Horrorfest Presents: Jacob’s Ladder (1990, Adrian Lyne)

For some reason psychological horror thrillers were a big thing in the late 1980s and 1990s. They were usually well made and had a higher pedigree than many lower budget horror films. Jacob’s Ladder was one of them, and it’s a great and freaky journey into the psyche of its main character, played by the famous actor Tim Robbins. Robbins does a fantastic job of conveying man on the verge of madness, haunted by his past. Adrian Lyne does a fine job of visually presenting these nightmares and giving us a window into Jacob’s shattered mind.

Dealing with his troubles are his girlfriend, Jezzie, played by Elizabeth Peña and his chiropractor, Louis (Danny Aiello). Neither though really has answers for what is going on with Jacob, and even his own old army unit fails to give him any peace. One scene where Jacob is wheeled through a hospital is quite freaky, and there are other eerie moments that make the viewer wonder what is really going on.

My only major complaint about this film is that I already knew certain major details. I wish I could have seen this in theaters back in 1990, as I’m sure that this movie surprised many movie goers. I consider this to be a well made horror drama, one that is much tragic as it is scary. Also it’s too bad that even decades later Vietnam and other war vets suffer from the traumatic events of war.

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