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In Heaven, everything is fine.
In Heaven, everything is fine.
You've got your good things. And I've got mine.
A 1977 surrealist horror film by David Lynch.
Henry Spencer was on vacation. Mary X, his old girlfriend, had a deformed baby. "They're still not sure if it is a baby." She gave it to him and left. He had difficulty raising it.
There was a lady speaking from his radiator. There was a Beautiful Girl Across The Hall. There was a man in a pencil factory. There was a planet.
The film is slow paced, almost completely void of dialogue, and can safely be called the most popular student art film ever made. It is beautiful, terrifying, and uses hauntingly realistic effects.
This Film Provides Examples Of:
- All Just a Dream: Another common interpretation is that Henry is having a dream about his life and problems, and the light at the end is the sun waking him up.
- Alien Geometries: Henry walking into the "factory" door (actually an unusually shaped bridge abutment in industrial Philadelphia)
- Babies Make Everything Better: Horribly subverted. Wait until you see it.
- The Bible: Lynch stated that a single verse is what revealed his entire vision of the film. Of course, he'll never reveal what that verse was.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: The chicken, the baby.
- Blade of Grass Cut: Frequent, unsettling cuts to unrelated, often unidentifiable objects.
- BLAM Episode: All of it, one big Blam.
- Body Horror: Henry's baby, The Man in the Planet's skin, The Lady in the Radiator's cheekbones, etc.
- Body Motifs: Heads.
- Cloudcuckoolander/Dysfunction Junction: Everyone.
- Crapsack World/Cosmic Horror Story: Crapsack mainly in the sense of having a world with no logical order or cause of events. Also in the sense of The Man In the Planet controlling things or if you believe Henry's baby is the personification of fate.
- Dead Baby Comedy: Frighteningly subverted when the recently killed baby comes back to life and eats Henry.
- Death by Sex: Less of a Death by Sex than a Death by Parenthood.
- Deliberately Monochrome
- Deranged Animation: Perfectly describes the clay animation that the worm moves in during one transitory scene.
- Diesel Punk
- Dream Land: One interpretation of the world in the radiator.
- Emerging From the Shadows
- The Eyes Have It
- Fetus Terrible
- Gainax Beginning: One of the more difficult scenes to place chronologically is the beginning, a slow zoom onto what appears to be an asteroid. It is inhabited by the Man in the Planet. (God? Satan?)
- Gorn: The chicken meat, which spews blood when Henry cuts it. Also, a dead tree in one of Henry′s hallucinations, and the baby when it′s killed.
- Grumpy Old Man: Bill, Mary′s father.
- Ghost City: Very few people seem to live in the city where Henry does.
- Humanoid Abomination: The baby. Lampshaded by Mary:
"The doctors aren't sure it even IS a baby!"
- Humans Are Bastards: The only family in the whole film not to be dysfunctional is a family of dogs.
- Informed Ability: Henry is very clever at printing, but he's on vacation.
- Improbable Hairstyle: Henry.
- Kick the Dog: Henry kills the baby because it prevented him from cheating on his girlfriend and generally drove him insane.
- Large Ham: The Manager of the Pencil Factory.
- Mind Screw: What is this movie about?
- No Ending: The movie just ends with Henry hugging the Lady in the Radiator in a white void.
- No Indoor Voice: The manager of the pencil factory
- No Name Given: Lampshaded in the credits.
- Off with His Head: At one point Henry hallucinates that he gets decapitated, with the baby taking his place. Said head sinks into a pool of blood, leading into the pencil factory scene.
- Ontological Mystery
- Nostalgic Music Box: The first time we see him go home, Henry plays seemingly his only record (One of Fats Waller playing the organ), and reminisces about Mary.
- Nothing Is Scarier
- Parental Abandonment: Mary leaves.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Jack Nance's haircut. Also, David Lynch′s less-than-pleasant experiences in Philadelphia, and some theories of his fear of parenthood.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: If the baby, looking like the love child of a tadpole and the Loch Ness monster, counts.
- Scare Chord: Henry's baby is sick.
- Scenery Porn: Beautiful black and white photography is one of the movie's biggest strengths.
- Sex Is Evil: Is it ever. In real life parents already have a good chance of producing mentally and physically deformed children, and this is of course a fear of many expectant parents. In Henry's world, however, this tends to go off the deep end.
- Silence Is Golden: Much of the movie is devoid of dialogue. In fact, the script is only 22 pages long.
- Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic: Surreal.
- Soundtrack Dissonance: "In Heaven, everything is fine/In Heaven, everything is fine/You've got your good things and I've got mine."
- The Speechless: The Man in the Planet and Paul. Mary's grandmother is apparently paralyzed or something.
- Speculative Fiction: The movie feels like science fiction at times, but is almost old fashioned in many other aspects.
- Surreal Horror: Provides the trope image.
- Take Our Word for It: David Lynch refuses to say how they made the baby.
- Title Drop: Somewhat. "His head... has some erasable qualities..."
- The Vamp: Beautiful Girl Across the Hall.
- World of Symbolism: Though just what it all symbolizes is a very open question.