New Horror Releases: 2 Jennifer (2016) - Reviewed

Raul reviews the new horror release, 2 Jennifer.

Going into this I didn’t realize that this was meant to be a pseudo-sequel to the previously released horror film titled To Jennifer, shot entirely on an iPhone 5. I simply thought that it was merely created for the story and only later after doing some research did I come to discover that this was co-written by James Cullen Bressack, the director of the original released in 2013. The story involves two filmmakers trying to make a great sequel to the first picture, with Bressack handling most of the production related issues. The only thing that the pair has to do is cast the perfect Jennifer, but one of them is harboring a dark secret that may jeopardize all of their lives.

Like its predecessor, this is basically a found-footage story shot on two different iPhones. It is told as if it were meant to eventually serve as behind the scenes footage of went into the production. So if you’re turned off by this sub-genre, then you should definitely stay away because there are plenty of dizzying moments when the video spins around. That being said, it looks pretty decent despite the low budget constraints. While the narrative is relatively by-the-books, I found the overall concept to be intriguing. The dialogue and acting felt realistic for the most part, as if this were actual documentary footage of a crew putting together a picture.

Bro, stop slitting my throat yo. 

The acting was solid; particularly David Coupe and Lara Jean Mummert who both came off as believable and showed some good chemistry in their scenes together. The weakness came in the performance of director and actor Hunter Johnson, whose character required more than what was delivered. At its core this story is very similar to violent and obsessive characters such as Norman Bates, Buffalo Bill, and Mark Duplass’s character in the found-footage feature Creep. Budgetary constraints obviously limited the ability to bring in a talent such as Duplass, but Johnson’s role required slightly more than what he ended up providing.

There are some comedic elements peppered into this that the viewers will either enjoy or be absolutely turned off by. A score is virtually nonexistent, showing up only in sequences where the filmmakers want you to know that the scene is supposed to be creepy. While this may be effective in increasing the level of terror, it really throws off the documentary style that they are trying to convey. There is only a minimal amount of blood and violence that appears in the third act when the tone gets extremely dark. Falling somewhere in the middle of being terrible or excellent, fans of horror or the original motion picture may get some enjoyment out of this one.

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-Raul Vantassle