22nd Jul2021

‘Genevieve (2021)’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Nicholas Michael Jacobs, Alan Maxson | Written and Directed by Nicholas Michael Jacobs

Even with the brilliant recent horror hit Host coming in at a run time of a little under sixty minutes, it doesn’t seem to have started a trend of shorter timed movies. But maybe the makers of Genevieve were encouraged at Host‘s reception as this creepy doll horror movie ends at about the forty five minute mark.

Creepy dolls have of course been a staple of the genre for quite some time. Chucky is probably the most well known but there’s a long list of low budget movies and more recently the box office success of Annabelle cannot be argued. Getting the look of the doll is not something easy to get right though. Trying too hard to make it look scary generally doesn’t work and while a ‘normal’-looking doll can be effective, it can just as easily be not scary at all. Genevieve is not quite either. It is a strange and, I guess, original-looking doll. It’s deformed and weird, with odd colours and mis-shaped body parts but despite all that, it’s not really scary. And it’s even less scary when it attacks.

Because this is clearly a one or maybe two, person film crew, any attack is usually the lead actor holding the doll to whatever body part it is attacking and flailing around, half shouting in ‘pain’. it’s not very effective. I was never scared or made to jump in the entirety of the movis run time.

That said, I did like the ideas in Genevieve and the attempt to make it some kind of odd trilogy movie. We see a screenwriter typing away synopsis for his possible future projects. After each idea, we see the story play out. When it is over the film goes back to the screenwriter who deletes what he has written, rummages through a random box in his house, finds some inspiration (usually a mask of some sort) and starts to write again for the next tale. It is a neat idea but the director doesn’t really pull it off for a variety of reasons.

As I said prevously, this is a bit of a one man show, and unfortunately the acting isn’t great. It’s difficult to act alone and with little dialogue but when he is attacked by the doll he never sees in much pain, more a slight inconvenience that a small doll is hurting him a little bit. With a bigger budget and maybe in a different time (this was possibly shot during the pandemic), bigger ideas could have been fulfilled. As it is, everything is set in one small house and it feels like every scene is located inside the same four walls, and some stairs.

Beyond the general idea there’s not too many highlights here, as death scenes are unexciting and there’s not much else in the way to liven things up. The music is perhaps the best thing about the film though. Not sticking to the same genre but everything works and any tension, any scare, even if little, is all bought on because of the films score. Clearly time was spent to get it right.

Unfortunately, Genevieve can be added to the long list of low budget creepy doll movies that are instantly forgettable.

Genevieve will be available on Vimeo on August 31st. Check out our review of the short this film is based on; and you can check out reviews of Jacobs’ other film right here.


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