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In the Mouth of Madness$
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Michael Blyth

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781911325406

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781911325406.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Introduction: ‘Maybe He’s Too Sophisticated For You?’

Introduction: ‘Maybe He’s Too Sophisticated For You?’

(p.7) Introduction: ‘Maybe He’s Too Sophisticated For You?’
(p.3) Devil’s Advocates

Michael Blyth

Liverpool University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness. When the film opened in 1995, it received a response sadly all too familiar for Carpenter: one of general indifference. Flagrantly disregarding the film's conceptual scope and narrative complexities, Roger Ebert's review was representative of a frustratingly predictable critical refusal to engage with the film on an intellectual level — much like Pauline Kael, he seemed closed off to the idea that a horror movie could offer something smart, something other than ‘dumb’ scares. While In the Mouth of Madness has collected its fair share of admirers along the way, it has not received anywhere near the critical and academic reassessment afforded to other Carpenter classics. As such, the reason for this book is to reappraise and reclaim a film still undervalued by horror fans and critics alike, and rightly position it as one of John Carpenter's most accomplished and compelling pieces of work.

Keywords:   John Carpenter, In the Mouth of Madness, horror movie, horror fans, horror critics

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