Jug Face (2013)

Drama, Horror, Thriller
Sean Bridgers, Lauren Ashley Carter, Kaitlin Cullum, Larry Fessenden
Jug Face tells the story of a pregnant teen trying to escape a backwoods community when she discovers that she may be sacrificed to a creature in a pit.
  • Modern Distributors Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 09 Aug 2013 Released:
  • 15 Oct 2013 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Eerie and well crafted7/10
Teenage Ada lives in a closed woodland community with her family which sounds idyllic were it not for the fact that that deity they worship demands human blood. Ada's problems escalate when she discovers that she is pregnant and that that she is soon to be sacrificed to the pit.

Jug Face is a wonderfully constructed and quietly intelligent film, with a plot which from it's description unfairly invokes up images of something perhaps more B-movie-ish. What you will find rather than a sensationalised romp through the woods with inbred hillbillies is an emotionally intelligent coming of age drama, with some very respectable quality horror included in the mix.

Performances here are consistently wonderful, with Sean Young in particularly terrifying form as Ada's sadistic mother (she is arguably more horrific than whatever it is that lives inside the pit). Elsewhere, relationships between characters are believable, often touching and collectively build a picture of a real community whom rely upon one another entirely for survival, support and solace. Ada suffers inner conflict during her transition from teenager to adult, wrestling with her individualistic urges and her responsibilities to the community. A sense of reverence and fear for the pit comes across very well and clearly throughout. Visual effects are used sparingly and appropriately and never at the expense of the story.

This is very human film with potentially wide appeal. It would be of definite interest to cinema buffs and movie snobs as well as genre-loyal horror fans. Older teenagers may possibly enjoy it. Anybody who craves a break from the stupidity of the mainstream should give it a try. For people who would rather see CGI demons or torture porn Jug Face will be of absolutely no interest at all and undoubtedly leave them bored and somewhat baffled.

Overall aside from being extraordinarily enjoyable and intriguing Jug Face is quite simply a well-conceived, well-acted and well executed film. No silly plot holes, no desperate plot twists- just a good solid piece of work with strong dialogue and an interesting thematic premise. In a world where the opposite is the norm, all of this is quite an achievement. Director Chad Crawford Kinkle is one to watch and based on this directorial debut seems certain to go on to do great things.

There really should be more films like this one.
Thin air4/10
A weird thing here. At first dark, textured about hillbilly life, promising some novelty. The handpainted credits bespeak of more personal work, that this comes to us from people who wanted to be creative and not some Hollywood office.

A girl in a repressive backwoods village becomes pregnant just as her parents have arranged marriage and then a mysterious force in the woods (centered in a pit that the people venerate) that seemingly can divine these things, demands blood sacrifice in return for healing and grants visions.

All the tension and strangeness in us being called to parse these wrathful metaphysics through the eyes of people that genuinely believe in them and allow them to dictate life while independent of them having to juggle the possibility that it's all a backwards hallucination, possibly invented: that the imbecile potter merely sculpts faces from a stupor or thin air but does that make the hold of evil less real?

It's clear that they only had a small sketch of the idea as they set to work, interesting at first but goes nowhere, never deeper than something in the earth has to be appeased and the madness of being unable to fathom order; it's still more textured than all the Texas Chainsaw clones, more unusual, but it just smears around with the mythology it creates. A complete loss by the end. Sad.
Nicely offbeat backwoods horror7/10
Ada is a young girl who lives with her backwoods hillbilly moonshinin' clan. A close knit community, they all share a rather arcane religion. Every so often, The Potter makes a ceramic jug adorned by a face. Every face that appears on the jug is a member of the clan and any face that appears must be sacrificed for the good of the community. Sacrificed to The Pit, which lies in the woods. Because The Pit wants what it wants and The Pit must be sated as this is how it's always been. If The Pit doesn't get what it wants then whatever dwells within it gets angry. And when The Pit gets angry, the community will be punished.

One day, while exploring The Potter's shed, Ada finds the latest jug face. It's her own...

Will she allow herself to be sacrificed, for the good of the clan? or will she set in motion a plan to spare her own life?

Jug Face is a straightforward but pleasantly offbeat horror that puts an interesting and unusual spin on the hillbilly horror/hicksploitation sub genre, with a nice turn by Larry Fessenden as the clan leader and a surprisingly great turn from Sean Young as the overbearing matriarch.

Executively produced by Lucky Mckee and with FX by Robert Kurtzman, it's a satisfying and solid horror that's well worth checking out overall, for fans looking for something just a little bit different.

7/10, decent little film and recommended.
Offbeat horror flick with a fresh story ◆≈≈6.0/10≈≈◆6/10
At first glance, after reading the plot outline of "Jug Face", a myriad of other film's popped up in my mind. All of the usual cliches and expectations of a horror film involving a remote backwoods community were buzzing around in my head. It didn't take long to see that first time writer/director Chad Crawford Kinkle had successfully managed to add, not only something fresh, but a considerably engrossing spin to that age old horror theme. He did an exceptional job in writing something original and vividly bringing it to life. The film had taken some of the most engaging ideas of M.N.S's "The Village" and added actual terror, although here, the thing we do not speak of is very much alive with an insatiable appetite for townsfolk.

The story revolves around a young girl Ada(Lauren Ashley Carter) she's been chosen to be "joined" with a young man Bodey(Mathieu Whitman). The thing is, she's not a virgin anymore(oddly enough in this town the woman is examined for purity). Not only is she not a virgin, she is pregnant by her brother Jessaby(Daniel Manche), something that is extremely frowned upon even in this backwater community. Ada soon learns that her current problems are nothing when compared to what may be in store for her. As you likely already know, this town has a secret, they worship an unseen being that resides in a blood filled pit located at the edge of town. A man named Dawai(Sean Bridgers)who is the local pot maker receives visions where he falls into a trance like state, blindly making a jug bearing the face of the next person the pit desires as a sacrifice. One night Ada stumbles upon the next jug face discovering that it's her face on the jug. This sets forth a chain of events & deaths as Ada searches for a resolution.

Despite this being Kinkles first feature film, a low budget indie, he took an idea that sounds a bit ridiculous and for ninety minutes made me believe in it. None of which would have been possible without the top notch acting all around, especially by Sean Bridgers, Lauren Ashley Carter, Larry Fessenden and Sean Young. Besides having an odd title, although a very fitting one in retrospect, no inadequacies come to mind in terms of production value or score. The effects were minimal, but compelling. They chose to use their minimal budget wisely and in doing so they did a sufficient job inferring the violence, showing mainly the aftermath which was fine and the scenes that did happen to include gore were chosen wisely. In the end "Jug Face" is a recommendable offbeat horror flick for those fans sick of the same old slasher/inbred killer/pointless torture films that the horror genre is over saturated with.
Not pure genius but definitely one of the better horror movies of the year.7/10
Solid acting, a quite original concept, and a well woven tapestry of a... shall we say, alternative culture, make this into quite a strong movie. I found myself invested in the main character enough to care about the outcome, and intrigued enough in the "elder power" around which the community revolves to want to know more about it. I will say it is not a conventional horror movie, so those who hope to get jump scares and loads of blood are better off looking elsewhere, but if you want a thoughtful little film that still has an element of supernatural, this might be a good one for you. Definitely worth watching, and all the better considering what an expanse of recent garbage this little gem shines out on.

Addendum: I saw some criticisms of this movie and they mostly seemed to center around the idea that it left too many questions unanswered, that it didn't have enough of a story, or that it didn't wrap up to a particular viewers satisfaction. I could not disagree more. The premise is that there is an entity whose older than man whose thinking is unfathomable. To answer the nature of such a creature in your narrative would destroy that property of it... wouldn't it? Personally, I like the unfathomable aspect of it. I like wondering about it but never being given an answer. As to the ending and the lack of a story, without giving anything away, well, a group such as this would have developed a kind of relationship with the entity which would have become very entrenched over time. This tale is a slice of time... not a closed end, and I think the ending we are presented with is the perfect one for the, shall we say, nature of the beast. It is precisely these kinds of things that make the story a bit more innovative and not just another Hollywood style tale designed to satisfy the person who prefers things to be more predigested.