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on 15 June 2014

I admit, I had my problems with this movie. IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS starts out slow, REAL slow. Many Carpenter movies do, but this one particularly, and I must say the movie lost me between Sam Neill's character being hired by Charlton Heston's character to investigate the disappearance of a famous author and the car ride to Hobb's End.
There however the story begins to unfold brilliantly. John Trent's gradual descent into madness is well executed and believable. The boundary between reality and fiction begins to fade and once the end credits roll you are left with a very satisfying movie experience that will occupy your mind for a while after.
The direction is good, some scenes could have been paced better, especially in the first third of the movie, but overall a job well done.
The star ensemble do a fine job as well: Sam Neill, Jurgen Prochnow, David Warner, Julie Carmen and Charlton Heston.
If you are a fan of the works of H. P. Lovecraft, you will very much appreciate screenwriter Michael De Luca's references to Lovecraft's works throughout the film.
Not a brilliant movie and not Carpenter's best work, but a very well done psychological thriller nontheless.

RATING: 7 / 10


Reviewed version: 2013 New Line/Warner Bros. US Blu-ray
Feature running time: 95 mins. (uncut)
Rating: R (MPAA) / 18 (BBFC)
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 / 16:9
Audio: English DTS HD 5.1, French (Canada) 2.0, German 2.0, Italian 2.0, Spanish (Castellano) 2.0, Spanish (Latino) 1.0
Subtitles: English HoH, French, German HoH, Italian HoH, Spanish (Castellano), Spanish (Latino)
Chapters: 28
Extras: Commentary, Theatrical Trailer
Region: A, B, C (region free)

Picture quality: A-
Audio quality: A-
Extras: D
77 comments| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 April 2012
Sutter Cane is a phenomenally best-selling horror writer with hundreds of millions of fans worldwide who, according to media tales, are so affected by his writing that some of them are beginning to descend into a kind of madness.

When Cane suddenly vanishes, just after the submission deadline for his next bestseller, an investigator is hired by the publisher to find him and bring back Cane's completed manuscript for publication - millions of dollars' worth of sales are counting on it.

The investigator follows a hunch that Cane is living in the town referred to in his horror novels, and arrives there with one of the publisher's reps.

However after experiences in the town gradually get stranger and stranger, it appears that they have walked in to a Cane's final horror story - and with Cane having written them it, it is down to the twisted genius whether or not they - and indeed the rest of the world - survive.

A classic John Carpenter film that seems to pull some unusually good acting even out of the likes of Sam Neill and Charlton Heston, as well as its interesting premise this film has some genuinely creepy moments.

A homage to Lovecraft, as well as the blatant Lovecraftian hordes of chaos towards the end there are some nice touches - the hotel receptionist being called Mrs Pickman for example, a reference to Lovecraft's Pickman's Model, a similar tale of a piece of art becoming reality.

Wonderful, imaginative, full-on fantasy horror, with a typically Lovecraftian ending of futility and insanity.
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on 11 October 2015
This has to be one of JOHN CARPENTERS best movies and one of his most underrated movies.The story i wont say to much about but will say an author goes missing and SAM NEIL is sent to find him by CHARLTON HESTON and along the way very strange things start to happen were he is left wondering is it real or is he going mad.SAM NEIL is very good in this movie and is given one or two comic lines which he does very well.This disc has a very nice widescreen print the col is nice and rich with a very nice sharp picture and clear sound.This disc has the movie on UNCUT and has parts never seen in the UK before.On the extra side we get the trailer for the movie.So to sum up if you like JOHN CARPENTER movies this is for you plus its the first time you can see it UNCUT
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on 22 June 2012
I remember seeing this film on BBC2 years ago when I was a little kid and I've always wanted to see it again but could never find it anywhere. I have no idea why it isn't in production in the U.K but I'm glad I was able to get hold of this all region DVD, it works no problem. It arrived within two days of placing the order.

The plot centres around Sam Neill who is an insurance investigator, he is sent by a publishing company to track down their biggest selling horror writer who has gone missing. He tracks him to a small town called Hobbs End and ... well I dont want to give it away, lets just say that it gets interesting.

It scared the hell out of me when I was a kid and it did a pretty good job of it now I'm an adult. Ha. It has some great moments of creepiness while they're driving and its got plenty of the Carpenter gore that we all love. All in all 5/5.
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on 9 August 2014
For too many years the horror genre has been stuck in the doldrums and the formulaic trash that is spun out year after year - particularly the slasher films - are a cynical safe bet for producers who simply do the maths and churn out sequels and overused plots to make a calculated profit. In The Mouth Of Madness is refreshingly different and tells the tale of Sutter Cane, horror novelist whose books have a troubling effects on his readers. A homage to Lovecraft and some fine twists at the end, the movie is well-paced and on a higher level than some of the stuff Hollywood have distributed, nicely-packaged, from their old factory conveyor belt. Top marks for originality.
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VINE VOICEon 30 January 2010
`In The Mouth of Madness' is probably Carpenter's last great film, but it's definitely not an unqualified success: uneven and inconsistent, it is saved by some wonderfully atmospheric sections that make up for the weaker elements in the movie.

Sam Neill is John Trent, a fraud investigator sent to investigate the disappearance of Stephen King-a-like Sutter Cane (Jurgen Prochnow), a man whose horror novels are having a disquieting effect on the psyche of the world. Tracking him down to a town that shouldn't exist, Trent is plunged into a maelstrom of evil from which there may just be no escape.

First, the weaker points. The first half of the film is not fast-paced, but instead of a slow-burn build up of tension and menace, contains one or two fairly cheap shocks and hammy moments. The framing sequence with Neill in an asylum is probably the weakest part of the movie, hampered by Neill's inability to act convincingly insane or dangerous. He's much better as the urbane cynic he portrays for the bulk of the film, but even then I can't help feeling there must have been actors more suited to the role than him. In fact, the acting in general is not the film's strong point: Carpenter refers to this as the third part of an `Apocalypse' trilogy begat by `The Thing' and continued with `Prince of Darkness', but doesn't have access here to the compelling, intense cast of the former nor the endearing oddball players of the latter. Julie Carmen is fairly insipid as Neill's sidekick (though her character does get one of the best and most literally twisted scenes in the film) and Jurgen Prochnow is merely passable as the author who now does the bidding of Great Old Ones. (The exception is the always-wonderful David Warner, though he is rather underused, with a fairly minor part.)

But... at round about the halfway mark, the film starts to turn into something special. In fact, the exact moment is pretty easy to pinpoint. It's when Neill encounters his landlady in her `real' form that the movie kicks into high gear and really starts to become disturbing (in the best possible way.) Indeed, the sequence in which Neill flees the hotel while blasphemous abominations start to emerge is irresistibly reminiscent of what for me remains the most terrifying moment in Fulci's equally Lovecraftian `The Beyond': Lisa's flight from her own hotel and the appearance of shambling shadows at each of the windows. Neill's frantic and futile attempts to escape the fictitious town in which he is trapped becomes the stuff of explicitly Cthulhoid nightmare, culminating eventually in a sequence in which Neill is pursued by ungodly horrors (is that Shub-Niggurath?) just as unpleasant as any of the Thing's manifestations. And given that I regard `The Thing' as one of the greatest horror films of all time, that's high praise indeed.

The DVD itself is strong: the picture looks great and there's a Carpenter commentary, though maybe not his most enthralling. Overall though, this is definite must-have, despite its faults, though probably not the best starting point for a Carpenter virgin: it strikes me as very much a film for the Carpenter fan.

(And on a random note, I can't help but feel that video game `Condemned 2' owes this film rather a lot.)
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on 28 April 2009
In my opinion, this is by far John Carpenter's best film. Certainly his cleverest, wittiest, and downright enjoyable. Paying homage to both H P Lovecraft and Stephen King, it's a film where you can never predict what's going to happen, full of weird goings on, and lots of creepy, slimy monsters in dark places and people going mad. Sam Neill is excellent in the lead role, I think this is one of his best performances, and the mind-bending plot where you never know what's reality really gets under your skin. This is such an underrated film and I can't praise it enough. It's one of those films that gets inside your head and refuses to leave. I love nearly all of John Carpenter's movies, but this is by far his best, and the fact that it isn't even available in the UK on DVD is a crime. Worth buying on VHS, it's that good!
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on 22 December 2015
I love this story, yes it is a little off the wall - probably why i love it.John Carpenter is a talented and innovative write, let's face it. I had my last since release of DVD and prior to DVD on VHS, however the disks don't last forever and this was a great treat to find it all region. Looking forward to watching again all over again
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on 8 April 2016
Watched this when I was younger and very much enjoyed it. Unfortunately it now didn't pack the same punch so much so that I found my mind drifting throughout the movie. Shame. However if you have never seen it - give it a watch.
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on 1 June 2016
John Carpenter's career surprises by including masterpieces and real trash - In the Mouth of Madness sits squarely in the middle, decked out in fashions, rock score and post-modernism so nineties it hurts. The concept is fun, the cinematography flat, the tone rather uncertain - Sam Neil is hopelessly miscast in what was clearly supposed to be a hard-bitten gumshoe type, but maybe this is a meta-joke about him being a poorly written character in a book (rather than just Bruce Willis being unavailable). Some effective sequences give way to increasing nonsense and endearingly rubbery monsters, while the homage to Lovecraft (who should have been served better by cinema) gets lost in twists not clever enough to be worth staying the course. Still, it's never unenjoyable - and the mishmash of sources and intentions has its own accidental charm.
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