What Jack Built is a case of a film actually using an accurate title. Not only an accurate title but a spot-on literal one as well, as this is a roughly 11 minute presentation of a man building something in his garage. The synopsis – “What is that thing Jack is building in his cellar? How could such a device be used? Perhaps it has something to do with that creature out in the woods…” – led me to believe that there would be more to the film than Jack building something in his cellar (well, they call it a cellar but it looked more like a garage to me…maybe this is where a little “stretching of the imagination” should factor in?). Alas, I was wrong. This was akin to watching one of those Ikea hack videos, if the Ikea hack was being built to catch aliens or something and involved no dialogue – only music that didn’t seem to have volume control.
Timothy Cox does a fine job playing our mad inventor guy wearing the tinfoil hat. He runs around the garage (sorry, cellar) frantically in dirty ripped clothing, randomly pulling out items and constantly smoking blunts. Oh, and he has a blueprint he brings out every once in awhile too. There were some focusing issues at the beginning of the film when it came to closeups on that – it didn’t happen every time but things were blurry. Luckily that cleared up after the first minute and a half or so.
After approximately 7 minutes of the above (yep, 7 minutes), our mad inventor guy takes his creation out to the woods…so he can assemble it there! Cue 2 more minutes of putting things together…although this time we get the added bonus of video cameras, cassette tapes, finding out it’s the 80s and discovering that he’s built a TRAP. I do have to admit that the trap is pretty neat. But does he actually catch something (like aliens??) in it? Eh, you’ll have to watch and see.
Although I can’t exactly recommend that you do. While there’s nothing wrong with the acting or the filmmaking or the story here, the whole 9 out of 11 minutes dedicated to watching a guy build something is kind of off-putting. (And the ending isn’t enough of a reward to justify it). While I’d be interested in seeing what else these guys come up with (because this definitely had potential), this just wasn’t my favorite.
You, however, can go check out What Jack Built on IMDB to sneak a peek for yourself!