Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG-13 Length: 90 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 13+. A few characters die in violent ways, including in a car crash and in a fire; some language; some sexually suggestive content (including extramarital attraction and cheating); and some generally creepy stuff, like the discussion of voodoo, the use of Tarot cards, and malevolent ghosts, with the primary one being a dirty, angry young woman. Overall, though, not particularly gruesome or gory.
Louisiana-set ghost story ‘Jessabelle’ does some things right, exploring themes of helplessness and family legacy in intriguing ways. But its need to tie up all the story’s loose ends deny the horror film of real impact.
By Roxana Hadadi
Rural Louisiana is a perfect place for a ghost story: a region steeped in history and local legends, wild and overgrown in lots of places, with a flirtation with the occult. The atmosphere alone is undeniably creepy, and “Jessabelle” does one thing right by channeling that energy into its ghost story premise. But the film gets too caught up in neatly wrapping every subplot and the twists are too telegraphed; with those flaws, “Jessabelle” never elevates into something more memorable.