In the Mouth of Madness (Carpenter, 1994)

In the Mouth of Madness (John Carpenter, 1994)

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  –Hebrews 4:12

Sam Neill brings paranoia, fear, and madness to life and in such a gradual natural way, fighting it even at the point when all hope was obviously lost. This is where this film is most captivating. In a sci-fi horror film characters don’t usually have a difficult time accepting the paranormal; it’s just part of the world they live in. Carpenter avoids creating that distance between viewer and film when, despite a clearly fictional storyline, he refuses to let his character give up logic. It’s not until an extreme amount of proof encompasses him that he has to choose whether to believe in an absurd reality or to accept that he’s gone mad. And quite frankly, we’re not sure which has happened either. It’s an involving and entertaining film and though the film’s most original and though-provoking development (I won’t spoil it) did not work for me, so much of the rest of the film did.  7.75/10

in the mouth of madness



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