Reviews: Jacobs Ladder
Haunting, but Beautiful.
In two minutes of the opening sequence, Jacob's Ladder quickly puts on a serene, if depressing mood. The sunset washed over the screen, helicopters flying through the place. The camera finally lands on the characters, and we see the film using about two minutes again to establish said characters on camera, just goofing off and reminiscing on their lives before the Vietnam War. Then all hell breaks loose. But it was just a dream, a far away memory. Former Vietnam vet Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) is plagued by his past experiences once again, he now lives in with Jezebel (Elizabeth Peņa) after a tragic accident splits him from his family, long before the war. Jacob is adjusting to normal life once again, however... his life turns upside down when he is visited by forces beyond his understanding. Even stranger is that whatever is going after him is also going after his old war time buddies. That's all I'm going to say about the plot for now. Jacob's Ladder is an immensly horrifying experience, but not in the traditional "something jumps out and goes 'ABLOOGY-WOOGY-WOO!' at your face" kind of way (the entire movie only has one jumpscare, but it is completely unexpected, be warned). No, this is a Psychological Thriller that takes the viewer by the hand and forces them to go through the same horrific stuff that nice guy Jacob is going through. Tim Robbins' performance as Jacob Singer in this movie really sells, as a man who has lot much in his life and is now dealing with something that he can't understand, nor reason with. The rest of the cast give believable performances as well. As a result the movie feels very real, which makes the crazy stuff twice as scary. I have to warn people who are going into this movie completely blind that there is a ton of visceral, sickening shit in this movie, some of which can make weak-willed viewers throw up. I'm not joking, one of my friends straight up yakked during a certain scene which I will not spoil. Maurice Jarre's score is perfect, going from terrifying to heartwrenching when the scene calls for it. All of the nightmare-inducing scenes are shot from angles that convey terror perfectly. Combine that with the nauseating imagery, Maurice Jarre's score and Tim Robbins' performance and you get an amazing, fucked up experience. But before you can even anticipate it, the film can switch tone from being scary to sob-inducing. Again, Maurice Jarre's score and the performances from everyone bring these scenes to life and they are just as immersive as the scary stuff. It's hard to point out flaws, because there are so little to be found. Really, it will take multiple viewings to find nitpicks because this movie is a beautiful, depressing and horrifying experience. Highly recommend it to Psychological Thriller fans, Silent Hill fans and just about anyone looking for a soulful experience. 9.8/10