With his varied career, John Carpenter has had many ups and a whole lot of downs. Most of them not for the right reasons. He made a lot of great films that appealed to only a small group of fans and as a result his canon seems to draw different opinions by different folks. By the time he directed In the Mouth of Madness, his budgets had shrunk while his aspirations would not. The 1995 film was John Carpenter’s smashup of H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King all with an interesting avant-garde sense.
When the famed horror author Sutter Kane disappears from the public eye, his publishing company brings in an insurance investigator to find out the whereabouts of their biggest draw. Working with Kane’s editor, the two decipher hidden messages both within the author’s books and upon their covers that may actually lead to his home. After the two head to New Hampshire, strange things begin to happen. And our investigator’s reality may be a whole lot more.
The film is part of the so-called “Apocalypse Trilogy” and in many fans’ eyes is the director’s last “great” film. Some wonder whether a larger budget and an added half hour to the film would have made it a mainstream hit. Others to this day try to decipher the esoteric plot devices that appear to be nothing more than throwaway scenes. Dark Discussions has gone back to review and reflect on one of the famed director’s most highly debated films.