JarRing Movie Review

JarRing Movie Review
Serial calling… serial killing
Updated: 06-07-2010
JarRing is a movie I want very much to like, but don't quite. JarRing is a movie I don't quite recommend, but must suggest you see anyway. It's one of those indies that's not exactly on the money, but is bursting with so much potential it's worth a look.
The first thing that grabbed my attention was the writing and delivery of the serial caller / serial killer's raps. He's a fast-talking beat poet who also beats his victims to death in his cellar filled with jars containing demented displays. Spouting his intentions via recorded phone message (it's kind of like the dial-a-joke idea, only this one isn't so funny once he's got your number), his philosophy becomes clear:
"Everyone wears the mask of sanity simply because it is part of their vanity. They say it’s ill to kill. But who are they? Put to death. Deprived of life. Rule out. Delete, erase. Ah, you have no clue. No money, no power, no pull. I veto your bill. I thwart your finale. I dress to kill. I’m on top of my game. You can’t. You can’t. You just simply can’t. Distinguish my name. Extinguish my flame. So I asked Jack and he had to rip. Ed had no gain. What a trip; to have killed in vain. Kenny was white, Angelo good, someone’s always watching. You know you should, would, could?"
The second thing that caught me was the excellent attention to details in the set design, practical horror F/X, beauty makeup, wardrobe, locations (shot in Florida's south beach and Miami), etc. There is some exceedingly cool and carefully crafted imagery in JarRing.
The idea, developed by writer/director Ivo Raza and actress Tamara Rutter, is a cluttered collage of true crime stories, urban legend, and pure fantasy. And that's where JarRing gets into a little trouble — there are too many storylines colliding. There's the story of the two female callers who get kidnapped; their boyfriends' hunt to find them before it's too late; and then there is a team of lawyers who are realizing they may have convicted the wrong man for a series of phone-y murders.
I think if the legal / law story thread had been dropped or at least edited way down, I would have enjoyed JarRing a lot more. The switching back and forth between the plot points wasn't jarring (in a good way, or otherwise), it was just boring. My attention really started to wander about halfway through the movie, which is a shame because all the potential is right there on the screen. There're also a few strange, pointless scenes (in one instance, while following a lead, our two heroes wind up without their clothes and bound by rope… I think it was supposed to be amusing because their captor is a female who's obviously not the killer, but it didn't work for me).
As I said, I really wanted to like JarRing. Perhaps the film would be more entertaining on the big screen and seen with an audience — there the original music, smart horror raps, and the killer's layered dungeon-like lair will pop better.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson
7:00pm FRIDAY, JUNE 11, 2010
Northwest Film Forum Cinemas
1515 12th Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122
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