JAX IN LOVE **** USA 2017 Dir: Colin Campbell. 20 mins
Writer / star Rakefet Abergel loves toying with, and subverting, horror archetypes. The opening of JAX IN LOVE offers a familiar middle-of-nowhere view of abandoned gas stations and leery, chauvinist locals. Abergel’s character is roaming around the Arizona desert and breaks down while apparently looking for her friend. She fends off one of the would-be rapists and is picked up by a young woman driving back to her girlfriend. They get high, Abergel pours her heart out and we get an insight into a possibly unhinged personality…but the woman is too busy messaging on her phone to notice.
“Violence makes me comfortable…” Lonely, trustworthy and borderline desperate on the surface, Abergel’s character unravels before our eyes as the narrative reveals an experienced killer where our heroine once was. The short pulls off an inversion of expectation as impressive as Abergel’s subsequent BOO but, like that film, remains intent on sustaining a three-dimensional character who veers from feisty heroine to disturbed antagonist…before a final scene that restores an important touch of pathos. As with BOO, her performance is terrific and, coupled with her witty writing, reinforces that she’s one to watch.
Review by Steven West
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