After creating the thriller movie, ‘The Night” (2018) about the misuse of live-streaming platforms and the dangers of not being aware of surroundings while using a mobile phone, Nicholas Michael Jacobs along with Alexis Beacher has created a new horror anthology feature ‘Urban Fears’. The Night (2018) was a found footage film but this one is a more cinematic and diverse horror anthology feature of 1 hour and 10 minutes long consisting of 3 unique horror short films. This review analyzes the films without spoiling anything.
Spoiler Free Review:-
The anthology’s intro has a young Instagram user, Halle Sands (Jayla Jacobs played it very naturally) browsing through the site, livestreaming to her followers (Seems like homage to the Night film) and then, ignoring one viral chain letter post, only to see that the curse is real. The intro starts the main anthology on a high note, and with a beautiful energetic yet creepy music made by Nicholas Michael Jacobs.
Story #1 (Sundown):-
The first film “Sundown” shows us a day in James Morris’ life. He’s a carefree guy who’s told by his father (voiced by Shawn C. Philips) to come home before the sundown and when he doesn’t, he realizes that there was a reason why his father was concerned. James is doing his usual unconventional “work” to earn money and when his friend doesn’t come, he starts doing the work himself. We see him trespassing and the music played while his scenes are shown is simply beautiful. It has a tone of noir, crime, mystery and horror. The music reminded me of several video game soundtracks like Grand Theft Auto Vice City and V. The pacing may seem a bit slow in the start but the 6-7 minutes of “searching” scene is there to add some humor and make you unprepared for what comes next. We see some nice, natural dialogue delivery by Brian Jacobs because of the POV (Point of View) scenes of his “searching”. As the killer reveals himself, the chase starts. Can James return home safe and sound? The lesson here is that we shouldn’t ignore the warning of elders and try not to be outside for too long when it is dark and rumors about a killer are circulating in the city.
Story #2 (Inanimate):-
The next film, “Inanimate” is about Annie, who is brilliantly played by Alexis Beacher, and the performance reminded me of Ali Larter from Final Destination & Resident Evil Retribution, as all the scenes are delivered perfectly. The protagonist is at Ted Morris’ home and then, her friend calls her to tell her about the dark past of the house. She warns her not to go into the basement, but still she has some chore, so she goes there and suddenly feels a presence while doing her chore. She returns to find the doll in the room. Is she seeing things or the cursed doll is real? Erisa Pikuli as Abby Green and Christian Jacobs as Fake Shemp, both performed their part very well. It teaches us the lesson of not meddling in other people’s dark past and not to open a basement, if the owner said so.
Story #3 (Chain Mail Massacre):-
The final film, “Chain Mail Massacre” is an interesting take on the viral chain mails we have seen for ages. First, they used to be in the form of leaflets, then emails, and now posts on social media. Our hero, Max Sands (Played brilliantly by Nicholas Michael Jacobs) ignores such a post, which says that unless he reposts an image, the killer lady will haunt his home. He soon starts experiencing strange happenings in the home. We also meet Shane (Shawn C. Philips) who tells us more about the post and the story actually tells us the importance of not looking at the phone while driving and also, helping those affected by the accident to save lives. Gianna Jacobs as Violet has nailed the body language required for a spirit. The story also tells us about the chain mail stories, which are often ridiculed, but some can be real and the consequences of forwarding or not forwarding can be unknown. So, it’s better to stay safe and avoid them but this story might make people believe in such “ghost” chain mails, but hopefully, all it will lead to some giggles and not the same horrifying situation seen in this story.
Without spoiling much, I would say that the last 10 or so minutes are the most epic and thrilling scenes you would see in any horror movie. You are going to love it after being scared for the whole movie.
The acting performances are great, the cinematography is artistic, special effects are believable, and the dialogues are to the point. The music created by Nicholas Michael Jacobs is beautiful and very pleasant to listen as it complements the different shades of each story.
The movie does have blood, some bad language (To show the casual behavior of the protagonists) but nothing is gross or excessive. There’s no suggestive or sex scenes, and there are no guns or too disturbing hacking. So, this movie is, in my opinion, very creepy yet perfect for a PG-13 Rating and not an R Rated movie. It’s nice to see the creators like NMJ films, use the mature content only to enhance the horror mood and creepiness, and don’t simply use gross effects or unnecessary vulgar scenes for a brainless M Rating (A mistake many mainstream movies also do and fall flat on box office).
Nicholas Michael Jacobs has shown his creativity in all departments, from choosing the sub-genre of slasher horror in an urban setting, to the unique cinematography and music creation. The anthology has movies that feel very different yet are connected through the story, setting and signature music. There’s some cool references to the earlier movie “Night” (2018), which adds to the humor and in some cases, reminds you of the legacy of Nicholas Michael Jacobs (NMJ) films.
Overall, the anthology is a unique collection of horror movies because never before we had seen slasher movies in an urban setting. It was always a suburban or rural setting, even in the main stream cinema.
This anthology should be watched by any horror fan, who’s looking to see a lot of diverse yet connected horror content in a 1 hour span of time, as this is the first ever slasher horror anthology made in an urban (city) area, unlike the classics and other independent slashers, which are usually set in a cabin in the woods or suburban area. Packed with brilliant acting performances, a creepy doll that will scare even Chucky & Annabelle, some humor and parody of chain mail posts, this anthology is entertaining and creepy to watch.
Some more exciting information about the film:-
- 3 slasher horror tales set in an urban area (Each 20-30 minutes long)
- Each Tale has its own slasher (killer) & one protagonist!
- Bigger cast than Night
- Much bigger production value
- Shawn C. Phillips has joined the cast!! (Shawn C. Phillips is an actor and producer, known for Dead Ant (2017), Ghost Shark (2013) and Girls Gone Dead(2012)… Check out his IMDb)
- Inspired by the style of Creepshow and Tales From The Crypt.
Urban Fears Movie Premiere was a success on Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Address:- Landmark’s Ritz Five214 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA.
The movie went to FEARnyc and won the best original score award, and also going to Sundance, thanks to the generous support by many fans of the film through GoFundMe!!
Follow the official Instagram of Nicholas Michael Jacobs Films to keep updated about the movies:-
FaceBook Page:- https://www.facebook.com/nicholasmjacobsfilms/
If you are unaware about Night, it’s a great indie horror movie made with a very low investment by Nicholas Michael Jacobs and it’s his debut movie. It’s about the misuse of Live streaming, kidnapping and why we should be more aware of our surroundings while using our mobile phones.
For our full spoiler-free review and analysis of Night, please visit this page:-
Get to know more about Nicholas Michael Jacobs by listening to our interview with Mr Nicolas Jacobs, the writer, director and actor of NIGHT. We discuss the idea behind this found footage live stream bizarre film, the challenges faced and what was intended and experimental of how people like myself included thought were missed opportunities. Night was Nicholas Jacobs’ debut film. Here’s the link to the interview conducted by Paul Dulski–
More from Nicholas Michael Jacobs:-
Nicholas Michael Jacobs’ “Urban Fears” Horror Anthology’s Story 3 “Chain Mail Massacre” Teaser Released & Film Premiere Tickets available Now!
Urban Fears Indie Horror Anthology’s Teaser of Story 2 Released & GoFundMe for Film Festival Entry Needs Your Support!
Urban Fears- An upcoming horror anthology feature teased by Nicholas Michael Jacobs! (Support GoFundMe Campaign for Film Festival Entry & Get Rewarded!)
Please check out our first Horror Short Film:-
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