Thursday, June 30, 2011
In the Mouth of Madness. C
In the Mouth of Madness. It's as if Stephen King took an idea for a novel he never wrote and handed it to John Carpenter to make what he could of it. The result is a problematic movie that struggles because there's not someone like King to guide it once the story gets in motion. Instead of taking advantage of an enticing premise, the movie resorts to a feast of Carpenter's trademark strange, startling, and at times horrific monsters. To its credit the movie delivers in this area (one of the characters tears himself apart like paper-one of the coolest visual images I've ever seen), though an acclaimed veteran at the time (1995), one would not expect less from Carpenter. Sam Neill is the movie's star, and he effectively portrays an investigator trying to track down a missing writer of popular horror stories. His name is Sutter Cane (it's difficult to imagine a more appropriate name), and his books seem to be influencing people in the real world, making them do terrible things from the novels themselves. Neill travels to a quiet, perfect little town in his quest for Cane, and it's there that the movie should have become brilliant, but instead gets out of hand. And we really wish this story had come from Stephen King.