A 1977 surrealist horror film by David Lynch.
In Heaven, everything is fine.
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.
- Alien Geometries: Henry walking into the "factory" door (actually an unusually shaped bridge abutment in industrial Philadelphia).
- 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.
- 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.
- Non Sequitur Scene 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.
- Body Motifs: Heads
- Cloudcuckoolander: The manager's assistant at the pencil factory
- 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.
- Dream Land: One interpretation of the world in the radiator.
- Dysfunction Junction: Everybody.
- 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?)
- Ghost City: Very few people seem to live in the city where Henry does.
- Grumpy Old Man: Mr. X
- Humanoid Abomination: The baby. Lampshaded by Mary:
"The doctors aren't sure it even IS a baby!"
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: 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.
- Made Of Embalmed Flesh
- Mind Screw: What is this movie about?
- No Indoor Voice: The manager of the pencil factory
- No Name Given: Lampshaded in the credits.
- 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
- Ontological Mystery
- Parental Abandonment: Mary leaves.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Jack Nance's haircut. Also, some theories of David Lynch's fear of parenthood.
- 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
- 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."
- Speculative Fiction: The movie feels like science fiction at times, but is almost old fashioned in many other aspects.
- The Speechless: The Man in the Planet and Paul. Mary's grandmother is apparently paralyzed or something.
- 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
- What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic: Several scenes in this movie could be either very, very surreal touches of symbolism or a random Non Sequitur Scene.
- Some notice its just one huge metaphor for marriage and commitment.
- Or guilt and suicide.
- What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: It wasn't. David Lynch doesn't need drugs.
- Apparently there was an interview where he was asked if he took drugs. Lynch said "Yes, I eat huge amounts of sugar" and there was a long silence.
- World of Symbolism: Though just what it all symbolizes is a very open question.