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Parents' Guide to

Jacob's Ladder (2019)

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Violent remake skips character in favor of shocks.

Movie R 2019 89 minutes
Jacob's Ladder (2019) Poster Image

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Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+


Obviously the original Jacobs Latter is a iconic in it's own right. I wish people would give the 2019 release and honest chance. This film is a psychological horror that grips the mind.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This remake of the 1990 psychological horror movie makes a half-hearted stab at changing up the story, but in the end it just feels listless, without the original's disturbing existential scope. That movie had a kind of interior quality that made the events feel as if they were happening to the character like a nightmare. The new Jacob's Ladder feels mainly exterior, as if all the shocks were set up as jump scares aimed at the audience, rather than the character. As a result, Ealy can only react to things, and he never manages to find an emotional center to his character; his Jacob is just constantly concerned.

Diversifying the characters was a welcome decision, and adding a brother character to the mix was, too -- if only there had been more of a connection. The two men don't seem to have ever even met before. Unexpectedly, in the role of Ike, Williams seems like the more dynamic actor; perhaps the movie would have been more effective if he and Ealy had switched roles. Jacob's Ladder also tries for a drastically different conclusion to the story this time around. But while the original's ending worked dramatically and emotionally, this one falls short. Again, it feels external, meant for shock purposes, and attempted without any concern for the characters or their inner logic.

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