Down 42 this week

In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

R  |   |  Horror  |  3 February 1995 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 40,647 users  
Reviews: 220 user | 116 critic

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



0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Lisa Blount, Jameson Parker
They Live (1988)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses that allow him to wake up to the fact that aliens have taken over the Earth.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Roddy Piper, Keith David, Meg Foster
Vampires (1998)
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to endure sunlight.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The lone inhabitants of an abandoned police station are under attack by the overwhelming numbers of a seemingly unstoppable street gang.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer
The Fog (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Legend says that Antonio Bay was built in 1880 with blood money obtained from shipwrecked lepers but no one believes it. On the eve of the town's centennial many plan to attend the celebrations, including the murdered lepers.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A small town's women give birth to unfriendly alien children posing as humans.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski
Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

After a freak accident, an invisible yuppie runs for his life from a treacherous CIA official while trying to cope with his new life.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Sam Neill
Christine (1983)
Action | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A nerdish boy buys a strange car with an evil mind of its own and his nature starts to change to reflect it.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Keith Gordon, John Stockwell, Alexandra Paul
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

In 1997, when the US President crashes into Manhattan, now a giant maximum security prison, a convicted bank robber is sent in for a rescue.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An All-American trucker gets dragged into a centuries-old mystical battle in Chinatown.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun
Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Snake Plissken is once again called in by the United States government to recover a potential doomsday device from Los Angeles, now an autonomous island where undesirables are deported.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi, Stacy Keach
Dark Star (1974)
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the far reaches of space, a small crew, 20 years into their solitary mission, find things beginning to go hilariously wrong.

Director: John Carpenter
Stars: Dan O'Bannon, Dre Pahich, Brian Narelle


Cast overview, first billed only:
Sutter Cane (as Jurgen Prochnow)
Guard #1
Gene Mack ...
Guard #2
Conrad Bergschneider ...
Marvin Scott ...
Katherine Ashby ...


With the disappearance of hack horror writer Sutter Cane, all Hell is breaking loose...literally! Author Cane, it seems, has a knack for description that really brings his evil creepy-crawlies to life. Insurance investigator John Trent is sent to investigate Cane's mysterious vanishing act and ends up in the sleepy little East Coast town of Hobb's End. The fact that this town exists as a figment of Cane's twisted imagination is only the beginning of Trent's problems. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Lived Any Good Books Lately? See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for images of horror, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

3 February 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)


$8,946,600 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At one point during filming of the "Wall of Monsters" sequence, the Wall of Monsters ran over Greg Nicotero's foot. See more »


(at around 1h 11 mins) When Sutter Cane peels himself away to reveal the abyss, although most of his upper half is no longer "in reality" his shadow on the wall behind him remains perfectly intact. See more »


John Trent: God's not supposed to be a hack horror writer.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Animal interaction was monitored by the American Humane Association with on set supervision by the Toronto Humane Society. No animal was harmed in the making of this film. Human interaction was monitored by the Inter Planetary Psychiatric Association. The body count was high, the casualties are heavy. See more »


Referenced in Frostbitten (2006) See more »


Written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams
Performed by The Carpenters
Published by Irving Music, Inc. (BMI)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

In the Mind of John Carpenter

What a treat of a film this was. It is witty, intelligent, and scary. The basic plot premise is anything but basic as the line between reality and fantasy is almost indistinguishable through most of the film. What is going on? Who really knows...I'm not sure even director John Carpenter knows. But what we do get is a guessing game of what is real and un-real in a very stylish, sophisticated, almost bizarre fashion. The film opens in a mental asylum with protagonist Sam Neill being put in a padded cell whilst in a straight-jacket. The setting is larger than life. The characters around Neill are caricatures for the most part. John Glover plays a doctor(Doctor Saperstein...a possible homage to Rosemary's Baby) with complete camp. David Warner, another doctor, begins talking to Neill and asking him about what happened. The rest of the film then details what Neill did working with regards to a lost author named Sutter Cane. The plot is much more complicated than that and may take subsequent viewings to fully understand WHAT can be understood. The end result is at the very least a very gratifying one as Carpenter constructs a dream-like story that has obvious roots in both the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft and Stephen King. The acting is good all around...Neill is excellent as John Trent. He makes a very believable presence in a sea of un-reality. Julie Carmen is also very good in her role. Look for Charlton Heston as a publisher and Bernie Casey in a cameo as well. Kudos to Mr. Carpenter for bringing his visions of horror to the silver screen once again. This may be his best film...certainly his most thought-provoking and sophisticated.

53 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
My take on why some fans seem to be disappointed with his films-- jswindter01
In the Mouth of Madness....with John Trent? Brenapp
Another Carpenter's Mess dude_everhard
Trent delivered the book to the publishers months ago??? Brenapp
Scariest scene? nikhartley
Anyone think Stiles was deliberately acted poorly? YRLY59E
Discuss In the Mouth of Madness (1994) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: