2020)

We’ve had killer dolls and killer clowns, lots of them. So, I suppose it was only a matter of time before somebody combined the two. That somebody is Lawrence Fowler (Curse Of The Witch’s Doll) who has given us The Jack In The Box. Yes, the creepy clown doll from the popular toy is on a killing spree. Is it a novel twist or a silly gimmick?

The Jack In The Box opens with a man with a metal detector finding a buried box. He brings it home and opens it, with tragic results. Twelve years later and the box is sitting unnoticed in a museum’s spare room. That is until new employee Casey (Ethan Taylor) sees it. He and Lisa (Lucy-Jane Quinlan, Unhinged, Weaverfish) open it. Two thieves who break in that night suffer rough justice at the hands of Jack (Robert Nairne, Boys from County Hell, Vampire Virus).

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This, of course, is only the start of the killing. With each death, a counter on the box advances toward the six victims Jack needs to claim. As the missing persons posters start going up Casey starts doing some detective work. He tracks down Norman Cleaver (Philip Ridout, Dogged). But more importantly, he finds reclusive demonologist Maurice Ainsworth (Tom Carter, Dark Nature).

Fowler seems to have learned at least one major lesson from his previous film. Rather than a stationary object popping up in odd places, Jack is quite mobile. Thankfully, he’s a man in convincingly creepy makeup rather than CGI as well. The in the box version of Jack is a nicely done prop as well, I’m pretty sure the scenes of it turning its head were done real rather than animated as well.

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Plotwise, The Jack In The Box isn’t anything new. A cursed object spawns a demon, the heroes try to figure out what’s going on and how to stop it while people die. You could guess the ending even if it wasn’t pretty much told to you by one of the characters.

But it’s well enough told and most of it takes place in the museum, which makes for a creepy enough setting that it doesn’t get boring. That’s saying something considering how many of these low budget British films are deadly boring. Films like Annabellum: The Curse of Salem, The Tombs or Bone Breaker. The Jack In The Box is at least an OK diversion on a cold afternoon.

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The Jack In The Box is available now in the UK. You can find more information on future release plans on the production company’s Facebook page.

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