“It’s Cane’s story and it’ll spread with each new reader. That’s how it gets its power.”
Talk about meta.
In 1995, horror master John Carpenter gave the world one of his most entertaining horror films, In the Mouth of Madness. Starring Sam Neill as an insurance investigator, In the Mouth of Madness revolves around the idea that whatever horror writer Sutter Cane (played by Jürgen Prochnow) creates, is either real, or is being made real by the physical act of him writing it.
Not Carpenter’s best, although it is a favorite among his fans, In the Mouth of Madness is a fun, entertaining, and lightweight horror film that, were it not for some initially inexplicable violence, would probably not feel entirely comfortable in the genre. It tries hard to be stylish and atmospheric, but things that catch your attention are never fully realized making for a less-than-fulfilling viewing experience.
One of the more imaginative concepts of In the Mouth of Madness is the idea that John Trent (Neill) is stepping inside a world that is little more than a construct, imagined and designed by Cane, a writer with what amounts to (un)Godly powers. And since this construct, known as Hobb’s End, operates by Cane’s rules, it’s fun to watch Trent flounder around in it.
Greg Nicotero (GREG NICOTERO!!), special effects guru known for his work on AMC’s The Walking Dead, put his characteristically awesome touches on the film, as does Carpenter, who is responsible for the film’s score.
I like In the Mouth of Madness because it’s subject matter is left of center, dark, and ultimately fun to watch. Not your typical gore-fest, and not apt to riddle you with nightmares, In the Mouth of Madness tries to provoke your mind instead of just going for the slash and hack.
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