In the Mouth of Madness Synopsis: With the disappearance of hack horror writer Sutter Cane, all Hell is breaking loose…literally! Author Cane, it seems, has a knack for description that really brings his evil creepy-crawlies to life. Insurance investigator John Trent is sent to investigate Cane’s mysterious vanishing act and ends up in the sleepy little East Coast town of Hobb’s End. The fact that this town exists as a figment of Cane’s twisted imagination is only the beginning of Trent’s problems.
Release Date: February 3rd, 1995 | Runtime: 1 hour and 35 minutes | MPAA Rating: R | Coolthulhus Earned: 5
In the Mouth of Madness Review
Have you read Sutter Cane?
I can’t believe that it took me so long to watch this movie. It has practically everything I love in it: Lovecraft, Stephen King, and a ton of references to look for and spot and conjecture about. In short, I’m very disappointed in myself for not watching it sooner. In my defense, I had no idea it was even about a book, so, there ya go.
I loved the plot to it. It was creepy and took many unexpected twists and turns. Reality itself gets distorted in interesting ways that did not come across as cheatery and contrived. It also raises some interesting questions about readers and the free will of the characters in fiction.
Sorry, a small digression here. Just pretend for a moment that it’s true (c’mon, you can do it, you guys read horror and sci-fi. I know you have imaginations). That a fictional character is aware of what is happening to him or her. They realize this but can’t do anything about it. They are forced to live through whatever unimaginable horror the author can think of to inflict upon them. I can’t imagine anything more horrifying. I’m not really talking about meta-horror, exactly, because to me it’s a different kind of awareness.
Anyways, you didn’t read this to get my half-assed attempt at midnight psychology. You want to hear about the movie. It starts out with a bang and the pace keeps up until the last fifteen minutes or so. It does start to slow down a bit near the end but it’s a necessary slowness so it’s acceptable. The plot stays on point throughout without any digressions that don’t add to the movie.
The effects are top-notch and some really managed to give me the creeps. Some of the creepier ones are also the most simple. Maybe not simple to pull off but in the plot they’re somewhat minor happenings but add to the general atmosphere and general creepiness. The bridge into Hobb’s End. The changing picture. Simple, but very effective. And the creature effects? Excellent.
Sam Neill is very believable as the cocky insurance investigator, totally convinced he is the master of his own, cynical view of the world. Julie Carmen is very able in her role, if a little lat at times but since I’ve never seen her in anything else I’m not really sure if that was an acting choice or her typical acting ability. Jürgen Prochnow is perfect as the “author” of the end of the world. Oddly enough, this is not the first time Jürgen has brought about the Apocalypse. The first time was in a movie called ‘The Seventh Sign” (which I’ll be reviewing soon). He’s perfect as the elusive Sutter Cane. Even the secondary characters are played well.
And of course, all the references. I’d love to point out as many as I noticed (and I’m pretty sure there’s more I didn’t) but since some are plot points I don’t want to spoil anything for you. I don’t like to assume that just because a movie is older then it’s ok to tell the whole story. Suffice it to say that there are many and Lovecraft and King fans alike will have many happy egg hunts.
There is only one part that I don’t get and it bugs me: