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Review: Taryn Hough & Thomas Norman’s Old Mrs. Jenkins

I’m happy to see that Thomas Norman is still working in the indie horror scene after he directed 2009’s Gitchy and 2012’s Just Like You, two horror shorts that star Randy Memoli. Although now in 2018, he’s serving as co-writer and co-director on a new project titled Old Mrs. Jenkins. A collaboration with co-writer, co-director and editor Taryn Hough, Old Mrs. Jenkins is a good ol’ fashioned campfire tale just in time for Halloween season, only the campfire is more candles burning in the living room than logs in a pit. When a raging rain storm blows into town, a couple settles in the living room after the power goes out to tell ghost stories. It happens that their neighborhood has its own urban legend about a witch’s spirit that steals your eyes. Did she summon the storm? Find out in Old Mrs. Jenkins, a six minute short film starring Taryn Hough, Bill Rogers and Jaclyn Carmichael.

Old Mrs. Jenkins is an independent production, and that’s the type of thing we love to champion here at HorrorSociety. What this mini-movie lacks in overall value, it makes up for in heart. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it actually brought me back to a better time in horror, somewhere between the release of Sleepaway Camp and Are You Afraid of The Dark.” This was mostly due to the fun and campy acting, primarily from the lead actress Taryn Hough. The way she brought her character to life in terms of personality and wit closely matches the type of player you’d find in a more classic title. Kind of comical, kind of dry humor mixed with camp. Taryn and Bill Rogers played off each other well, but my attention was always on Taryn. And despite Old Mrs. Jenkins being small budget, it’s camera quality is crystal clear.

That, perhaps, is my only negative comment. Being that Mrs. Jenkins is the villain in a horror film, you’d expect her to be…scary. Well, Taryn and Thomas made her look more like an unfortunate fairy godmother than an eye stealing witch. She was so well lit and still so welcoming, even with the special effects, that I didn’t find her the least bit scary. The startled gasp just wasn’t there. This is a problem, yes, but also a testimony that the team behind Old Mrs. Jenkins knew what they were doing and used their skills and equipment to the best of their ability. They just missed out on the mood a little bit. Old Mrs. Jenkins is hitting film festivals in the near feature, and I hope you get to see this homegrown short film for yourself. Follow it on Facebook for the most up to date news and planned screenings.

Final Score: 7 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)

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