To Jennifer (2013)
By: Ryan Morrissey-Smith on December 22, 2013 | Comments
[dvd]MVD Visual | All Regions, NTSC | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 74 minutes[/dvd] (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Credits
Director: James Cullen Bressack
Starring: Chuck Pappas, Jessica Cameron, James Cullen Bressack, Jody Barton
Screenplay: James Cullen Bressack
Country: USA
No budget or low budget horror films can try and cram too much carnage or ghostly scares into their runtime. Add in the element of found footage and it can turn into a disaster. Thankfully this is not the case with James Cullen Bressack's (Hate Crime, My Pure Joy, 13/13/13) film To Jennifer. A slow (very slow) burner which despite some misstep moments arrives at a payoff that you can see coming, but one that it is still effective in the way it is played out.

To Jennifer tells the story of Joey (Chuck Pappas) who is making a film for his girlfriend Jennifer whom he suspects is cheating. He enlists the help of his cousin Steve (James Cullen Bressack) to document the trip, and the two begin travelling to see Jennifer to try and catch her in the act. The trip of course doesn't go smoothly, and after a panic attack (a totally unnecessary scene) on a plane, Steven and Joey meet up with Martin (Jody Barton), an annoying, drug dealing/using friend to help Joey get to where he needs to go. The film meanders a little bit after meeting Martin, but picks up after Martin convinces them to go to a party, and from here we get a few clues thrown in about what is to come in the climax of the film.

Despite the micro budget the acting is pretty solid. Chuck Pappas is quite good, certainly carrying the film, along with the worried boyfriend Joey. James Cullen Bressack also acts (along with writing and directing) pretty well, (even if his character is so annoying you'd probably glass him at a pub) moving the film along when it needs to. Jody Barton's character is another person you'd meet in hell, but he plays the sketchy, high as a kite Martin as you would imagine a guy like this to be.

To Jennifer obviously has its issues though. As mentioned before, the plane trip scenes were totally superfluous and should've been excised. Although To Jennifer is a slow burning horror to give the ending more of a kick, the film could have done with some trimming, as there is a lot of arguing, which is fine, but when the arguments feel like they are happening in your lounge room I think the point has been made. Although, with the movie clocking in at 76 minutes I can understand the hesitancy to cull more footage.

The found footage angle allows for a lot of graces that regular filming does not, and with this film even more so as the entire thing was shot and edited on an iPhone 5. From a technical point of view this is an achievement, proving that technology has opened the door for just about anyone with a passion for films to make one. However (and this is not the case with a lot of found footage films) here at least this found footage angle does make sense as Joey wants this recorded so Jennifer can see his heartfelt film. The final 5 minutes of To Jennifer are very intense, and the credits sequence is probably the most disturbing part of the film.
The Disc
Being shot on the iphone predictibly doesn't give you a sumptuous 1080p experience but does give you a 1.33:1 ratio which to be fair does lend itself to the story. The sound is ok, clear enough to hear and capturing everything that needs to be but that is it.

To Jennifer
is served on a very basic disc, with the trailer for the film and an audio commentary, although the commentary is pretty good fun to listen to.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
To Jennifer isn't amazing but it is good. James Cullen Bressack does have some talent and certainly understands how to build a story and it has made me want to check out his other films. Hopefully he gets a crack at a bigger budget horror flick in the future. To Jennifer is worth a look.
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