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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Review: The Jack in the Box: Awakening

Director: Lawrence Fowler

Screenplay: Lawrence Fowler

Year: 2022

I was surprised to learn that a sequel to "The Jack In The Box" would be released. The first film, released in 2020, received poor reviews (also from us) and wasn't particularly successful with horror fans. But curiosity and optimism always get the best of me and, although I was expecting the worst, I decided to take a look.

Although the title suggests a prequel, "The Jack in the Box: Awakening" works as a sequel. In it, a woman who has little time left to live gets the box that houses a demon capable of restoring her health. In exchange, the demon asks for six innocent lives.

Well, “The Jack in the Box: Awakening” is precisely what I expected it to be, a disappointing sequel to a disappointing movie. More disappointing still is how interesting its concept is, but how poorly it is executed in both films. An improvement over the previous one is the demon's design, which is given more attention and screen time. For the rest, it is nothing more than a repetition of previous flaws.

Lawrence Fowler returns to the work of director and screenwriter and fails again in the same concepts. The plot is linear and predictable, which invites us to think that it is nothing more than a platform to exhibit the demon and offer a few scares. Well, the demon is exhibited, but it does not comply with the scares. Part of the problem is how predictable each scene that features him is.

In the scenes where we don't have the demon, we follow some of the people who live in the luxurious mansion where the woman who opened the box lives, and this presents other problems. For starters, the cast doesn't do a very good job with their performances, and the script is unable to introduce any interesting characters. On the contrary, it only presents potential victims and means of dumping exposition that is less interesting than it seems. 

"The Jack in the Box: Awakening" improves on some aspects of "The Jack in the Box," but it gets worse as a movie. Director Lawrence Fowler repeats the same mistakes of the first and offers us an interesting concept with awful execution. In the end, the sequel is the same as the original, a poorly developed concept that ends with boring characters, a repetitive and horror-devoid plot, and a lot of wasted potential.

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