Saturday 11 February 2023

REVIEW: Jane (2023) - Starring Madelaine Petsch, Chloe Yu and Chlöe Bailey

Review by Jon Donnis
I do like a good dark psycholical thriller, so when I first heard about Jane a month or so ago, I found myself eagerly looking forward to the release.

From director Sabrina Jaglom, "Jane" is a really interesting and at times eerie film about how far you are prepared to go to achieve your goals in life.


"Seemingly perfect and incredibly ambitious high school senior Olivia (Madelaine Petsch) struggles with grief and anxiety following her best friend Jane’s (Chloe Yu) suicide. Now she is consumed by her ambition to get into the prestigious and highly competitive Stanford. But alarm bells start to ring when new girl Camille (Nina Bloomgarden – Fatherhood) arrives and threatens her place on the debate team… which could scupper her entire future.

Reconnecting with old friend Izzy – played by Chlöe Bailey from the successful five-time Grammy-nominated sibling R&B group Chlöe x Halle – the two decide to dig up dirt on Camille and when they discover they can access Jane’s old social media profile, they use it to wreak havoc on anyone and everyone who stands in their way.

What starts out as seemingly innocent taunting quickly descends into something far more sinister. Principal Rhodes – deftly played by Academy-Award® winning actor Melissa Leo – attempts to help Olivia, but as she experiences increasingly frightening panic attacks, things spiral out of control… and she is forced to confront her darkest impulses. Can she stop the destruction… before it goes too far?"

Madelaine Petsch puts in a very strong performance as the film's lead Olivia. This is part psychological thriller, and also part ghost story, although you are never quite sure what is real and what is madness.

At roughly 80 minutes the film is the perfect length, it pops along at a good pace, there is no filler, and despite the characters all supposedly teenagers, it never feels like you are watching a teen film, if that makes sense. Doesn't hurt that Madelaine Petsch is 28 in real life, but that is American casting for you.

The film walks a fine line between psychological thriller and ghost story, it could have been very easy for the film makers to resort to classic tropes, and go mad with the haunting aspect, but they manage to do a really good job of leaving the viewer guessing. There is a slight twist at the end, nothing mind blowing, but it does leave you thinking.

The Good

I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. The short run time, tight script and strong performance from Madelaine Petsch lifts this film up, perhaps higher than you would expect. The film deals well with the aspects of suicide, bullying, and keeping secrets. And ultimately asks the question, if you were in the position of the main character, would you do what she did?

The Bad

If you were expecting more of a ghost story, you might be disappointed, although there are some elements of that, this is firmly a psychological thriller.


This is a good film, easy to watch despite the story elements involved, a strong story and good performances mean it is a film you should check out.

Out on digital on 13th February from 101 Films.

Watch on Apple TV at -