Jody Barton writes and directs For Jennifer, and once again, it’s entirely shot on iPhones. It is a bit interesting to see the quality of the video of each film. Not that anyone of them looked bad for the kind of movies they are, but technology has improved in these last seven years. Barton does an excellent job of introducing characters and maintaining an eerie atmosphere from the time Jennifer watches the tape onward.
There is one out of place sequence. The camera is across the street, for a high, wide shot of Jennifer walking through a neighborhood. The persons responsible for the mayhem are following Jennifer, so the shot is from them. But, this jump is jarring. The shift in vantage point feels abrupt, despite that two other drone shots are in the film. Maybe because it hurts the momentum and does not reveal much, unlike the other two shots. It is jarring.
But, that shot aside, the cinematography, such as it is, is good, and the editing is especially fantastic. Some excellent use of split-screen and going back and forth between more than one person’s camera creates unease. When Jennifer meets Stephanie (Meghan Deanna Smith) to discuss From Jennifer, it goes from Jennifer’s footage to Stephanie’s with ease. This handily opens up the world without sacrificing style.
“…a terrific entry to this shocking found footage series.”
The acting is also top-notch. Tiffani Fest is a likable lead who sells the unnerving events surrounding her well. Tachel is fun as the more serious-minded Stefanie and is a nice counterbalance to Rose’s scream queen. When Joey confronts Gene over the breaking, believing his friend was pulling a horrible prank, Finley’s anger is palpable.
Swain has a minor role, but she’s always a welcome and inviting presence. Felissa Rose is fantastic in her small role as Jennifer (yes, it’s confusing for those unfamiliar with the other titles). Her demanding to audition makes sense, and her apology after the outburst is believable. The entire supporting cast is filled with actors bringing their all to even a walk-on scene.
For Jennifer is a terrific entry to this shocking found footage series. I would have to really stop and think about if it is the best of the four or not. I would probably have to rewatch the other three for a definitive answer. But, the fact that I am even considering it speaks volumes to the movie’s success.
Jody Barton directs with style and elicits natural, credible performances from his excellent cast. The movie is filled with intense, scary moments, and the way it brings all the films together ensures fans of the saga will be most pleased. Horror lovers not familiar with the franchise will still get a lot out of For Jennifer as well.
"…fans of the saga will be most pleased."