Mainstream Hollywood's version of a David Lynch film, so it naturally feels slick and in some ways more confusing than a Lynch film; its Hollywood structure feels at odds with its nightmare nature. Nevertheless, it is effective. It's also nice to see Jason Alexander in a cast against type role. Bruce Joel Rubin, who wrote this and Ghost, definitely had a voice.
It brings unique atmosphere of urban dread and infested interiors that are appropriately combined with existential crisis and nightmares. Unfortunately, the script doesn't hold well with idiosyncratic vision – the plot is carelessly complex and quotes fail to sound poetic, but are rather pretentiously lifeless. Tim Robbins is miscast as a character who is too sloppy to be anything other than that.
"The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of life - your memories, your attachments. The devil will burn them all away. He is not punishing you. He is freeing your soul. So if you're frightened of dying and and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth."
"If you're frightened of dying and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearing your life away. If you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freeing you from the earth". This quote hits me to hard. It's a moral relativism, but also a statement of mind. Depends on how you feel. PTSD is really a disturbing thing.
La película goza de unas atmósferas inquietantes y muy logradas a lo largo de su metraje. Lamentablemente el interés se pierde a medida que se va volviendo obvia y explicativa en su discurso. La escena del protagonista ascendiendo al cielo de la mano de su hijo es terriblemente cursi.
It's no surprise that the premise and the disturbing imaginary had an influence on the future of horror (surprise, I'm a Silent Hill fan). Mixing a blend of psychological horror and nightmare into what is and isn't real. But on a repeated viewing it loses some of it's edge. I feel Tim Robbins wasn't quite right for the part (still well acted) and it goes just a bit too long. Still, this style of horror is rare.
"It is easy to go down to hell; Night and Day the Gates of Dark Death stand wide; But to climb back up again, to retrace ones steps to the open air, there lies the problem, the difficult task." -Virgil, The Aeneid, Book VI. Yet, "The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." -John Milton. The film's pluses and minuses lie in the contradiction.
A seriously disturbing piece of cinema that has managed to not lose its punch with age. Robbins is perfectly cast as a the every-man losing his mind (or is he?) and sells the character in every scene. There is some standout support from Aiello. The direction is very assured and the makers of this movie conjure up both dread and surreal and nightmarish imagery that'll stay with you. A real hell-trip!
This did something unexpected and really rather smart in my opinion. Instead of going for the demonic hellraisers as the enemy of the movie, it realizes government experimentation and war as the monster. In frightening visuals and paranoia, it puts you in the mind of a PTSD sufferer, and what it could be like to be lose your mind. In the end it goes for a bitter-sweet note, which works nicely for the film.