Wednesday Monkey Paw Redux

Just a head’s up–this post is a rerun from an older version of the blog, which, given the subject of a future post, I decided to give an airing to today. Enjoy! 

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So, I got a chance recently to watch Chris Regan’s short horror-comedy film Jenny Ringo and the Monkey’s Paw. Long story short? It’s good. In fact, it’s safe to say that I was pleasantly surprised with it.

The film centres on Jenny Ringo (Rosie Duncan) and her flatmate, Gavin (Lukas Habberton) as they struggle to deal with the latter’s wishes-gone-wrong. Duncan is excellent as Jenny, dominating every scene she’s in by dint of sheer personality. Even when being loomed over by a demonic house-guest or forced into hand-holding in a circle of Wiccans, she imbues the character with a forceful, four-colour charisma that dominates the screen. Habberton, appropriately for the character of Gavin, is a more placid presence, but the aura of resignation and ambivalence he exudes, especially in his scenes with Duncan, is practically tangible.

Story-wise, Jenny Ringo is one of those films that gets creepier the longer you think about it. The plot is played for laughs (albeit dark ones), but the subtext is disturbing on a number of levels. The idea of wishes-gone-wrong is a pretty standard one as far as horror AND comedy films, but the way Regan combines them here is chilling. Gavin’s wishes are, for the most part, appallingly, depressingly pedestrian and the way they backfire is even worse. And the climax is, while obvious if you pay attention to the beginning of the film, appropriately darkly amusing.

By turns funny and creepy, Jenny Ringo is well worth a watch. Despite a short running time of roughly a half hour, Regan and co. have packed the film to the gills with laughs, thrills and chills, as well as created one of the more interesting horror-heroines of recent memory. According to Regan’s blog, there might be a sequel in the works, which would suit me just fine.

If you want to know more about the film-and why wouldn’t you?-visit the official site and sign up for the mailing list. You can also give it a ‘Like’ on Facebook or follow Regan’s blog.

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