Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mr. Jones (2013) : Another Doomed Trip Into The Woods...

~by Marie Robinson

Fledgling genre writer/director Karl Mueller’s Mr. Jones hit DVD shelves earlier this month. I had been intrigued when I first heard about it, and as soon I noticed it was out, I watched it.

Shot in found-footage style, Mr. Jones stars Jon Foster and Sarah Jones as Scott and Penny, a couple headed out to a secluded cabin where Scott plans to film his documentary. The subject of said documentary is a mystery, even to Scott, who apparently loses his train of thought after he ceases to take his medication. His mind is filled with anxieties about coming up with content since he and his girlfriend dropped everything to come out to the wilderness and film.

However, all stress is forgotten when the two discover strange and spooky sculptures in the surrounding woods. Penny, who is a photographer, instantly recognizes the sinister scarecrows to be the work of an elusive artist known as Mr. Jones. After seeing him stalking around in a hooded cloak, they seek out his cabin where they find a basement full of his unusual art.

Mr. Jones becomes the new subject for Scott’s doomed documentary, and he heads off to New York to interview anyone affiliated with Mr. Jones, including curators, art historians, and journalists, while Penny stays behind to photograph the installations. Separately, both find out that Mr. Jones is more than just an eccentric artist, and that his sculptures might be more than they seem; Scott learns more about the mythos of Mr. Jones and the mysterious way his artworks are obtained, and Penny is startled by a face-to-face encounter. It is from there that the situation quickly escalates from a dream to a nightmare.

Or, not so quickly. For me, Mr. Jones’ biggest flaw was an awkward and inconsistent pacing. Pacing is very crucial to me, as I will easily lose interest and walk away from a film—which may be childish. Also, a film has to have a flow that feels natural; if not it may feel forced or undeveloped. Mr. Jones has some very drawn out moments that I found myself struggling to get through.

While I enjoyed the mysterious character of Mr. Jones and the mythology created around him and his artwork much of the plot seemed half-imagined. The idea was there and it is easy enough to grasp but I felt there was not enough detail worked in to support such a rich concept.

The actors did a great job carrying the script, particularly stars Foster and Jones, who were very confident in their roles.

My favorite part of the film was without a doubt the real Mr. Jones—that is to say the artist who actually created all of those creepy creations: Pumpkinrot. I have been a fan of his for a few years now and I was extremely excited to find out that this art was the main focus of Mr. Jones.

 Pumpkinrot is a Halloween enthusiast who devotes his time and talent to creating wonderfully spooky displays, including witches, zombies, and—of course—scarecrows. I’ve included a few pictures for your viewing pleasure, but I encourage you to see more at his website, here (


Marvin the Macabre said...

You had me at Pumpkinrot. Despite the lukewarm review, I've got to see this now just for the sculpture. Thanks for the heads-up.

Marie Robinson said...

Yay, I'm glad you are a fan! Thanks for reading!

Rot said...

Thanks a TON for the kind words.
I really appreciate it.

Marie Robinson said...

No problem!! Thanks for reading, I am a huge fan of your work!