Dutiful wife Anne (Barbara Crampton) spends her days supporting — well, let’s be honest, more like serving — her husband and town Pastor Jakob (Larry Fessenden). She cooks, she cleans, and she gardens, all while keeping her hair in a tidy bun while wearing a demure skirt and buttoned-up top. But it’s clear Anne is just “going through the motions” with Jakob; the way she stares at him in horror while he’s brushing his teeth or snoring loudly next to her speaks VOLUMES.
After a local teen goes missing and Anne experiences yet another instance of Jakob discounting her opinion and talking directly over her, she meets up with handsome old flame Tom (Robert! Rusler!) under the pretense of hiring him to remodel one of the town’s abandoned buildings. As she struggles with the temptation of rekindling her romance with Tom, a horde of flesh-eating rats suddenly descends upon him, and a mysterious figure attacks Anne from behind.
When Anne returns that night, it’s immediately clear something is different about her. And she doesn’t even make Jakob breakfast the next morning! (TBH, he doesn’t deserve it). She also lets her hair down, vamps it up with some dramatic makeup, and starts wearing much sexier and chicer clothing. She’s really feelin’ herself — the only drawback is that she also has a strong need for human blood. It’s not long before Jakob figures out what’s going on, but will he betray her, or protect her?
Even though the story didn’t end up going in the direction I was rooting for, this film is still packed with a lot of goodness! I’m happy to report that there is SO much Splatter, just buckets and buckets of it (at one point you see someone’s neck split in half like it’s a coconut); the master vampire is highly enjoyable, and I chuckled more than once at the wry humor and the idea of vampirism as both confidence builder and relationship therapy – but really the whole reason you need to watch this is for Barbara. To see her take the lead and slay the entire film using all of the talent she has is just BEAUTIFUL.
JAKOB’S WIFE will be streaming exclusively on Shudder starting Thursday, August 19!