Jacob's Ladder

Watch Jacob's Ladder

  • R
  • 2019
  • 1 hr 29 min
  • 3.6  (3,527)
  • 31

Jacob's Ladder is a psychological thriller/horror film released in 2019 that serves as a remake of the original 1990 film of the same name. Directed by David M. Rosenthal, the movie casts Michael Ealy and Jesse Williams in the lead roles, alongside Nicole Beharie, Karla Souza, and Guy Burnet. While the original film has gained a substantial cult following over the years due to its deep psychological themes and haunting imagery, the 2019 rendition aims to re-contextualize the story for a modern audience, presenting a fresh narrative with new characters and a contemporary setting.

The film follows Jacob Singer, portrayed by Michael Ealy, a veteran who has served in Afghanistan and is now struggling to maintain his sanity as he resumes civilian life. Ealy's performance is central to the film, as he encapsulates the trauma and disorientation experienced by soldiers post-conflict. Jacob's experiences in the war continue to haunt him through a series of mysterious and unnerving occurrences that disrupt his reality, blurring the lines between his wartime past and his present life.

The crux of the story unfolds as Jacob discovers that his brother Isaac, played by Jesse Williams, who he thought was killed in combat, is actually alive. Isaac's sudden appearance after presumed death sets off a chain of events that propels Jacob into a dark and twisting descent. The narrative cleverly intertwines these brothers' fates, with Jacob's perception of reality being questioned at every turn. As Jacob ventures into the depths of his mind, he is forced to confront his deepest fears and the possibility that the horrors he is experiencing might be a product of his post-traumatic stress.

The role of Jesse Williams as Isaac Singer is also of particular note. Isaac, having been fundamentally changed by the war, carries his own secrets and scars, which add to the enigmatic quality of the plot. As Jacob tries to reconnect with Isaac and understand what happened to him, the mystery deepens, and viewers are drawn into a web of conspiracy and psychological intrigue.

Nicole Beharie plays Jacob's wife, Samantha, who is both a source of support and stability for Jacob and a character with her own depth and mystery. Her attempts to anchor Jacob to reality often place her at odds with the bizarre experiences that he cannot seem to escape. The dynamic between Samantha and Jacob is tense and laden with emotional complexity, which adds a rich layer to the psychological exploration of the film.

One of the key elements that set the 2019 Jacob's Ladder apart from its predecessor is its exploration of the modern veteran's experience and the struggles with reintegration into society, PTSD, and the often-harrowing effects of experimental treatments for such conditions. The modern setting allows for a fresh look at the pharmaceutical industry's role in the lives of veterans, and this theme runs as an undercurrent throughout the narrative, presenting ethical questions and moral ambiguity.

The film, much like the original, is not limited to straightforward horror but instead delves into the realm of the psychological thriller. It imposes a complex narrative structure that plays with temporality and perception. The audience is drawn into a labyrinth of memory, hallucination, and supernatural elements that leave them questioning what is real and what is imagined. The inclination towards psychological horror means that much of the film's tension and scares come from an impending sense of dread, rather than overt shocks or gore.

Cinematographically, Jacob's Ladder employs a somber and gritty aesthetic. The camera work and visual effects aim to create an unsettling atmosphere, which mirrors Jacob's fractured psyche. The use of shadows, quick cuts, and distorted visuals add to the disorienting experience, immersing the viewer into Jacob's subjective reality. The soundscape, too, is carefully crafted to build tension and unease, contributing to the film's overarching sense of paranoia.

In summation, 2019's Jacob's Ladder offers a reimagined take on the themes of the original film, placing the focus on a new narrative featuring the terror of uncertainty that war veterans face upon their return home. As a psychological thriller, it endeavors to navigate the psychological complexities of Jacob and Isaac Singer, exploring the deep impact of war on the human psyche. While it may diverge from the visceral impact and the cult status of the 1990's version, it nonetheless seeks to captivate audiences with its intricate plot and the raw emotional performances of its leading actors. The film stands as a modern narrative about the struggle with trauma, the search for truth, and the question of how reality can be a subjective experience shaped by our innermost fears and experiences.

Jacob's Ladder is a 2019 horror movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 3.6 and a MetaScore of 31.

Jacob's Ladder
Where to Watch Jacob's Ladder
Jacob's Ladder is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Jacob's Ladder for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    3.6  (3,527)
  • Metascore