Jacob's Ladder ★★★★

As a psychological thriller Jacob's Ladder works as a paranoia filled nightmare, not just for protagonist Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) but for me the viewer. I must be honest and say I had a little bit of trouble following this and although it's a riveting watch, I found it very confusing.
A Vietnam veteran who starts to have hallucinations would normally be attributed to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These ones however are rather disturbing and as the tension and creepy factor starts to skyrocket there seems more to these sinister goings-on that meets the eye. Never quite sure what is real and what is fantasy, I joined Tim Robbins on the crazy train here. It's brilliantly done. From the duel lives of life with his wife and children to the sultry sexy shenanigans with lover Elizabeth Pena, it's not clear where and when Jacob really is. Paranoia, flashbacks and horned demons haunt his dreams even when he's awake, but the creepiest of all was Michael Jackson's blonde sleepover buddy Macauley Culkin as Jacob's dead son. A visit from him attempted to bring all the strands together in Jacob's nightmare, but all he did was make me ask even more questions of myself like, "did I miss something here?" This may well unfold more clearly for me on a rewatch but it's still a thoroughly intriguing film with a dark and uncomfortable atmosphere honed to make you doubt everything you see.

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