Add this one to the list of the best vampire movies of recent times (i.e. anything that came out after BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA and INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE). Barbara Crampton and Larry Fessenden are just terrific in it, portraying a minister and his demure, frustrated wife. Stock characters on the surface, but when the wife is bitten by a vampire—a female Nosferatu, portrayed by Bonnie Aarons, whom you might recognize as The Nun from the movie of the same title and from THE CONJURING 2—and begins to transform into a denizen of the darkness herself, they become fully realized and relatable characters who don’t react quite how you might expect them to, commanding the audience’s sympathies at the same time they keep us smiling. JAKOB’S WIFE is a love story as much as anything. It’s also a powerful testament to the primal power of the vampire myth.
There’s a reason so many people are drawn to the symbol of the vampire, some to the point even of emulation. Some people even treat it as a religion, and in so doing it becomes that very thing. But why? What is it about the vampire that is so alluring, when it used to be terrifying? What it boils down to is empowerment. In the case of JAKOB’S WIFE, it’s female empowerment, the escape from a mundane and unfulfilling life. Oh, but there’s always a cost to it, isn’t there?