Jakob’s Wife: Barbara Crampton sinks her teeth into a juicy character

Barbara Crampton as Anne Fedder in Jakob's Wife - Photo Credit: Shudder
Barbara Crampton as Anne Fedder in Jakob's Wife - Photo Credit: Shudder /

Horror veterans Barbara Crampton and Larry Fessenden star in Travis Stevens’ new horror-comedy film Jakob’s Wife, which is scheduled to hit Shudder exclusively later this month. The film centers on a small-town Minister’s wife who struggles with being ignored and patronized by her husband. It’s not until Anne (Crampton) encounters an ancient creature known as The Master that she becomes empowered to take charge and reclaim her life.

Crampton and Fessenden are both excellent in their roles here, although Crampton really steals the show thanks to a juicy character arc for her to (literally) sink her teeth into. Jakob’s Wife is an old-school vampire horror story at its heart but it adds a complicated and complex relationship dynamic at its center to make the film modern and intriguing.

jakob's wife
Barbara Crampton as Anne Fedder in Jakob’s Wife – Photo Credit: Shudder /

The complex relationship between Anne and Jakob anchors Jakob’s Wife

It would be easy for the movie to paint Anne’s husband Jakob as an antagonist and root for her to kill him by the end. He ignores her, constantly interrupts her, and consistently belittles her throughout the first part of the film. But where Jakob’s Wife really thrives is how it treats this relationship after Anne has “turned” into a predator.

Obviously, I don’t want to spoil what happens, but it was fascinating to see Jakob actually try to save his wife from becoming a monster rather than just abandoning her altogether. The movie takes a unique approach to their relationship that grounds the story and adds to many of the comedic moments.

It’s an excellent film that is genuinely entertaining to watch. While it does ascribe to many of the classic tropes of the genre, Stevens also puts his own twist on some, like a very memorable trip to the dentist for Anne.

There is also tons of blood and gore for those interested in that, but what really makes Jakob’s Wife stand out is Anne as a character, Crampton’s performance, and the complex relationship anchoring the story.

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Jakob’s Wife is available to rent through most digital retailers but will be available to stream on Shudder starting on August 19.