The H.P. Lovecraft Wiki

This subject is written on a topic in the real world and reflects factual information. 🐙 In the Mouth of Madness is a 1994 psychological/supernatural horror film written by acclaimed American director John Carpenter, written by Michael De Luca, and starring Sam Neill.


The story follows John Trent, an insurance agent tasked with tracking down horror writer Sutter Cane, who has gone missing in the midst of a bizarre epidemic. As his investigations lead him to the area of New England in which much of Cane's fiction is set, Trent's sanity begins to fray. Arriving at the town of Hobb's End, a New Hampshire town created by Cane for his stories, revelations uncovered in Sutter's latest manuscript tear at Trent's sanity and destroy his companion's mind.

Finally escaping the nightmare town of Hobb's end, Trent's experiences lead to a complete mental breakdown, and he is confined to an asylum. The radio announcement that the world has been conquered by ancient monsters frees him from his imprisonment, and the film ends with Trent realising that he is nothing more than a character in the stories of Sutter Cane.

Behind the Mythos[]

Despite containing little to directly connect the film to the works of H. P. Lovecraft or the Cthulhu Mythos, the exploration of the concept of insanity in In the Mouth of Madness is very Lovecraftian, as is the motif of Old Ones returning to reclaim the Earth from humankind.

Additionally, many of the names mentioned in the film are nods to various works of Lovecraft's, such as the titles of Sutter Cane's books- Haunter out of Time ("The Haunter of the Dark" and The Shadow Out of Time), The Hobbs End Horror, The Thing in the Basement, and The Whisperer of the Dark. A character named Mrs. Pickman also makes an appearance, and the title of the film is a play on the novella At the Mountains of Madness.

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