Is The Jester Based on a True Story?

‘The Jester’ is a mystery horror film directed by Colin Krawchuk and starring Lelia Symington, Michael Sheffield, Delaney White, and Matt Servitto in the lead roles. The movie brings to life the terrifying urban legend of the Jester, a street performer who torments a small town’s folk on the eve of Halloween. When a young woman named Emma arrives in town to attend her estranged father’s funeral, she encounters the Jester.

As Emma falls prey to the Jester’s enigmatic and powerful yet twisted performance that feeds on her insecurities, she must find a way to save herself and her half-sister. Given the film’s innovative and refreshing presentation of a horror villain, viewers must be curious to learn about the inspiration behind the character and the narrative. If you are wondering whether ‘The Jester’ is based on real events, here is everything you need to know!

Is The Jester a True Story?

No, ‘The Jester’ is not based on a true story. The film is based on a series of short films by director Colin Krawchuk. The first of the three short films was released in 2016 and introduces the titular character. The character and its core concept were adapted into a feature film by Krawchuk, who co-wrote the screenplay with Michael Sheffield, who physically portrays the Jester in the movie. According to Krawchuk, the idea for a horror antagonist came from a desire to avoid the animalistic, hyper-aggressive horror antagonists of his earlier short films. As a result, Krawchuk devised the concept of an unpredictable yet formidable street performer.

In an interview, Krawchuk revealed after his short films gained attention, he was offered a chance to make a feature film based on the titular character. Krawchuk was given a two-week deadline to submit an outline for the feature film’s story. However, after working on the outline for a week, he and Sheffield abandoned the idea of explaining Jester’s character and motives. As a result, the feature’s version of the Jester differs from the shorts, where the character is eager for an audience and only commits horrific actions when his performances do not receive positive reactions.

Krawchuk also stated that he only wanted to carry the spirit of the shorts while exploring deeper themes with the feature film. As a result, the writers developed the story around two estranged sisters, Emma and Jocelyn. Krawchuk explained that the character of Emma was designed to have flaws that the jester could exploit. As a result, Emma is forced to confront aspects of her personality she doesn’t want to face. Thus, by diving into the characters’ emotional motivations, the writers make viewers empathize with them.

The film primarily deals with the theme of a broken family. Emma and Jocelyn’s fears and insecurities stem from their drastically different relationships with their father. The Jester amplifies these insecurities, resulting in a twisted game of horror. Consequently, the movie highlights the importance of dealing with past mistakes and reconciliation. Krawchuk also revealed that they chose the Halloween theme for the movie, as it creates an atmosphere for horror, and at the same time, the Jester is portrayed as an urban legend.

The malevolent Jester resembles iconic horror villains such as Michael Myers and Freddy Kruger. Ultimately, ‘The Jester’ is not based on a true story, and the presence of the seemingly supernatural titular character confirms the same. The film does not draw inspiration from any real-life events and tells a primarily fictional story about two estranged sisters. However, by focusing on the theme of a broken family and exploring the characters’ insecurities and flaws, the narrative resonates with the viewers, while the horror elements shock and surprise them.

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