The 31 Days of Scares isn’t a countdown of the best horror movies. In fact, it’s not even about the best movies. It’s simply about some of my favorite “scares” or scenes from horror movies and they’re in no particular order. So there’s no need to debate countdown order. It’s pretty random. With that said: on to the countdown!
Today we’re looking at the film that, some might say, was the last great movie made by director John Carpenter. Unless you’re a fan of “Village of the Damned” than that’s not true at all, but in my experience people tend to prefer “In the Mouth of Madness” over that one. But I’ll let you debate that amongst yourselves.
WARNING: If you’ve never seen “In the Mouth of Madness” go watch it before reading this post. From here on out there are only spoilers that’ll ruin the movie for you if you haven’t seen it. It’s a truly fantastic movie that should be experienced properly and not ruined by a post. If you’re prepared for spoilers, continue on.
“In the Mouth of Madness” is a fantastic mash-up of Lovecraftian horror and Stephen King aesthetics. It’s a very surreal film to watch play out as it slowly starts to become apparent that reality is relevant in this movie. And that’s what our main character, John Trent (Sam Neill), begins to realize as he confronts a horror writer who might actually be the God of the world.
The ending of the film has two great scares going for it. The initial one is that the realization that the character we’ve been rooting for is actually not a real person. That his entire reality has been created by a horror writer. It’s a psychological scare that pulls the rug from under us as we start to question the reality of what we just watched. The second scare is more tangible as we get these insane Lovecraft-inspired horror creations spilling out of a dark void. It’s a great one two punch and you should check it out below.