The Reel Review


The bored but dutiful wife of an uncharismatic, small town minister gains a new sense of purpose, and a taste for blood, after she is bitten by a vampire during a reunion with an old boyfriend at an abandoned gin mill.  Her new adventures, however, take an ominous and gory turn, in this horror/thriller on Shudder.

Barbara Crampton in Jakob’s Wife.

The transformation of B-movie horror queen Barbara Crampton (We Are Still Here) from mousy preacher’s wife to blood-sucking demon of the night is itself entertaining, despite a story that can’t seem to decide whether it wants to be old school, indie horror; a cheesy, blood-splattered gore-fest; or comedy. A teeth-whitening episode during a trip to the dentist is particularly funny, as is the sight of her harried preacher/husband having to clean up after one of her kills.

Barbara Crampton, after a not so successful teeth whitening procedure, in Jakob’s Wife.

The story from co-writer/director Travis Stevens (Girl on the Third Floor) itself is pretty slight, as the husband and wife team up to become unlikely vampire hunters, but surprisingly solid camerawork and a fun score helps elevate this indie horror above the more predictable schlock. The gory practical effects, while an acquired taste for most, gives Jakob’s Wife the feel of a vintage throwback to the cheesy 80s horror flicks which made Crampton such a B-grade icon.


• In addition to playing the titular character, Barbara Crampton is also a producer of Jakob’s Wife, having spent several years getting the script turned into a movie.

• Jakob’s Wife was filmed in the same house in Canton, Mississippi as 2000’s My Dog Skip.

Bonnie Aarons in Jakob’s Wife (left), The Nun (center) and as herself (right).

• “The Master” in Jakob’s Wife is played by Bonnie Aarons from The Conjuring 2 and The Nun.


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