Parents' Guide to

Jessabelle

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Messy ghost story has scares but little blood and gore.

Movie PG-13 2014 90 minutes
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A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (8 ):

Whenever JESSABELLE comes to a scary part, it turns into a messy, shaky jumble, frequently blurring or obscuring whatever it is that's supposed to be scary. Director Kevin Greutert was a film editor for years before he became a director with the "torture porn" films Saw VI (2009) and Saw 3D (2010), but you'd never know it. Perhaps Greutert and screenwriter Robert Ben Garant never really established the rules of the ghosts. Why do they bother appearing and attacking in solid form when they can also do things by telepathy?

The movie does make atmospheric use of its southern bayou setting. And Greutert seems to care about his characters; he gives them several human, non-scary moments that are effective, and it helps that Snook and Webber are so sympathetic in their roles. But ultimately even they fall apart under the strange illogic of the entire situation and a barrage of unanswered questions.

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