The 2007 film Jake’s Closet is an intriguing drama, which comes as a surprise as the synopsis could lead one to believe that the film is a horror story. If one is prepared to shake off the genre expectations, Jake’s Closet turns out to be pretty decent film, even if it doesn’t really impress with its cinematography or its actors’ performances.
At the center of the story is a six-year-old boy whose parents have decided to put an end to their constant arguing and get a divorce. About the same time they break the news to their son, he discovers that a zombie is living in his closet; a zombie that his parents can’t see or hear, yet one that is unquestionably real to Jake (Anthony De Marco). It’s a horrifying zombie who scares the little boy and is guaranteed to cause some rapid heart beating in the chests of viewers – prepared or not for its appearance.
Interpreting the plot differently may either diminish or increase one’s experience from viewing the film. Writer/Director Shelli Ryan has utilized an intriguing approach, which allows the movie’s viewers to experience the story on a deeper level. She uses stereotypes, staging and dynamic metaphor to address an issue as seen through the eyes of a young boy — much like Jeff Erbach did in his 2002 film The Nature of Nicolas.
Although Shelli Ryan’s storytelling left me less confused than Jeff Erbach’s, about the real meaning behind the actions and their characters, the technical aspects of Jake’s Closet are far inferior to those in The Nature of Nicolas, which makes her film less memorable.
Because of the unconvincing acting, one’s emotional involvement with the story is practically non-existent, which in a story with Coming-of-Age nuances is always disappointing. You won’t miss much by not seeing this film.
The message of Jake’s Closet : each of us fights his own battles.
Jake’s Closet (2007) Trailer