Thursday, October 21, 2010

Movie Appraisal: Jacob's Ladder (1990)

Jacob's Ladder just so happens to be my favorite horror film of all time. Why is this? Because it is a damn good film.

I'm not going to explain much about its superb plot, but I will say that it is single-handedly the best psychological horror film I've ever seen, and when my genre of choice is psychological horror, that is saying something. Now, I understand, a lot of people don't know about this movie. A lot of people don't care either. What I'm saying is that people should care. This is one of the few films that people should watch and go, "Wow, I... I don't know what to say... but I like it!"

The chances of that happening are low though. If you don't like David Lynch of some of Cronenberg's trippier movies, don't watch this one. Seriously. It's much more... out there than a lot of movies, and that's not a bad thing, but it's something that most seem to find highly disagreeable.

This film has a story, but it is really weird, and as I said before, I kind of would like to avoid getting into it. instead I'm going to talk of the fantastic visual effects and... well, the look of the movie. It pioneered a lot of psychological horror tropes, including the fast-shaking head kind of deal used in many games and movies afterwards, as well as introducing some of the creepiest scenes in a mainstream type of movie ever.

Yeah, I know there are some trippy films out there, but how many of them are mainstream? How many of them are Adrian Lyne who also happened to direct Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal? Actually seeing the other movies he did, it's interesting to note just how different Jacob's Ladder is from the rest. It's actually quite fascinating, especially because Lyne did a really good job with the movie despite not exactly having a background in making movies like this.

I guess this movie can be hard to follow. Honestly, it took me watching this movie twice to actually get some parts of it. It's complicated and there is heavy symbolism in almost every character, situation, and visual.

The film is put together beautifully. I can't help recommending this film to everybody I meet, but I will give a warning: This film is not for everyone. It's tough to watch at points, and it is also very much a horror film despite some beautiful visuals and filmography.

I could watch this film over and over again and never get tired of it. I find that I literally cannot find any real flaws to this movie. I wish all movies were this movie or like this movie because then I'd be happy and wouldn't have to rant about stupid freaking movies like Cast a Deadly Spell.

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