Plot: What’s it about?
This movie is messed up. Plain and simple, this movie really makes you think. John Carpenter is one of only a few people who could make this movie, make it scary and at the same time make it interesting to watch. So where do I start? Sam Neill plays John Trent, an insurance investigator who is hired by a publishing company to seek out their missing best-selling author (Sutter Cane). John, being good at his job, takes the assignment thinking that it is some set up by the publishing company so they can sell his latest work a few more million times over…Now that’s the easy part. The movie starts out with John being checked into an insane asylum, the classic one at that. We’re talking padded walls, straightjackets–the whole nine yards. It’s when we hear his story that we start to get sucked into the story as well. We notice things that just aren’t right, people who look way too deformed to be normal, and things get worse when John puts the pieces of the puzzle together (literally) and head to the fictitous town of Hobb’s End, Vermont. Events start occuring that make no sense, paintings are different every time you look at them, little old ladies have their husbands chained to their ankles and little kids knaw on the faces of their parents…driving them to suicide. This movie is messed up. John tries to play it all off, saying that the books that Sutter Cane have written are all works of fiction and that nothing he is experiencing is real, but is greeted with way too many examples to the contrary. He soon learns that what his life (and everyone else’s for that matter) is being played out from the pages of the soon to be bestseller, In the Mouth of Madness (how’d they come up with that). And no matter what he tries to do, he is doomed. This movie is messed up. I think I’ve made that abundantly clear, I’m not “weired out” by many movies, but this is one that did it to me. It’s hard to even write the review, because I keep thinking of some of the images that I just saw. If you’re a fan of scary movies (no Scream pun intended), then you have to see this. If you’re easily frightened, then I suggest you steer way clear of this John Carpenter film. It’s not for everyone, that’s for sure but it’ll scare you and give you something to think about, too.
Video: How does it look?
New Line has done another top notch effort with this film from a few years back. The crystal clear image is presented in both a 2.35:1 anamorphic image and a full-frame version as well. I like this too, because it’s on a dual-layer disc which makes it easy to choose no matter what your preference. A top notch transfer from New Line.
Audio: How does it sound?
A remastered 5.1 soundtrack makes this movie all the scarier! The bass kicks in nearly every scene and only adds to the tension that builds steadily from the opening credits. Surrounds are used very often and sound great at that. Great job here as well!
Supplements: What are the extras?
Aside from an original trailer, some cast and crew bios, you get a full-length feature commentary by none other than John Carpenter himself. This is the exact same commentary that was used for the LD from a few years back, but Carpenter still does some of the best commentary tracks around. If you want to watch the movie, and not be nearly as scared, listen to the commentary. Overall, New Line has given you every reason to watch this movie and I don’t see why you shouldn’t either. Unless you’re scared, that is…