Normally horror films that delve into the human psyche do not include additional villainous characters. However, Mr. Jones, written and directed by Karl Mueller combines both elements and ends up capturing something far more nightmarish than an average scary movie.
Why Mr. Jones seems to deliver something deeper is mainly due to the implied mental instability of the main character Scott. Scott and his wife Penny have moved to a cabin in the woods, and although the mechanism of Scott making a documentary about a totem artist known as Mr. Jones is the main focus, a brief mention early on that our male lead has stopped taking his medication can easily make the remainder of the film questionable. Questionable in that is it really happening? Or is it a figment of Scott’s imagination?
Mr. Jones is an artist, known for sending out ominous scarecrow-like totems to random people. The film utilizes Scott’s documentary goal for interview scenes where everyone from a paranoid man in his apartment to respected psychologists are giving their thoughts on the who and why of Mr. Jones. While Scott is jet-setting to get these interviews, Penny has stumbled upon the man himself, out in their remote home. There are moments where the two encounter Jones, and his creations. There are climactic moments where reality and the dreamworld (which is rumored to be what Jones’ scarecrows are keeping from taking over) mix together on a level that is, in a way quite, terrifying. Yet, despite the believability of Jones being real and his defending totems, Scott’s delving into this mind altering world could be just that. Mind altering. Perhaps everything that transpires with Scott encountering Jones is just a nightmare within his mind as his medication wears off – leaving him mentally vulnerable and unstable.
The Blu-ray is crisp and clear and the movie never relies on a soundtrack to dish out scares. There are no extras included, but for what the movie has to offer to a patient viewer, not much more is needed. More a psychological horror piece, Mr. Jones gives the deeper viewer plenty of panicked thrills. However, it may take some rewinding, or a second viewing, to fully understand what exactly is, or could be, going on. Differentiating between the dreamworld and reality within the movie is just as challenging as it is for the characters. But Mr. Jones captures the visuals of a nightmare, which is hard to achieve without overdoing it.