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Jacob’s Ladder (1990, not the 2019 remake)

Discussion in 'Movies, Music & Television' started by Markness, Mar 10, 2021.

  1. Markness

    Markness Young God

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    I didn’t know about this movie until the last quarter of the previous year after my younger brother became a fan of the Silent Hill games and we both found out this movie was a heavy influence on them. The fact it was directed by Adrian Lyne after he did Fatal Attraction made me more interested in watching it.

    The tagline of the film really lets you know what you are in for: The most frightening thing about Jacob Singer’s nightmare is that he isn’t dreaming. The film truly does have a nightmarish tone to it, especially since it’s a psychological horror. While there is some blood and a small amount of gore, the real horror comes from the unsettling visions Jacob experiences, his despair over the death of his son, and how he can no longer trust his own mind. The intensity of this film was stronger than what I felt watching most horror movies people are familiar with like The Exorcist and one of the few movies that rivals it in my opinion is Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession (1981). As indicated by the title, there is some religious symbolism in the film but it does not ever become preachy or pretentious.

    The film opens in 1971 with Jacob Singer with his platoon in Vietnam which comes under attack. His buddies start suffering from strange convulsions and he runs into the jungles only to be stabbed by an out of shot attacker. He then next finds himself in a New York subway in 1975 as if he woke from a dream and soon starts seeing bizarre things almost everywhere he goes. Some of these visions are of unearthly figures whose faces twist and contort violently like some of the monsters in Silent Hill. As the visions get worse and his surviving friends express similar stories, he attempts to uncover what’s really happening to him. It leads into a journey that is both intense as well as heart string tugging.

    According to Adrian Lyne, test audiences found the movie overwhelming so he removed 20 minutes of footage before it was released in cinemas. A TV version of the movie once aired with a number of these scenes restored and they can also be seen on the DVD releases as well as in the two making of documentaries. The movie is already disturbing but after seeing what’s been preserved of the removed footage as well as what the script describes of what hasn’t yet been shown yet, the film would’ve been even more horrifying.

    I haven’t watched the 2019 remake and all the reviews I’ve read as well as watched say it is an insult to the original since it removes certain aspects of the original such as a father’s despair and the deeper questions asked by replacing them with cliched jump scares and action sequences.

    Does anyone else have thoughts on this movie?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2021
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  2. Kalinychta

    Kalinychta Well-Known Member

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    I’ve always meant to watch this film but have never gotten around to it. I’ll check it out.
     
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  3. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would probably spend more time diving behind the sofa than watching this. It does sound interesting though, maybe if they took out all the horror scenes and added pink fluffy (horror) kittens, I could enjoy that version... I am not very visual normally, so the intensity of horror depictions is usually too high for me to watch.
     
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  4. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    That movie scared the crap out of me when I first saw it in my teens.
     
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  5. Raggamuffin

    Raggamuffin Well-Known Member

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    It's a good film. I remember I picked the hospital scene for a Film Studies presentation back in uni. How the scene went from a hospital setting and became more and more nightmarish.

    Ed
     
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  6. Catherine Read

    Catherine Read Member

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    I remember watching this years ago, a good film indeed. I didn't know about the 2019 remake though. I might give the original a rewatch as its been ages since I saw it.
     
  7. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    Agreed- the original was a good film. :cool:

    One with a proper fright/surprise ending long before producers like M. Night Shyamalan spoiled such a premise made so often that we could predict the story's outcome before the halfway point of his movies. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
  8. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    This is what I thought the thread was about. Enjoy! :)

     
  9. Markness

    Markness Young God

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    For those who’ve seen the movie but not the removed footage, here are some videos, including the trailer and making of’s, that have both snippets and full scenes of what was preserved of it. Most of the deleted footage occurs after Jacob meets Michael and learns of the drug that was called the ladder. We also get some closure on what happened to Jacob’s girlfriend, Jezzie.









     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
  10. Markness

    Markness Young God

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    This sequence I find to be very powerful.

     
  11. Streetwise

    Streetwise Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I was confused I thought someone had made a movie at the time Jacob saw in a dream angels walking down a ladder