I'm trying to remember this movie I saw about 20 years ago. It was a science fiction or fantasy horror type film. Like something Steven King would write. The few details I remember are a man in a Midwest type town. In the hotel, an older woman is on the reception desk with a man (presumably her husband) tied up naked behind the desk. The main character visits an abandoned church with something like "abandon hope all who enter" above the door, and an inverted cross inside. At the end the character discovers he is a character in a story being typed on a typewriter by someone.

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    "[...] a man (presumably her husband) tied up baked behind the desk." A baked man? Do you remember anything else, e. g. what they looked like, production quality etc.? Oct 10, 2017 at 16:42
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    I saw this title and thought for sure it was going to be Stranger than Fiction.
    – David K
    Oct 10, 2017 at 19:22
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    @AnneDaunted The OP meant "naked", not "baked". I fixed it in the question. It's a scene out of In the Mouth of Madness, as answered below. Oct 10, 2017 at 21:52
  • Also similar (and a bit disturbing): Re-cycle Oct 11, 2017 at 6:33
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    Another great movie which follows the plot of a man who discovers his life is being dictated by an author writing about him while having no knowledge that he exists as a real person is "Stranger Than Fiction". Arguably Will Ferrell's best work (probably because it's not a comedy).
    – TylerH
    Oct 11, 2017 at 13:39

1 Answer 1


In the Mouth of Madness by John Carpenter fits the description.

It's about a private investigator John Trent (Sam Neill), who travels to the small town of Hobb's End in New Hampshire to retrieve a manuscript for a book by a horror writer Sutter Cane. Trent experiences bizarre distortions of reality and finds out that Cane is based in a black church in the middle of a town. At the end of the movie, Trent realizes that he was the character in the book.

Other similarities:

... movie I saw about 20 years ago

The movie was released in 1994.

... something Steven King would write

While the movie wasn't based on a work by Stephen King, it's indeed very similar to some of his novels, and the plot is centered around a horror novel.

The main character visits an abandoned church with something like "abandon hope all who enter" above the door

Not exactly, but very similar:

Let these doors be sealed by our Lord God and let any who dare enter this unholy site be damned forever.

enter image description here

, and an inverted cross inside

enter image description here

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    The movie also includes the old female receptionist at the hotel, with her naked husband tied up on the floor (as mentioned by the OP). Oct 10, 2017 at 22:06
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    I wonder whether "Sutter Cane" is named after "Stephen King". Oct 11, 2017 at 0:53
  • @BrettFromLA Absolutely forgot that scene and "baked" got me confused. Thanks for confirmation and edit. Oct 11, 2017 at 3:33
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    It seems a crossover between Stephen King and Lovecraft worlds Oct 11, 2017 at 11:43
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    They do mention Stephen King in the movie - something like "Sutter Caine outsells Stephen King (and some other horror author)." Oct 11, 2017 at 16:54

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