A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.
I love this film. It’s chilling, suspenseful, and very grim. The way the story combines science with religion and puts it into a horror scenerio is absolutely brilliant.
To be honest it’s a below par film for John Carpenter. I found it slow, boring and ultimately pointless.
One of John Carpenter’s best! I never looked at mirrors the same. Nice seeing Alice Cooper in it. I also loved the way it combined science and religion
Its one of my favorite Carpenter films. The combination of science and religion was very deep which made for a very exciting movie. That and Peter Jason rocks!
a strange movie that uses supernatural forces as a threat to people, interesting ideas here, could have been a bit better with the good ideas, but overall it was good, not great.
A very weird film but hey its a classic. Very differnet and a must see for anybody that loves horror films.
This movie wasnt bad, not Carpenters best but a decent film. It has a traditional score that is well written and helps feed the atmosphere of the film, Carpenter always does a great job on his scores for his films it seems.
I enjoyed the makeup effects in this film, and there are a few good scares. I also found the dream sequence that the actors in the film have to be somewhat eerie as well. Donald Pleasence does a great job in this one as a priest, and the acting isnt bad from the rest of the cast. The story takes a while to get off its feet, but it is worth it, as it deals with a hidden secret by the church thats over 200 years old and involves Satan. Overall I give this a 6 out of 10.
‘Prince of Darkness’ is supposed to be the middle film of Carpenter’s sci-fi/horror trilogy that includes The Thing before it and In the Mouth of Madness after it. Both those films are superior, but this film goes for a very different tone than the others. It’s basically about a group of college students and their professor who discover Satan himself in liquid form hidden deep inside an ancient Spanish church. While they try to research it, things get out of hand, and end up getting VERY scary toward the end. It’s worth a watch, but remember that you likely won’t connect with any of the characters. Even so, it’s a good movie that has been underlooked for far too long.
Thinking man’s horror? Geeky horror? Either way you spin it, this is definitely an interesting take on the whole ‘Satan trying to come into our world’ plot.
It’s a slow burner, but I was never bored. I was always interested in the dialogue considering the unique content. The acting is fine, the effects are fine, the music was starting to grate on me though, and I definitely would have liked more violence AND I wanted the son of Satan to look more evil.
Overall though, this movie is definitely worth a watch. Good, but not great.
Solid, atmospheric horror with an eerie choral-layered score. The audience that I saw this with in ’87 went nuts when Jameson Parker discovered the ‘evil’ beside him in his bed at the end. Long live John Carpenter and Alice Cooper!
John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness is an interesting amalgam of classic horror films, offering us some of their best aspects while also giving viewers a fresh new take on the “demonic” story. Horror fans will quickly recognize the overall plot here – a group of people trapped in a building while malevolent entities try to destroy them from without and within. The group at hand is a research team of scientists, a priest, and a theologian. A mysterious, liquefied evil is infecting people, turning them into violent zombie-like soldiers controlled by “Satan’s” will and who in turn are empowered to infect others. (I have put quotations around certain words due to the refreshing twist of the plot.) From these elements one can see the influences of the genre’s elite, including The Haunting, The Night of the Living Dead, The Legend of Hell House, and even Carpenter’s own earlier masterpiece, The Thing. In fact, this film is the second installment of what Carpenter refers to as his “Apocalypse Trilogy,” which begins with The Thing and ends with In the Mouth of Madness. I have always been a sucker for ensemble horror, and this is no exception. And rather than be distracted by these similarities, they instead pay homage in an endearing way.
The script is compelling and tight, and it interweaves quantum theory, religious philosophy, and a healthy smattering of pseudoscience in way that is believable and compelling. The result is not your average tale of good versus evil, or even God versus Satan, but rather a dystheistic scenario in which man is confronted and endangered by the forces of the universe. It turns what man understands of reality and spirituality and turns it upon its head, calling into question the nature of evil and God’s role in the world. There are some genuine scares in the movie and some scenes are very creepy. Carpenter builds the tension of the plot very well and adds some shocking, unsettling imagery. Likewise, the cast is compiled of capable actors.
Unfortunately, the film has begun to show its age in some respects, including its special effects (The Thing actually holds up better in this respect and many others). Its pacing, too, is very slow in the beginning. I normally do not mind this, and at times love it (especially when compared to today’s horror’s frantic editing), and Carpenter shows some good direction here by establishing some character relations, but in the end those relations do not matter much or contribute to any emotional impact or empathy. Therefore we care nothing for what happens to each character. The viewer is certainly rewarded in the end for sticking with the film, but the beginning can begin to try one’s patience. Despite these relatively minor flaws, however, Prince of Darkness is an original horror film worth seeing. Besides, it’s got a cameo of Alice Cooper as a possessed homeless “schizo,” so what more could you ask for?
Love it! so scary and weird. Don’t really like the ending, but I just want everyone to live Amazing old school horror.
“This is not a dream… not a dream. We are using your brain’s electrical system as a receiver. We are unable to transmit through conscious neural interference. You are receiving this broadcast as a dream. We are transmitting from the year one, nine, nine, nine. You are receiving this broadcast in order to alter the events you are seeing. Our technology has not developed a transmitter strong enough to reach your conscious state of awareness, but this is not a dream. You are seeing what is actually occurring for the purpose of causality violation.”
All I can say is CLEVER! Carpenter had been researching theoretical physics and atomic theory. He recalled, simply, that “I thought it would be interesting to create some sort of ultimate evil and combine it with the notion of matter and anti-matter”…
Now taking that into a story, we get this. CLEVER! I mean the whole story is meant to happen… right? The whole movie gives you (the viewer) the idea that these people are looking into something that is WAY out of their league and might even leap into the realm of Heaven vs. Hell.
Then after the terror we are meant to believe that they are able to stop the apocalypse. Then the ending… Ah yes, the ending! It’s brilliant. Never within a film have I seen, made me quiver and grow Goosebumps as the credits rolled.
As many people that watch the film think that the ending does insist that it might be a dream but to recall the film in detail, it was not. The final dream is the same dream that we see the full dream) that one of the main characters is in the future and is the evil that they tried to stop. They in fact did nothing to stop it. Their actions of realizing it, understanding it, and fighting it was meant to happen! Can people grasp that?! Clever! Now does the ending make sense?
This is clever in John Carpenter’s films; something that no one has done and to my knowledge, still has not done to date.
Another must see from Carpenter.
Plays more like an H.P. Lovecraft tale of supernatural meets scientific, but with all the skill of John Carpenter. Suspension of disbelief is required while viewing, but well worth it. More information here:
love love love
I love the idea of science trying to solve a supernatural threat. Isn’t that what we all try to do? Great story and effects!
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