1990 Directed by Adrian Lyne
Starring Tim Robbins
To be frank, this movie selects audiences.
I wonder about eight of ten persons might get confused halfway and stop watching it.
However, Jacob's Ladder is one of my greatest harvest that affected my work in the 1990s.
Speaking of Adrian Lyne, he is a director well known for the hit of Fatal Attraction, which I haven't watched though. Those days, the reputation Jacob's Ladder got was just the work positively using subliminal effects, and there were almost no reviews that referred its content. Its video package was also modest and didn't attract me.
However, the jacket of Jacob's Ladder I witnessed at the laser disc corner featured a picture of the monstrous face that was almost mistaken for Hellraiser.
"What is this? Is Jacob's Ladder a horror movie?" Suddenly getting interested, I decided to rent and watch the video.
There were embarrassment, admiration, and impression. The factors I didn't understand in my first watching were getting clearer in the second time and the third time. Simultaneously with it, the mystery deepened further.
Such movie experience would be once or so in ten years to encounter.
The film begins from a scene of the Vietnam War. The leading character Jacob Singer gets seriously injured in the midst of confusion of a combat. The next scene turns around at the subway in New York. An uncanny atmosphere fills up and a strange face emerges for a moment on a window of the passing train. The camera follows Jacob, who is confused and unaware what is real and what is illusion.
Jacob works as a postman and lives together with his coworker, Jezzie.
He goes to a dance party with Jezzie. A black female palm reader sees the lines of Jacob's palm and says "It(your life line)'s ended... You're already dead." At the dance hall, in the blinking light, Jacob sees appearances of ugly monsters, starts panic and faints.
Jacob wakes up at a quiet bedroom. Here, he has a wife and three children. Was everything he'd seen a dream?
He finds himself being carried on a stretcher in the jungle in Vietnam.
Then, he regains consciousness as the postman.
Jacob receives contact from a man who was the same party in Vietnam, and meets him.
The man is extraordinarily frightened. He says he sees the demons. Jacob confesses that he sees the same thing.
When they are parting, the man gets killed with a bomb secretly set in his car.
Jacob gets a certain suspicion. Is everything the conspiracy of the army? Were Jacob's party members used as the subject of a certain drug in Vietnam, and does its side effect make them see the illusion of the demons? And the bomb was set for muzzling?
However, the trip of Jacob's soul was not finished yet...At the beginning, it looks like a war movie, and then develops like a horror picture. Next it makes an impression of a family drama, and then develops like a political conspiracy story. And finally it reveals that it was, so to speak, a modern version of Dante's Divine Comedy.
I can't tell every charm of the work in this short text at all. I wish you will watch the movie and enjoy its gem.
I recommend the DVD of this title, since it includes deleted scenes and the description by the director Adrian Lyne and the screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin, which help you understand the work.