Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Catching up on some reviews of films from the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die book. I don’t know if these films “must” be seen, but they’re good films, many of you would enjoy and/or appreciate.

Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
Dir. Adrian Lyne
Starring: Tim Robbins

The solid and creative direction stands out for me, and I think other idiots would appreciate it–especially Joel and Penny; the film will draw you in from the beginning and keep your interest.

The story follows a Vietnam vet, Jacob (Tim Robbins) as he is haunted by weird and/or dangerous encounters. The film is combination horror (although mild by today’s standards) and conspiracy film. There are elements that remind me of David Lynch, too.

Lyne creates a good flow of the film particularly the way the shooting of dream sequences and transitions back to reality scenes. The effects and other techniques hold up well. I can’t remember enough specifics to talk about. I liked the fact that he One of the weaknesses of the film for me was the theology, specifically the notion that when we die spiritual beings strip away are earthly memories so we can move on to the afterlife. Resisting this process makes these beings appear as demons, while accepting it makes them seem appear as angels. There are Biblical allusions with the names of characters like Jacob and Jezebel, but I haven’t thought enough about the film to determine the significance of the names.

The plot point about the way Jacob learns about the cause of his death seemed questionable. If Jacob was on his death bed, how did the scientist appear in his mind/dream to give an explanation. I felt like the Vietnam conspiracy and death storylines didn’t seem to mess really well, but perhaps that’s a minor point.

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