To understand For Jennifer a modern history lesson is required. James Cullen Bressack may not be a director whose name you instantly recognize, but if you love independent horror, chances are you’ve seen some of his movies (I guarantee that you know his father’s work from shows like DuckTales, Animaniacs, and Pinky And The Brain). He started off making short films before helming his first feature-length movie in 2012.
Bressack would go on to make a few films for The Asylum (yes, those were my introduction to his work) and, in 2013, would release the first film shot entirely on an iPhone, To Jennifer. In that film, Joey is convinced his significant other, Jennifer, is cheating on him. So, Joey enlists the help of his friends and documents their road trip to her city. But things go astray, especially as Joey seems to be unraveling at the seams. Is Jennifer cheating on him, or did Joey make it all up? Is Jennifer even real?
To Jennifer was met with decent but unremarkable reviews, though it has garnered a sizable cult following since then (I am a fan). Now, this is about to get very complicated, but I will do my best to keep it as straight as possible. Three years on, the Hunter Johnson sequel 2 Jennifer hit shelves. Spencer’s favorite movie is To Jennifer, and he decides to film a sequel in the same style. He takes the mantle of Joey from original actor Chuck Pappas and, when casting, insists that only people named Jennifer read for the role of Jennifer. As production on his movie goes forward, Spencer’s grasp on reality becomes more and more tenuous.
“…inspired to create her own film…unexplainable things happen, causing everyone to question their sanity.”
In 2017, From Jennifer was released. It’s much more of a spiritual and thematic sequel, as none of the previous characters from either other title show up and has been met with effusive praise. And that brings us to now, with For Jennifer. While all the connections between these four films won’t be immediately apparent, knowing that the others exist and their shared story thread is necessary to understand several aspects of this one. Also, yes, Bressack was involved in all of the sequels, as the executive producer.
It is Jennifer’s (Tiffani Fest) birthday, and her boyfriend Joey (Rich Finley) is recording the event. While cleaning up after the party, Joey discovers that Jennifer missed opening a present. So, the horror blogger opens the gift and receives a USB drive with To Jennifer on it. She begins watching the film, and the next thing Jennifer knows, she’s in the hospital after a car crash.
Upon returning home, she cannot find the movie or the USB drive anywhere. But, she is inspired to create her own film, with Joey as Joey, herself as Jennifer, and they’ll hire actors, aka their friends such as Randi (Dominique Swain) and Gene (Nick Kekeris), for the rest of the parts, though they do hold a few actual auditions. Her best friend Stefanie (Lanett Tachel) comes on as a producer and co-screenwriter (for the movie-in-the-movie). But, as progress is being made, unexplainable things (such as an intruder breaking in and filming them while asleep) happen, causing everyone to question their sanity. The carnage-filled ending ties together all the films in a unique way.