Prince of Darkness (1987)

prince of darkness poster 1987 movie
4.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 4/10

An original story, weirdness factor

Too much going on, not enough scares

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Prince of Darkness

Studio:  Alive Films

Genre(s):  Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  October 23, 1987

MPAA Rating:  R

prince-of-darkness-liquid-container-devil

What, wait…that’s the devil…A mop could beat it.

An darkness has been unearthed in a Los Angeles church in a hidden container of pure evil that could be a living source of the Anti-Christ. A priest (Donald Pleasance) and a supernatural researcher named Professor Howard Birack (Victor Wong) have gathered a team to investigate the strange liquid. As forces amass to trap them in the church, the evil has been released and messages from the future bring a warning that it could destroy Earth.

Prince of Darkness was directed by John Carpenter and the second part of his “Apocalypse Trilogy”. The movie follows 1982’s The Thing and was followed by In the Mouth of Madness in 1995. It was received with poor reviews but has gained a cult following since its release.

prince-of-darkness-alice-cooper

He wants to tell you all about Milwaukee

I don’t really enjoy this movie. It feels really disjointed and emotionally empty. The horror of the movie is creepy, but the zombie-like possessed don’t feel too threatening. I mean a couple of people beat one to death with pieces of rock…demons or whatever you want to call them that can go out like that aren’t that scary).

With messages from the future, possessed homeless people (led by Alice Cooper), and bugs and worms, the movie just has too much going on though I do give it points for originality. I get the evil; that should be the movie! I realize the bugs and worms and people tie to the evil, but the messages from the future and the whole tachyon stuff feels unnecessary and ventures into sci-fi which has a hard time being scary.  Infection and zombie type characters are scary and the idea that the “evil” water can pass person-to-person should have been developed as the main plot point.

prince-of-darkness-possessed-woman

Don’t worry, I’m going to the dermatologist tomorrow

Even with that, I don’t see a giant canister of water as scary.  I wish that there had been a central character to fear and hate (they try to develop the first woman possessed).  “Evil” as an enemy doesn’t cause enough fear…perhaps it is the time period, but there is enough evil just in society that I don’t need a generic bubbling container of water to be the source of it all.

Prince of Darkness just doesn’t work for me.  I know that it has a cult following now, and I do love a lot of Carpenter films, but this just isn’t one of them.  Stick with a movie like The Thing which does get it right, does bring the paranoia, and does have sci-fi aspects while still being scary instead of picking up Prince of Darkness.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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