It was clear that this was going to be a bad film. I only hoped that some how there would be some redeeming camp value to it. Sadly, none whatsoever was found. Let me be frank, Jack-O is an abomination. It’s horrifying only by way of its pathetic attempts at real horror. Take bad and stack it on top of more bad and you create films like this. Bad acting, lame script, And worst of all, a laughably bad villain.
The filmmakers try to set up a ridiculous Halloween night premise to heighten the mood but it all comes off totally forced. The story bounces from present to past to tie together the story of the “evil” demon/warlock, pumpkin-head character.
A young boy and his parents, the Kellys, are the main characters eventually stalked by the demonic killer, Jack-O. The pumpkin killer has an ancestral score to settle with the family. The Kellys of old hung a local warlock, but not before the dark magician raised a jack o' lantern from hell to take his revenge. The effective Kelly ancestors killed the demon as well but made the mistake of burying him shallowly not far enough from home.
Of course, in the present day, it’s a group of partying teenagers that set off the latest killing spree by accidentally uncovering the grave, springing Jack-O back to life. Things never get more interesting than that.
I honestly wish there was a sweet low-budget slasher about a scarecrow or a pumpkin-head killer. I wanted this to be a lost gem. There have been plenty of attempts but its always rubbish such as this. (A truly great scarecrow exception is the TV classic, Dark Night of the Scarecrow.) There’s just nothing to salvage from this crap. The kills are all yawns. The effects screamed, “we have no money but we’re going to do a severed head anyway!” The actors, oh the poor actors. Not a believable line delivered amongst them. Even if the script were good there’s no getting around those hams. I feel bad saying so, but I hope they found a more suitable line of work after this effort.
There was really no hope for the film at all. Even in a best-case scenario, it’s only a person like me who will sit through this derivative drivel. It just kills me that they pull out every tired cliché known and exercise no irony about it whatever. They actually were trying to use this shit to scare people. Jack-O's true victims are the viewers watching at home.
I mean they actually thought this could be entertaining!? And there were actually three people involved with writing this thing. Huh? Luckily, director Steve Latshaw hasn’t been given that seat since 98’. With a filmography that includes Vampire Trailer Park and Biohazard: The Alien Force, he succeeded only in achieving the three strikes and your out law. Or, at least there should be a law against this publicly damaging shlock. And did I mention the graphic titles? Fucking hell! Jeez, I’m starting to lose my head here.
Unfortunately, I can’t recommend this flick on any level. No redemption to be had. It’s not because I have such high standards or am some kind of cinema snob. No, this movie just plunges far below my forgivingly, low-standards to a level of utter banality.
In actuality, this is all my fault. Yes, the blame falls against me for misjudging, or more accurately, indulging in wishful thinking. I've done it before, I'll probably do it again. This is why the horror audience is beyond any other genre in terms of loyalty.
Watching Jack-O should send me to the nearest mirror to have a good hard look at myself. "When will you learn," ought to be the question. So, subject yourself to these horrors… only if you dare! It's truly a frightful waste of time.