JACOB’S LADDER has a 2019 remake which is on Netflix now. Actually, calling it a remake isn’t fair since it’s more of an updated version. Unfortunately, this version really doesn’t work. The basic story just isn’t good enough. Read our full Jacob’s Ladder review here!

Jacob’s Ladder is out on Netflix now with the 2019 remake version. However, if you loved the 1990 version starring Tim Robbins, then please lower your expectations. A lot!

This 2019 Jacob’s Ladder is more of a re-imagined updated version than a remake. I was really looking forward to this, but I know it’s been siting a a shelf for quite some time which is rarely a good sign.

The acting is actually good and I love that the core cast is black. The only “real” problem is the story which is enough to ruin everything. Continue reading our Jacob’s Ladder review below.

Jesse Williams is so damn good

I have never seen Jesse Williams be anything less than really good. Most probably know him from his Grey’s Anatomy character Dr. Jackson Avery. However, horror fans may also recognize him from The Cabin in the Woods.

In Jacob’s Ladder, Jesse Williams isn’t the star but plays the biggest supporting character and he is brilliant. Seriously, when I watch him in a role like this, I wonder why he isn’t a much bigger name and used is big movies. Hopefully, it’s just a matter of time.

Also, the actual star of this 2019 Jacob’s Ladder is portrayed by Michael Ealy (The Following) who also gives a really solid performance. Unfortunately, he is such a big part of this bad story that you almost forget he’s doing a damn fine job.

Finally, we have Nicole Beharie who genre fans will probably know from the Sleepy Hollow series. Again, Nicole Beharie is an actor who always delivers but she doesn’t have much to work with on this. I loved her in Sleepy Hollow but in this movie her character is extremely underdeveloped.

Jacob's Ladder [2019] – Netflix Review

Horror writers behind the script

On paper, this 2019 Jacob’s Ladder should have a lot going for it. The script was written in part by Jeff Buhler who has written quite a lot of awesome horror screenplays.

For one, he wrote The Midnight Meat Train (2008) which is pretty obvious when watching this movie since it also features a lot of subway areas. It certainly seems like it’s a backdrop that Jeff Buhler really enjoys. Fine by me since this is actually some of the best scenes in the movie. In terms of horror elements anyway.

Also, Jeff Buhler wrote on the movies The Prodigy (2019) and the upcoming The Grudge which will be out in 2020. The 2020 The Grudge is not an actual remake, but the Pet Sematary remake from 2019 was and Jeff Buhler also wrote the screenplay for that one.

Watch the 2019 Jacob’s Ladder on Netflix now!

This 2019 version of Jacob’s Ladder was directed by David M. Rosenthal. He also directed the Netflix sci-fi thriller How it Ends (2018) which I both liked and really didn’t like. Overall, it was at least entertaining, which I honestly don’t think Jacob’s Ladder was in this 2019 version.

Don’t miss: Read our review of the Netflix movie How it Ends which was directed by this 2019 Jacob’s Ladder director >

I love the fact that the main cast is black this time around. I mean, why not? Unfortunately, the story simply isn’t good and it feels like such a missed opportunity. The story could so easily have been done much better. Especially when doing a remake, you really should bring something new to the table.

Otherwise, what is the point of doing a Jacob’s Ladder remake? In this case, I wish they simply hadn’t. If you’re curious about this 2019 remake of Jacob’s Ladder, then do check it out on Netflix now. However, if you’re a fan of the 1990 original version starring Tim Robbins, then please don’t try to compare the two at all. It will only end badly!

Jacob’s Ladder is out on Netflix in the US and Canada from December 22, 2019.


Director: David M. Rosenthal
Writers: Jeff Buhler, Sarah Thorpe, Jake Wade Wall, Bruce Joel Rubin
Stars: Michael Ealy, Jesse Williams, Nicole Beharie, Guy Burnet, Karla Souza


After being reunited with a brother he thought was killed in combat, a former army medic begins to experience violent, paranoid visions.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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