REVIEW: “Jack Goes Home” Is Everything But Comfortable

Trauma is a real and terrible thing, and sometimes how we deal with it can change the entire course of our lives. In the new film from actor/director Thomas Dekker, (The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cinema Verite) he gives his take on the classic tragedy by following a truly horrifying experience, and how that tragedy can completely change a person in Jack Goes Home

Jack Thurlowe (Rory Culkin) is a successful magazine editor with a beautiful fiancée Cleo (Britt Robertson) who is seven months pregnant with their first child.  However, this perfect life is turned upside down when Jack discovers that his parents have suffered a brutal car accident back in his hometown. His beloved father has perished while his mother Teresa (Lin Shaye) has survived. Upon returning home for the funeral, the volatile nature of Jack and Teresa’s relationship boils to the surface and the constant barrage of sympathy from the town starts to weigh on Jack‘s grieving process.

With the arrival of a mysterious new neighbor, Duncan (Louis Hunter), Jack finds audio recordings and video tapes left behind by his father that lead him to question childhood memories and the very foundation of his identity. With pressure mounting and sanity crumbling, Jack comes to learn that the idyllic world he has believed in since infancy is in fact a nightmare playground full of lies, deception, violence and murder.

Jack Goes Home shows the decline of Jack, reminiscent of the classic Greek tragedies. The further down the rabbit hole he goes, the more he seems to deteriorate, leaving behind his sanity and exchanging it for a crazed, compulsory, systematic breakdown of his psychosis. By the end it is hard not to feel for Jack, as he has lost pretty much everything, including his own childhood.

The script is phenomenal, solid pacing, and Rory Culkin carries the entire film on his shoulders effortlessly. Dekker is clearly a talented director, making strong choices with his storytelling, and leaving some twists to be revealed in a way that is both surprising and disheartening.

Jack Goes Home is a must see film that uses the stages of grief as a catalyst for the deterioration of a single man.

Jack Goes Home hits theaters on October 14.