Horror Movie Review: The Jack in the Box Rises (2024)

The Jack in the Box Rises is the third entry in the Jack in the Box series, and another entry that I’m surprised to see exist. Neither the original 2019  The Jack in the Box, or the 2022 sequel, The Jack in the Box: Awakening, were good films, and on-one would have been eagerly awaiting a third entry. Yet, writer and director Lawrence Fowler keeps returning to the story, demonic monster, and the mythology around the jack in the box.

Which would be fine if the series was making great strides forward, but it’s not. In fact, while The Jack in the Box Rises does change up the setting and adds a mystery around who actually opened the box, that’s about all that changes here. The Jack is resurrected to claim six victims at a girl’s boarding school and it plays out exactly like the previous two films did.

The results are diminished though, as the stalk and kill parts of this third entry have become overly familiar and uninteresting.

Iasabella Colby Browne plays Raven. She is the main character with a backstory that is unnecessarily convoluted. Forced to work for an agency who are desperate to get their hands on the jack in the box. Desperate enough to kidnap her father and threaten to kill him, if she fails. So, she goes off to an exclusive girl’s boarding school where the box is supposed to be.

Once there, it’s not long before the box is discovered and the Jack is unleashed, but who opened it?

It is dull a story, and while a mystery surrounding the opener of the box is appreciated, it’s not a big enough hook to make this third film interesting. The same goes with the location change, which amounts to little more than dark halls and a few rooms. Nice to have it, but only because this entry needed something new.

Once again, the monster itself looks good (played this time by Nicholas Anscombe), but not enough is done with it. The focus is often on the group of ‘would-be victims’, which would be fine if they were fleshed out, but they’re not. There’s no bad acting here, but there are bad characters.

Which does mean revelations, betrayals, friendships, and deaths lack any impact. With the latter, it’s notable just how unremarkable things are. Not only is this a very dark film, but it’s not exactly bold when it comes to blood and guts.

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The Jack in the Box Rises needed to do more, so much more. This is baby steps forward, when it needed to be strides. Is this it for the series? I’m still surprised there was ever more than one Jack in the Box film, so I wouldn’t count it out yet. Based off what this film, and the previous two films offers, we might be better off without it.


  • Carl Fisher

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The Jack in the Box Rises (2024)
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