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>
The Mrs. Pickman creature was shot as a miniature. Originally it was a man in a suit prosthetic, but John Carpenter didn't find it convincing enough. 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 »
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.
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