Saturday, October 10, 2015

Jacob's Ladder ** (1990)

A curiosity from 1990, Jacob's Ladder contains some horror elements, but is more of a supernatural thriller.  File it under a "What is reality?" type movie. Starring Tim Robbins as a Vietnam vet who endured awful trauma and subsequent amnesia.  Early on it's clear Jacob's world is way out of joint. Experiencing terrifying visions he's unable to explain to the people around him, Jacob starts to question his sanity. As Jacob's visions intensify it is revealed the army conducted drug experiments on his unit. The dreamlike logic and urban noir make for a haunting atmosphere but an incoherent story.  The script's all over the map and I suspect the studio meddled with the final cut.  Despite its flaws, Jacob's Ladder is worth a look for its strange tone and thoughtful meditation on memory and mortality.

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