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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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‘Isn’t He the Guy Who Writes that Horror Crap?’

‘Isn’t He the Guy Who Writes that Horror Crap?’

Chapter:
(p.77) Chapter 6: ‘Isn’t He the Guy Who Writes that Horror Crap?’
Source:
In the Mouth of Madness
Author(s):

Michael Blyth

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781911325406.003.0007

This chapter assesses the various modes of self-reflexivity evident in John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness (1995), and how they are used to create meaning and subvert audience expectations. In the Mouth of Madness is many things. It is a tribute to H.P. Lovecraft and an homage to Stephen King. It is a critique of religious fanaticism and a comment on the fragility of human existence. But, perhaps more than anything, In the Mouth of Madness is a film about horror. A loving tribute to one of cinema's most consistently misunderstood and vilified modes of artistic expression, the film scrutinises and questions the very nature of fear and how it affects its audience, demanding the genre be both celebrated and given the respect it deserves. In doing so, it positions John Carpenter himself at the very centre, self-reflexively pondering his role as artist and creator of horrific images.

Keywords:   John Carpenter, In the Mouth of Madness, H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, religious fanaticism, human existence, horror genre, horror cinema, fear

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