I just finished watching the exquisitely made Mr. Jones for the eleventh day of my Samhain cinema marathon. I find myself floundering for words to describe just how incredible and on point this movie was. Let’s start with the now familiar phrase Found Footage. I love it, all of you should love it, and this is the perfect example of how to do it right! The reason for having the camera’s rolling for as long as they do is written right into the story, which also offers an excellent excuse for parts of the movie to have certain effects added in; fast forward, cutaways, etc.
I’ve also maintained for years that the found footage subgenre of film would be most effective if it were treated as if the footage were ACTUALLY found, with experts and theorists spliced into the footage to offer thoughts on what is happening. While Mr. Jones doesn’t do that specifically, they DO have interviews with experts on elements of the story, which is within spitting distance.
When the movie, which is so chalk full of disturbing sculptures referred to as “scarecrows” and riveting scenes of suspense and unease, finally lets you know what is going on it becomes absolutely relevant to my October Movie-A-Day Marathon. While, I didn’t see the ending coming like I have for the last several movies, I think that the movies rather ambiguous direction and slow build has more to do with that than cunning writing. That said, by foregoing a lot of that first act foreshadowing that usually gives things away, Mr. Jones was able to keep the ending fresh and interesting. My most pertinent criticism is summed up in the word WOW.
I’ve already handed out more of these this year than in the last three years…I give Mr. Jones a startlingly shiver-filled 5 out of 5 stars on the scare-o-meter.