The Jack in the Box Rises (2024)

The Jack in the Box Rises Review

The Jack in the Box Rises (2024)

The cursed child’s toy story continues in The Jack in the Box Rises, which started with The Jack in the Box and continued with The Jack in the Box: Awakening. This time, however, Jack has returned and is haunting a girls’ boarding school.

Three people break into a dark building looking for a heart that some guy named Harvey (Derek Nelson) wants. What they find is The Dollmaker (James Reynard), who kills two of them. Raven (Isabella Colby Browne) gets out alive but doesn’t get what they came for.

Which is a problem because Harvey has Raven’s father captive, and he wants her to retrieve these supernatural artifacts. But this time he sends her after something bigger a demon so powerful it had to be contained in a magic box that’s hidden somewhere on the grounds of the mansion from the previous film that’s now been turned into a school. A school Harvey is going to get her enrolled in.

Lawrence Fowler directed the first two films; here he co-writes with Geoff Fowler, who co-wrote The Ghost Within with Lawrence as well. And they don’t waste any time getting to the clichés headmistress Hinch (Lisa Antrobus) takes Raven’s phone and tells her, even though the gates are locked, not to think of the school as a prison because “In prison you’re allowed visitors.”

I liked both of the previous entries in this series just fine, but The Jack in the Box Rises gets off to an underwhelming start with a couple of weak murders followed by lots of delinquent-schoolgirl clichés as Raven clashes with mean-girl Olivia (Leona Clarke) when she isn’t skulking around in the dark looking for Jack.

Things pick up once it’s discovered and allowed out again yes, someone sets it free and The Jack in the Box Rises earns its title when Jack (Nicholas Anscombe) starts stalking the corridors of the school. But the setting isn’t the only thing that’s been recycled from last time.

Harvey explains enough about it to Raven that people who haven’t seen the other movies won’t have any trouble following along. Those are also the people most likely to get a kick out of The Jack in the Box Rises, because it will be new to them. And that’s my problem with it it’s not a bad movie, it’s just overly familiar. If at some point during this Writer and Co-writer Geoff Fowler had done something interesting with this boarding school setting, The Jack in the Box Rises might’ve felt more like a movie; instead they just sprinkle in some reform-school tropes so there can be some Conflict among all these cardboard characters passing for students.

I don’t demand much in terms of character development from these movies they’re not high drama or anything but I think you should know slightly more than nothing about any of Raven’s classmates besides one of them saying ”After my mother died, my stepfather made it clear I wasn’t welcome at home.” They’re even more underdeveloped than usual, they’re just there to die, and nobody involved could be bothered to put any work into them.

It’s true that there are a few good things about death, such as fingers being chopped off, hands going through chests and bodies covered in blood, they’re not amazing but they’re better than nothing and at least all of them are practical which can’t be said for the effects when the demon is caught in the light of a blood moon.

All in all, The Jack in the Box Rises is just another lazy sequel that will leave franchise fans feeling unfulfilled, people who haven’t met Jack yet might find some amusement though not much. If they don’t find something new for a fourth movie then it’s time to let Jack out of his box.

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