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In the Mouth of Madness is a 1994 American Lovecraftian horror film directed and scored by John Carpenter and written by Michael De Luca.

The film's production budget was around $8 million, but it failed to make a profit, grossing only $8,9 million in the domestic box office.

Summary[]

An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer's books have on his fans is more than inspirational. (From IMDb)

Plot[]

The film begins with a man in a strait jacket arrives at a mental institution, and gets locked in a padded room, where he tries to convince the doctors and staff that he's not insane, as well as trying to convince them that their whole life is a lie.

The Man, John Trent, an insurance investigator, tells his story to psychiatrist Dr. Wrenn, and how he ended up in the institution. A week ago, him and his colleague, Robinson, foil their clients plan to burn down his place of business to take the money, but with enough evidence, he could end up in jail.

While having lunch, Robinson wants John to investigate the mysterious disappearance of horror novelist Sutter Cane, but Trent has never heard of him, until a man with an axe and eyes like that of a fish attacks both men, and asks Trent if he reads Sutter Cane. The man is about to kill Trent, until he is shot dead by police.

The next day, he goes to visit Cane's publisher Jackson Harglow of Arcane Publishing, and informs Trent that the man who attacked him was Cane's agent, having gone insane after reading one of Cane's books, killed his family, and has been on the run since. Trent thinks it was all a publicity stunt to promote Cane's new book, In The Mouth Of Madness. Across the US and halfway around the world, mass murders and other acts of violence have stemmed and risen since Cane's disappearance.

Trent buys several books, and then notices that the covers of each book contains pieces of a map to a place called Hobbs End, the fictional location in several of Cane's books, nestled somewhere in New Hampshire. Harglow then sends his assistant Linda Styles, Cane's editor, to accompany Trent on their way to Hobbs End. After they arrive, they begin to notice strange occurrences: deformed children chasing a dog down the street with scissors, the townspeople begging Cane to release their children, and some of them have begun to mutate into monstrous beings. Styles tells Trent that Cane's disappearance was a publicity stunt to promote the new book, but the town and its residence were not part of the plan.

A man named Simon tells Trent that he is not real, and that Cane had created this world where no one would notice, until Trent came into the picture, questioning his own existence about what's real and what's fiction. Simon kills himself, and Trent tries to leave with Styles, but she refuses and wants to stay with Cane to make sure his novel is published and his race of ancient monsters, whom had been around before Mankind walked the earth, are unleashed upon the world. Trent finally escapes Hobbs End with the manuscript to Mouth Of Madness, then destroys it.

When he returns to New York, Harglow tells Trent that there is no Linda Styles and that he sent Trent by himself. Trent is horrified that the book, Mouth Of Madness was published a week ago, and that a movie adaptation is in production. Trent, looking disheveled with wrinkled clothing, then walks into a bookstore asks a reader, whose bleeding from the ears and nose if he reads Sutter Cane. The reader answers and Trent kills him with an axe.

Dr. Wrenn doesn't believe his story, believing Trent to be delusional, and leaves. His assistant, Saperstein, asks if he reads Sutter Cane, but Dr Wrenn doesn't answer. Later on, Trent wakes up, having heard gunshots and screaming, walks out his room which has been mysteriously unlocked, and notices blood all over the walls. Trent then hears news reports about monstrous creatures attacking and killing people all over the world. He walks into a movie theater, playing the film, IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, as Trent begins to laugh hysterically then starts to cry, now knowing he's a fictional character in a Horror Novel.

List of Deaths[]

Cast[]

  • Sam Neill as John Trent
  • Julie Carmen as Linda Styles
  • Jürgen Prochnow as Sutter Cane
  • David Warner as Dr. Wrenn
  • John Glover as Saperstein
  • Bernie Casey as Robinson
  • Julie Carmen as Linda Styles
  • Jürgen Prochnow as Sutter Cane
  • David Warner as Dr. Wrenn
  • John Glover as Saperstein
  • Bernie Casey as Robinson
  • Kali Rocha as Agency Assistant
  • Peter Jason as Mr. Paul
  • Charlton Heston as Jackson Harglow
  • Frances Bay as Mrs. Pickman
  • Wilhelm von Homburg as Simon

Trivia[]

  • Bears countless nods to writer H.P. Lovecraft.
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