Rarely do I ever finish watching a movie and truly wish I could regain the ninety or so minutes I spent taking it in. It takes a lot for me to completely write off a film. Unfortunately, Anchor Bay's "Mr. Jones" is one of those rare dead weights which cause me to flip the TV off in despair and regret. The only thing I can compare the experience to is watching paint dry or a form of Chinese water torture.
Scott and Penny move out to the wilderness in order to film a nature documentary. The two soon discover they're not as alone as they thought they were. While exploring the land they live on, the couple stumble upon a mysterious man living in seclusion. Could he be the eccentric artist known to the world as Mr. Jones?
"Mr. Jones" is a hodge-podge of found footage and faux-interviews that quickly becomes tiresome and annoying. I really enjoyed Writer/Director Karl Mueller's work on the apocalyptic film "The Divide," but this movie is a true test in patience and endurance. I literally spent the last twenty minutes of the movie wondering where it was going storywise and how it could take sooo long to get there.
I would like to add that Mueller does provide some nice visual work through his influence on Director of Photography Matthew Rudenberg. While the images might shake around like they were shot during an earthquake, there's still a disturbing dynamic to them that could work if utilizing an actual mounted camera.
Jon Foster and Sara Jones play the lead characters of Scott and Penny. They do an admirable job of arguing with each other and running around in a panic from every noise and shadow that falls across their paths. The rest of the supporting cast is made up of actors from different television shows and movies carrying on about the enigmatic Mr. Jones.
"Mr. Jones" is presented in 1080p High-Definition and Widescreen (1:78.1) with Dolby TruHD 5.1 surround sound. It looks great and every weird noise and atmospheric bump and thump surrounds the viewer in a state of panic. Imagine finding old video camera footage lying around that somehow looks pristine and sounds incredible. Pretty far-fetched, eh?
A rating of PG-13 is given to "Mr. Jones" for terror, frightening images, a scene of sexuality, and brief language. There's no nudity to be found. Even though it says there's brief language, the "F" word is used at least once or twice.
As far as special features are concerned, "Mr. Jones" comes up empty. There's nothing here to explain anything. It would surely help with a chaotic and cerebral mess like this. I can't believe Director/Writer Karl Mueller wouldn't sit down and provide commentary for the movie. Any filmmaker would take the time to do that, so it must have had something to do with the budget for manufacturing the Blu-ray and DVD release.
"Mr. Jones" will no doubt find a cult following who enjoys its trying blend of "The Blair Witch Project," "Jeepers Creepers," and "Jacob's Ladder." I think most fans of the horror genre will be like me. They'll be cursing themselves for not finding a better way to spend the ninety minutes that slipped through your fingers while watching this. I think Director/Writer Karl Mueller has what it takes to put together an entertaining film, but this isn't it.