Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Film Review: In The Mouth Of Madness (1995)

In The Mouth Of Madness (Review)
United States/1995
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: Yes 

"...an eerie atmosphere, dreadful suspense, shocking jump-scares, and nightmarish visuals."

When bestselling horror author Sutter Cane mysteriously disappears, John Trent (Sam Neill), an insurance investigator, is hired to find either Cane or Cane's missing manuscript. Along with Cane's editor, Linda Styles (Julie Carmen), Trent travels into the mouth of madness...

In The Mouth of Madness follows Trent as he investigates the disappearance of Cane. Questioning everyone and everything he runs into, Trent logically suspects insurance fraud. However, after reading one of Cane's novels, Trent begins to experience disturbing visions - and so does Styles. These lifelike, and dangerous, visions lead Trent into questioning reality and fantasy; what's real and what's fake? The bizarre final acts leads up to an amazing, somewhat predictable ending.

This is an amazing horror film. It uses every horror element imaginable; an eerie atmosphere, dreadful suspense, shocking jump-scares, and nightmarish visuals. I particularly enjoyed the disturbing visuals, which were made more effective by the great editing. All of these horror elements are balanced well to create a versatile horror experience. Occasionally, some jump scares fail to deliver, but the overall horror is more hit than miss. It's consistently scary, while creating a psychological/mystery story.

Sam Neill is good as the lead; he occasionally excels with a few exceptional moments, but he usually plays it safe. Julie Carmen has a mediocre performance; she gets better towards the end, but, by then, she has already impacted the film with her bland delivery and overacted moments of fear. John Carpenter excellently directs this film. The special effects are fantastic, especially for those fans of old-school horror effects. The music fits perfectly with the film, even the beginning and credits music. (which, I initially disliked.)

Overall, In The Mouth Of Madness is a great horror film; the story is immersive and entertaining, despite a predictable ending, the scares are consistent and versatile, and the special effects are great; the acting brings the film down a bit for me, though. I strongly recommend for fans of the genre.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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