Tuesday, October 14, 2014

31 Days of Halloween - Day 14 - Movie 1

In Jacob's Ladder (1990), Tim Robbins plays a Vietnam Vet who finds himself experiencing intense hallucinations, which grow more unsettling and disorienting over time. The further he digs to uncover the truth, the more disrupted the fabric of his world becomes, causing uncertainty about what parts of his life are even real.

There's not really any way to go further into the plot without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it. For the long time, the script by Bruce Joel Rubin languished on the list of the best unproduced screenplays. This is probably my third of fourth time viewing it since its initial theatrical release, and I find myself noticing things that I hadn't on earlier viewings. This is more of a psychological thriller than anything, but the horrors here are pretty unsettling, from the atrocities of war to the strange figures that keep cropping up with blurred features inspired by the paintings of Francis Bacon. Director Adrian Lyne wisely keeps the horrors barely glimpsed than explicitly shown, making you want to lean in for a closer look and feel that what you've seen was far more disturbing than it probably was. It's that suggestion of the horrors that makes the movie unsettling and makes Jacob's experience seem all the more horrifying since the things he sees are so hard to see it blurs that line between what's real and what's hallucination -- if there's any difference at all. This is a high quality film that should be seen.

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