If you’ve been following Jake Abel (Supernatural) on Instagram, then you’ve probably been following his Canadian quarantine journey on his Instagram stories. For two weeks, Abel has documented his experience from his tiny apartment that he’s required to quarantine in before heading back to the set of Supernatural where the cast will film the final episodes of the show. Well, I’ve been following that journey with him.
On day one, Abel gives us the run down on quarantine as he gives us a tour of his apartment and shows off all of things he brought along to help pass the time — a few books, a guitar, a PlayStation, and an Amazon Fire stick. You know, the usual boredom busters when you’re on lockdown by yourself for a while. The first few stories are pretty normal. He talks about workouts and cooking, and even drops a little bit about Midnight Sun by Stephanie Meyer, which he recorded the audio for in the audio book edition. Things seem pretty normal.
By day four however, things start to get a bit unsettling when he mentions the scratching sounds that kept him awake the night before. But, that’s okay, because he’s giving away codes for Midnight Sun! Also, the lamp turns off by itself as he’s making this announcement. A couple more days in, and he’s still hearing odd sounds. He investigates, but of course there’s nothing to be found. He’s more frustrated than anything.
Day seven and Abel is feeling pretty good. Fans following along have pointed out that he could have a ghost living with him, or maybe it’s just a rodent problem. Abel is pretty nonchalant about it though, and he’s got a PlayStation date with a friend to look forward to. As he’s recording himself playing though, a door behind him opens on its own. He seems a bit shook, but he debunks the idea that something ghostly could do it. The scratching returns by day eight, and he goes as far as to call the front desk to try to change rooms. He can’t though, or he’d be breaking his quarantine. Only seven more days to go Jake!
For a few days, things start to get even more … supernatural. He’s awakened at night by doors opening by themselves, but quickly debunks that event. While he’s showing off the books he brought with him, we suddenly hear buzzing coming from another room. Abel goes to investigate, just as surprised as we are by the sound, to find that his razor has turned on by itself. The razor turns on by itself a couple more times, even after he unplugs it and tosses it into a drawer.
I mean, quarantine sucks. It has to drive a person a little crazy at some point. Weird noises and easily debunked paranormal events might frustrate a person, but we know that Abel has less than a week left of quarantine at this point and we’re rooting for him. But, the big nope of his Instagram story comes from a moment when he’s lying in bed, giving us an update on his journey, when the curtain behind him is pulled closer at full force! It couldn’t have been a breeze (which Abel tries to use as an explanation later), and by then, even I was yelling at Instagram Jake to get out!
Abel is toughing it out though. That is, until day 13. During an update, he leaves the video recording as he goes to check the door. As he leaves the shot, cabinets open in the kitchen and things fly out. He doesn’t even realize it. On his day 14 update, he points out that day one actually is day zero, so he’s got one more day of quarantine.
There’s more scratching sounds and he’s convinced it’s a rat, so he starts to look for it in the bathroom. As he’s searching, we hear a noise from the other room. He goes back to check it out and walks into something truly creepy. All of the cabinets, drawers, and doors in the kitchen are open and the water is running! He calls down to the front desk, panicked. While he’s talking, a door in the hallway creeps open on its own and if you’re paying close attention, you can see a person walk out of the closet and into the bathroom. Get out, Jake! Get out!
He doesn’t even notice, and I was left wondering if he ever noticed. Or, perhaps this was all a trick played on us, the audience. Was someone there with him even though he was supposed to be alone? Was he really in danger? By now, my Twitter feed was filled with people sounding either really concerned for Abel, or really impressed by the joke and just wanting to know how he did all of this.
By day 14, Abel is ready to go. He’s still got some time left in quarantine, but he’s packed, scared, and ready to leave that apartment the second he’s allowed to. As he’s letting us know that he’s almost out of there, the light starts to go on and off by itself. He’s tired of it at this point. But, whatever is doing this isn’t letting up. He jumps up suddenly as he hears a sound and all hell breaks loose. Doors slam closed, the TV turns on, the curtain flies shut, his razor turns on again, the water faucet turns on … so much is happening and he’s terrified, so he heads for the exit.
Before he can get there though, he comes to a halt in the hallway as he peers at the translucent window of the bathroom door. There’s clearly a person standing there! He sees the shadow just as the viewer does, and he shakily goes to confront whoever it is. As he peers into the crack of the door, his phone drops and cuts out, only to go back to a black screen for a moment while we can still hear the razor and running water in the background. Suddenly, he picks up the phone and we can only see his feet as he walks to the other room, seeming pretty calm despite what just happened.
He sets the camera upright on the floor and it focuses on … Abel? At least, I think that’s the real Jake. He’s kneeling before the camera, dressed in a new outfit that seems oddly familiar and now he’s clean shaven. He smirks at the camera, scratches the wood floor and knocks twice before standing up and walking out of the front door.
Then, the surprise. His Instagram story goes into the credits. It seems we were all following along with a short film as it was happening. Titled, Jake and Quarantine, the film was directed by Abel himself, and since he was in quarantine alone, turns out he did everything by himself. He ends the Instagram story by thanking everyone for watching and he talks about how great it was to make the film to pass the time.
So, this is a film review I suppose. What started out as me simply watching along with other fans as Abel updated us on his creepy apartment, turned out to be an immersive film experience. The fact that Abel chose to tell this story through Instagram stories was such a clever way to include the audience. Sure, many of us chattered with each other on the internet, wondering why he was tricking us, and even if he was actually tricking us. I don’t know about anyone else, but I caught myself checking in on him for updates through each day, because I was really intrigued and honestly hoping he was safe. Mostly, many of us couldn’t believe that any of it could be real, but that option honestly never did leave my mind. But the big question was, if he was doing this as part of some elaborate prank, how was he doing it?
That question will be left unanswered though, and that’s okay. Because we know that Abel wrote, directed, edited (and did every other film requirement) by himself to either trick us or entertain us as we were legitimately entertained and fooled. Bravo, sir! This was truly a fantastic idea and we were on the edge of our seats!
If you haven’t been following along, you can still check out Jake and Quarantine on Abel’s Instagram page and below through YouTube. Hopefully, the film is still as thrilling to watch now that we know it was a film. Also, be sure to catch Abel on the final season of Supernatural. The first 13 episodes of season 15 are available for streaming on Netflix, and we can’t wait for the rest to come out!