October 10, 2020

The Evil Within The Mouth Of Madness (Spooktober 2020)

The Evil Within

You’ve guessed it. The Evil Within and In The Of Madness are our picks for the second entry of the Spooktober Halloween picks. The first being a pick for a great horror video game, while the second is a horror movie pick. Perfect for Spooktober indeed.

As you can probably already tell, we at IndieGala are doing a Spooketober initiative. Where every Saturday in the month of October, we’re going to suggest and review fantastic horror video games and horror movies. And let’s not forget, the Spooktober initiative will end on October 31st or Halloween night. Which video games and movies we have prepared for that day? Wait and see.

The Evil Within

The Evil Within Is Next On Our List

So, with Survivalists and Fantasy Island behind us, let’s move on to the next video game/movie suggestions. And a suggestion of a movie/game combo that I actual liked. The Evil Within and In The Mouth Of Madness. But let’s present The Evil Within first, and I’ll get to In The Mouth Of Madness later in this post.

What’s The Evil Within All About?

Developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks, The Evil Within is a third person, survival horror game like no other. Developed by Shinji Mikami (aka creator of the seminal Resident Evil series), The Evil Within puts you in the shoes of Sebastian Castellanos. Or more specifically, the protagonist in the video game. After seeing the slaughter of fellow officers, Sebastian is ambushed and knocked unconscious. But when he awakens, he finds himself in a deranged world where hideous creatures wander among the dead. Facing unimaginable terror, and fighting for survival, Sebastian embarks on a frightening journey to unravel what’s behind this evil force. It’s a thrilling and incredibly scary game. What else would you expect from Shinji Mikami, – the father of survival horror?

  • The Evil Within

And yes. We do have The Evil Within here at IndieGala, in case you’re wondering. But if you’re a fan of a survival horror game then this is the perfect pick for you. Make sure you get it. It’s precisely this game that led me to another (yet much older) classic. And yes, I will try my best to avoid spoilers, but the movie is almost a quarter of a century old. Come on!

The Evil Within’s Similarities With In The Mouth Of Madness

Oh how this is a much underrated John Carpenter movie. One might say, his finest from the ’90s and probably the last decent Carpenter movie altogether. And to be perfectly honest, this movie is in my top 5 Carpenter movies for sure. It’s so cheesy and creepy at the same time. And much like with a lot of the movies and TV series I get to write about here at IndieGala, In The Mouth Of Madness, was also a late discovery. One might say that it remained one of the few movies I haven’t seen, and last year it finally came on my radar. And if you’re a fan of HP Lovecraft, then you’ll love it even more.  It even has some direct quotes from Lovecraft’s books, among the themes and, well, monsters. Which every fan will appreciate I’m sure. I know I did. The Evil Within has such inspirations as well.

The blurred lines between fiction and reality is also something both the movie and the game have in common. Blending the natural, supernatural and the intricacies of the human mind will make you question reality.

In The Mouth Of Madness

An Investigator On An Assignment

Sam Neill is John Trent in In The Mouth Of Madness. A skeptic and a freelance insurance investigator as well. And in the first 15 minutes or so, Trent is hired by the head of a publishing agency (Charlton Heston) to investigate the disappearance of Sutter Cane. A popular horror novelist (similar to the likes of Steven King). Some of his readers have already gone insane while reading his books, and so is the case with Cane’s agent. So, along with Cane’s editor (Julie Carmen) they’ll head out to New England (more specifically Hobb’s End) to find out the truth. But what they’ll find out there is even more frightening than the truth. It’s something that not even the rational Trent can even fathom.

The Story Demands A Second Viewing

Much like the plot itself, the movie is blurring the lines between fiction and reality. Visually and thematically. And because of that and the convoluted storytelling too, the movie demands a second viewing. I must admit that was the case with me. To get a better understanding of the story, especially in the second half of the movie.

And although it does have its fair share of jump scares, the VFX and the practical effects make the thrilling, scary watching experience. The story is the one that sells the movie, but the visuals help that sell go smoother. And speaking of the plot, it’s much more complex and intriguing, that we give it credit. It’s easy to take for granted such a scary and peculiar story and dismiss it as silly and even cheesy. No. This is a very effective horror film that goes deep into your mind and never let us go. And I love that.

In The Mouth Of Madness

Sam Neill Takes Center Stage

You can safely say, that Sam Neill takes the center stage in this movie. He’s in almost every scene and the movie is centered on his assignment. And although most of the time we see him with a female companion (Julie Carmen), he’s in a relatively solitary position. Neill carries the entire weight of the movie on his shoulders, and does a fine job at that I must say. But although small, there’s a significant presence of the screen legends Jürgen Prochnow, David Warner and even Oscar winner Charlton Heston. But yeah. Sam is the star here.

And here’s a small side-note remark. This is the first rock influenced soundtrack in any John Carpenter movie. Yes, it deviates from the music in his earlier (80’s movies) and in a good way. Especially the intro scene is filled with guitars, drums and the good old rock music. Not only is the intro scene a relic from the past, put the music that’s used in, is a relic as well. You don’t see a lot of intros like this anymore.

Creepy Bike GIF | Gfycat

The Second Half Really Shines

Although scary, the first half of the movie is nowhere near as terrifying as the second half. Over there you’ll find a fabulous mix of practical and special effects, in a true Carpenter fashion. The now very outdated CGI and some of the monstrous creatures actually blend together nicely and amp up the scare factor. All made with a combination of men in suits, animatronics and a full-sized “wall” of creatures. It took over thirty people to operate the monsters, and you clearly see the effort. They’re awesome.

In The Mouth Of Madness Directed by John Carpenter (1994) | John carpenter,  New nightmare, Movie director

But, this is the movie in which the actors themselves are scary, not just the special effects in which they act. The late Frances Bay is just as terrifying as Mrs. Pickman, and so is the late Wilhelm von Homburg. But one thing that distinguishes this movie and frankly separates it from the rest, is that it’s cerebral. And poignant. It makes you follow the story. The visual (or dare I say visceral) horror is there to make a better sell of the story, but the story is already a bestseller.

In The Mouth Of Madness is a movie perfect for a Halloween movie pick and frankly for any occasion when you’d want a good scare.

The Evil Within And In The Mouth Of Madness For Spooktober

Are you a fan of The Evil Within? How about In The Mouth of Madness? Tell us why. We’d love to know all about your impressions.

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