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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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Conclusion: ‘This is a Rotten Way to End It’

Conclusion: ‘This is a Rotten Way to End It’

Chapter:
(p.105) Conclusion: ‘This is a Rotten Way to End It’
Source:
In the Mouth of Madness
Author(s):

Michael Blyth

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781911325406.003.0009

This concluding chapter argues that the narrative of John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness (1995) positions artistic creativity as deadly. However, the film as a whole can be read as a celebration of art and, more specifically, of horror as a legitimate mode of intellectual expression. Philosophically speaking, the film is a frisky hybrid of nihilistic Lovecraftian cosmicism and thoroughly playful 1990s postmodernism — complete with joking genre references and deft sociological satire. The film may be dealing with some heavy philosophical themes, but it is important not to forget that part of the pleasure of Carpenter's horrific brand of postmodernism lies in its sense of independent, anarchic creativity. This may well be one of Carpenter's most fatalistic works, but at the same time it is one of his most perversely playful, and most joyous.

Keywords:   John Carpenter, In the Mouth of Madness, artistic creativity, horror, intellectual expression, Lovecraftian cosmicism, postmodernism, sociological satire

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