The horror of losing sanity is undeniably a fascinating yet unsettling concept for two reasons: it brings to mind the stories of Edgar Allan Poe and it speaks to the fragility of the mind, the latter being that which Jessica finds herself wrestling with due to seeing and hearing things that may or may not be real. This is of particular interest given the vivid yet dreamlike nature of Jessica’s experiences, all of which occur in such a way that suggests that her loss of control and her heightened awareness of her surroundings work in conjunction with one another. In this respect, the moments in which she is beset with terror are as alarming as they are telling.

There are some particulars of note, specifically the portrait of the Bishop family, the group of hostile men, the mute woman whom Jessica encounters, and the fact that Jessica recognizes that her husband is attracted to Emily, all of which have an allure about them that enthralls and arouses the viewer’s interest. It’s quite stirring. On top of that, said particulars carry weight in light of the fact that the farmhouse has a palpable yet overwhelming aura that emanates from it ever so blindingly. As such, it is as much a fog-enshrouded structure as it is a mysterious dwelling place.

It is worth mentioning that the score has a discordant but ominous quality about it. A quality that conveys that Jessica is being frightened in ways that she never conceived of, a quality that speaks to the coalescence of nightmarish visions and Jessica questioning her sanity. This is why the score is so effective, and not only that, but it accentuates the ambience of the town, so moments such as the one in which Jessica is swimming in the lake only to encounter a woman who has drowned are all the more unsettling. These moments also stand out because they have an eeriness about them that indicates the line between fantasy and reality is becoming blurred, in which case the fear of losing sanity is well conveyed.

Let’s Scare Jessica to Death lives up to its title; there’s no doubt about that. However, in many ways, it is an experience of sight and sound that, right from the get-go, puts the viewer in the midst of the mystery. For this reason, it is as mesmerizing as it is psychologically distressing, which makes for an effective combination.