Jake Jaxson’s The Haunting

I've realized something lately: my media consumption is reaching the point wherein I'm very much able to recognize what I find "good", but I've stopped taking the time to analyze the why of it all. I've stopped the critical thinking and expository thinking that are key for writing reviews. Considering a partial point of this site when I envisioned it some time ago was to not only expose my readership to things I find pertinent and interesting, but also to explain why I find things pertinent and interesting, I have to say I feel a little shame for not taking the time to hone those skills. Concerning Jake Jaxson's The Haunting, I can say I have a few words to share, and that makes me happy. I watch this mini-feature and I'm absolutely delighted. To a broader point, nearly all of the productions that Cockyboys have been handing out lately have left me delighted. I call The Haunting in particular a mini-feature and not a scene because we're not just watching a flourescently-lighted and single location staged sex scene padded on the front and back ends by some cheesy b-roll. No, what we're seeing here is a well crafted piece of themed erotic filmmaking that ventures neither into pretentiousness or camp. In someone else's hands it could've easily slid into either, or both.   The quality that sets this production apart from its contemporaries is care. This mini-feature is obviously the product of people who care about the end result. Very often in pornography, you'll come across productions with a fair amount of style, but little substance to balance it out, and vice versa of course. But what we get here is something special: sexual storytelling. Now, I know I'm a bonafide fanboy of Jaxson & Co., but don't let that fact dissuade you from my argument here. The Haunting is not the "I Want Your Love" of ghost stories, nor is it a flashy sex scene punched up with some snazzy editing. It falls somewhere in between. Pornography is a medium of fantasy after all. When you invite the quintessential fantasy element of ghost stories into the fray, you obviously can't go too serious or too imaginative for fear of pulling the viewer out of enjoying the scene entirely. The balance struck here is perfect. Earlier I mentioned how sometimes I find myself at a loss for words when I try to describe something I like. This was almost one of those times, but as you can see I'm still going on about it. The reason I say almost, though, is because I'd like to think that if I were in Jaxson's shoes, I'd be making the same decisions he did. I'd know that the choices I'd made – setting up the conversational tone to convey backstory in the opening scene; choosing Moonlight Sonata's first movement in the midpoint of the film; opting for a hallucinatory premise versus reconciling a ghost in a conscious reality; choosing cinematic versus studio lighting – I'd know that these choices just felt right. The Haunting isn't out to win any Oscars here, but I do think it stands as an example of what's possible. You don't always have to sacrifice the story or the whimsy of your work to satisfy the climax. Proper pacing and good editing can get you far.