I would actually have enjoyed watching this movie if it wasn't called that. I'm usually for the look-out for Jabob's Ladder/Silent HIll inspired movies, and I usually quite enjoy them. To name a few : The Dark, The Machinist, Fear X, Session 9... the list goes on and on and on. While there have indeed been movies with that theme even before 1990 (obviously Herk Harvey's Carnival of Souls in 1962 or Alain Resnais' L'année dernière à Marienbad the year before come to mind, to name only a couple), Adrian Lyne's masterpiece seemed to create a genre of its own. So why, oh why, should you remake that seminal cornerstone of a psychological horror movie and make it a horror B movie with a twist ? The cast is great (Im a big fan of Michael Ealy since Sleeper Cell, Jesse Williams makes a great believable brother, and it's always a pleasure to see Karla Souza anywhere, especially in dark gothy roles like this one), there are some interesting ideas, but have the trauma and psychological implications of afterlife reduced to a bad drug trip is insulting, to say the least. Even more if you quote Danny Aiello's monstrous quote by just dropping it without meaning, and take the subway vision by stripping it of its essence. "If you're frightened to die, and you're holding on, you see devils tearing your life away. If you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth". In no way Jacob has to die or wants to, nor is he already dead. So this quote really makes no sense -and it seems really cheap as it comes without
People want to make movies about the VA ? Fine, by all means, make a contribution. Pay tribute to all the people who give their lives to protect the innocent, their family and their country. Their courage and sacrifice deserve it. Go along the likes of American Sniper. Want to add psychological trauma by injecting horror themed visions ? My pleasure. But going the B movie way with a drug twist, already seems a bit disrespectful.
So please don't call it Jacob's Ladder. Jacob's Ladder is a path that leads from earthly demons to heavenly peace. It's a real cheap shot to reduce all the mystical implications of this to just a rogue scientist in a dirty lab. No religious meaningful figures, no talk of the soul, not even cabalistic tricks that would explain how a drug would make a path to demonic vision that would explain what's happening here. Especially with a subject so deep and visceral as a soldier dying on the battlefield and seeing his soul ripped appart as he can't understand what's happening to him, with guts dropping and relationship shred to dust. Don't remove all this pain and heartbreaking shedding of the flesh by substituting it with a "oh, I'm sorry, it's all the drug's side effect" crap. Or if you do (and why not), please change the title. Pay homage if you want, but don't fall under the "removing all the deep meaning of classic movies with -for the show- licence to make a quick buck" folder. This could have been so much better by just changing the last 10/15 minutes.