Reviewer's Rating 4 out of 5   User Rating 4 out of 5
In the Mouth of Madness (1995)
18

Ever been so consumed by a book that you've just flipped out and gone on a rampage? That's what the readers of Sutter Kane's books are doing, and if they don't get hold of the latest edition there will be trouble. When he goes missing along with his latest manuscript, insurance investigator Sam Neill is despatched to find him, and he takes us into one of the scariest horror films of recent times.

Neill has the unenviable task of finding Hobb's End, a town that Cane fictionalised in his books. The long car trip there is one of the highlights of the film. Ensure that any gits are out of the room, switch the lights off, and just see if you don't jump several times during this frightening sequence.

The town of Hobb's End is no less eerie, and for most of the duration of the film it's wonderful to say that John Carpenter is really on form. A master of suspense, and capable of creating horribly unsettling atmosphere, he really puts the viewer through the wringer with this movie.

Sadly, the end is not quite so satisfying. It's in no way as annoying as his dreadful, flip denouement to his otherwise excellent science fiction thriller "They Live", but it is a bit of a cop-out. No matter, for there are far too many horror films out there that might claim to be clever, but there are few that really are frightening. Boasting superb performances throughout, including the often overlooked John Glover, and a wonderful shock moment near the beginning, this is terror at its most delicious.

Find out for yourself on BBC1 at 11.15pm, Friday 29th June 2001.

End Credits

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: Michael De Luca

Stars: Sam Neil, Jürgen Prochnow, John Glover, Charlton Heston, Frances Bay, Willhelm von Homburg, Conrad Bergschneider, Marvin Scott, Katherine Ashby

Genre: Horror

Length: 95 minutes

Cinema: 1995

VHS: 12 March 2001

Country: USA

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