Saturday, March 12, 2011

6. Jacob's Ladder

Title:        Jacob's Ladder
Year:        1990
Genre:      Supernatural Thriller
Type:        A-Movie
Run Time: 113
Theatrical MPAA Rating: R-Rated


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Director Adrian Lyne ("Fatal Attraction") takes you on an intense, horrifying journey with a shocking ending that will haunt you forever. 

Tim Robbins is Jacob Singer, a man who lives in a nightmare. Wounded in Vietnam, he's now back at home in New York City. Torn between the memories of his son and terrifying wartime demons, Jacob is slowly losing his grip on reality. His beautiful girlfriend (Elizabeth Peña) only adds confusion to his life, drawing him into a web of sexual intrigue, but ultimately, it's his friend Louis (Danny Aiello of Do the Right Thing), who turns out to be the only one Jacob can truly count on.

Alternative Synopsis
Personal Thoughts

Jacob's Ladder (said to be one of the main inspirations for the Silent Hill video game series) is a 1990 psychological/supernatural thriller, directed by Adrian Lyne, starring Tim Robbins. 

It was one of those movies that I pretty much dismissed as "not being scary" when I was a kid. It wasn't until the late 90's that I came to appreciate these types of films -- scary movies emphasizing psychological conflict rather than physical conflict.

After initially seeing the film in the early 90's, I didn't end up getting a chance to watch it again until 2001 (about 10 years after I'd seen it the first time), and it's amazing how much an opinion can change over time. It was almost as though I was watching it for the first time. Since then, I've now seen the movie many times, each time, coming to the same conclusion -- that Jacob's Ladder is a good, well written, clever, supernatural thriller, one that didn't get enough credit when it first came out. At least from me, it didn't.

When watching Jacob's Ladder, I definitely see elements of Silent Hill (the famous hospital scene coupled with a nice twist ending). If you're a fan of Silent Hill, then you probably won't have much difficulty recognizing the similarities. I also see references to other movies in there as well. It appears as though several movies got some of their inspiration from Jacob's Ladder.

Drama meets supernatural, meets psychological, meets suspense ... is how I'd describe Jacob's Ladder. "Is he traumatized, is he crazy, has he been exposed to some type of biochemical warfare ... What the heck is wrong with this guy", are some of the questions I found myself asking while watching this movie. 

Is Jacob's Ladder Scary?

I'll describe Jacob's Ladder as being more disturbing rather than out right scary. Although it may not be real scary to most people, it definitely does have its share of eerie moments and unsettling images. If you're the type of person who frightens easily, then it may actually scare you.

In closing, I enjoyed Jacob's Ladder. Good plot, good acting, and good casting, often results in a good product. I've decided to make it my next movie recommendation (sixth recommendation overall). It may be an older one, but it's worth checking out if you've missed it, or haven't seen it in a while.

 What I liked:

- The feeling of confusion - Not knowing if the experiences were real or in his head
- The nice blend of the Supernatural with the Psychological
- The Ending

What I didn't like:

- At times (mainly in the war scenes) the inappropriate language got strong (it's war, so I know that sort of thing does tend to happen)
- The movie does feel as though it can drag at times
- the special edition Jacob's Ladder DVD (the one that I own) doesn't have English Subtitles, I tend to use subtitles often, perhaps more often than the average person (Just thought I throw that one in there)
My Ratings

How good was it:             

How scary was it:        

How much did I enjoy it:

Jacob's Ladder Extras:

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

Frankly? More frightening than the recent Evil Dead to me. Psychological horror strikes a raw nerve in me for a variety of reasons. If you're one of those people who're more afraid of what's inside of yourself than outside, I can safely bet that this film will scare the shit out of you. At several points I just had to pause it before it got too intense, something which I'd never have to do during The Grudge.

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