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Justin G. Dyck
Sheila McCarthy, Julian Richings, Konstantina Mantelos
Keith Cooper

A bereaved couple kidnap a pregnant woman so they can use an ancient spellbook to put their dead grandson's spirit into her unborn child but end up summoning more than they bargained for.
Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 97 min.
Price: $28.96
Release Date: 6/15/2021

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Anything For Jackson [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (May 27, 2021)

Given its title, 2020’s Anything For Jackson sounds like a buddy comedy or an uplifting drama. Instead, it brings us grim horror tale.

A car accident leads to the death of a young boy named Jackson (Daxton William Lund). This leaves his grandparents Audrey (Sheila McCarthy) and Henry Walsh (Julian Richings) despondent.

Unable to move on from their loss, Audrey and Henry kidnap pregnant Shannon Becker (Konstantina Mantelos). They intend to conduct a “reverse exorcism” and infuse Shannon‘s unborn child with Jackson’s spirit, a dark game that doesn’t go as intended.

Huh – who would expect messing with satanic rituals might lead down ugly paths? Anyone who ever watched a movie, pretty much.

To be sure, Anything shows an awareness of its forebears. In particular, the film gives off clear echoes of 1968’s classic Rosemary’s Baby.

Both movies involve elderly people who attempt to subvert a pregnancy for their own ends. It seems impossible to believe those involved with Anything didn’t recognize these links.

That said, Anything merely reflects Baby. It doesn’t feel like a ripoff, as it uses the similar circumstances more as inspiration than anything else.

Really, the Baby elements essentially vanish after the first act anyway. Once you get past the general premise, the two stories diverge pretty clearly, as Anything becomes more about the aftermath of the grandparents’ actions.

These manage to take Anything down some reasonably intriguing paths. While I can’t claim the film offers something tremendously compelling as it goes, it does find interesting choices and twists along the way.

The actors manage to infuse their roles with the appropriate tones as well. In particular, McCarthy – perhaps best-remembered as spunky reporter Samantha Coleman in 1990’s Die Hard 2 - brings gravity to her role along with a slightly unhinged quality necessary for the character.

Anything suffers somewhat from a lack of a strong plot, as it can feel like a bunch of scenes built around its narrative notion. We don’t find an especially tight story here.

Nonetheless, Anything comes with enough grim energy to carry it. Though not a great horror flick, it becomes a mostly involving one.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus D-

Anything For Jackson appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, the image looked fine.

Sharpness came across well. A smidgen of softness occasionally crept into a few wider shots, but those created no lasting concerns. Instead, we got good clarity and accuracy.

Shimmering and jaggies remained absent, and I noticed no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to mar the presentation.

In terms of colors, Anything veered toward a chilly palette, with an emphasis on light ambers and some teal. Within the production design, the hues seemed appropriate.

Blacks looked dark and tight, and shadows showed good delineation. This became a positive transfer.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it seemed low-key but appropriate for an introverted character drama. This meant a soundscape with limited ambition.

Dialogue and music dominated the mix, so don’t expect a lot from effects. Environmental information filled the room in an acceptable manner, but not much else added zing. That was fine, as the story didn’t demand sonic fireworks.

Audio quality was good. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, without edginess or other issues.

Music sounded lively and full, while effects were accurate and clear. Though not memorable, the soundtrack fit the movie.

The disc opens with an ad for the Shudder streaming channel. No extras appear on the disc otherwise.

With Anything For Jackson, we get a spin on stories of exorcism and the effects of grief. Buoyed by some decent twists and a good cast, the movie becomes a fairly engaging horror effort. The Blu-ray boasts positive picture and audio but it lacks supplements. This winds up as a mostly compelling tale.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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