Mr Jones is one of those low budget fright movies that allows a brief glimpse of the very good idea that lies at it’s heart, shortly before driving it into oblivion with a stack of ‘seen-it-all-before’ cliches. Unusually, this one starts unpromisingly, gets really good for about twenty minutes and then goes right off the boil, to the point where it’s a real challenge to stick with it to the bitter end.
Scott (Jon Foster) and Penny (Sarah Jones) are a pair of young film makers with a relationship that has drifted into the doldrums. In order to try and fix things, they take the unusual step of heading off into the wilderness for a whole year to see if they can ‘find’ each other. To make matters even worse, Scott decides to film a daily log and even devises a camera that can film the two of them simultaneously. (This will prove handy later on when things get nasty for them, but doesn’t always convince as a cinematic device). When a mysterious hooded hermit steals Scott’s rucksack, the couple go in search of it and find the workshop of ‘Mr Jones’ a mysterious clandestine artist (think Banksey only with weird sculptures) and quickly decide that the best way to rescue their relationship is to shoot a sneaky documentary about him. Because that makes perfect sense, right?Scott heads back to the city to invite various art experts to comment about Jones’ work (this is where the film all too briefly becomes rather interesting.) On Scott’s return however, things get uncomfortable as Jones starts hanging around the couple’s backwoods cabin, acting in a threatening manner.
This is where the film blows it all with a succession of (supposedly) creepy scenes of the silence, silence, silence, boo! persuasion and the story’s ultimate ‘twist’ (Jones’ identity) surprises absolutely nobody, since we all guessed it ages ago. The shame here is that this could have been a lot better than it actually is.
File it under ‘missed opportunity.’