10/25/12 – OCTOBER HORROR MOVIE RECOMMENDATION #25 – In the Mouth of Madness.

In the Mouth of Madness

 

Most people in the horror biz would agree that one of their key influences is the author HP Lovecraft.  I most definitely count myself one of them. As a kid, a collection of his short stories was one of my favorite books, and it still gives me chills to this day. Lovecraft was like Poe.  His prose was sometimes almost like a dark poetry, only much more disturbing (in my opinion.)  He would often write about things that he would call “indescribable” or “unnamable terrors.”  These were ancient creatures or otherworldly beasts that were so disturbing that our brains simply couldn’t comprehend.  It’s because of this reason that 99% of all Lovecraft film adaptations just don’t work.  Lovecraftian creations work best in our heads as we’re reading, and seem diminished when most filmmakers try to use existing models and tropes for their creatures.  That’s the problem.  Nothing is normal about Lovecraft.  That’s why his tales have stood the test of time.  Now, for me, In The Mouth of Madness came as close as any mainstream movie could to capturing at least some of Lovecraft’s style and visions.  It’s by no means a perfect movie, and I dare say that there will NEVER be a perfect Lovecraft movie, but this film has enough creepy moments and scary scenes throughout to definitely deserve a view.  This was one of John Carpenter’s most underappreciated movies.  Most people think of his obvious and more popular work, but this one deserves some kudos.  The basic premise is that a popular horror author has disappeared and an investigator must locate him, only to discover that the town he apparently disappeared in is filled with the author’s twisted creations.  It’s atmospheric and creepy throughout.  With paintings that seem to come to life, an old woman at a hotel with a secret, countless (mostly) unseen beasties, and even Charlton Heston in a small role, this is one to check out for any Lovecraft newbie or fan.

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