Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Prince of Darkness (1987)

I had a horror fiend friend back in Junior High who was so excited about seeing this movie. And that was about all I knew about Prince of Darkness. But the boys over at H.P. Podcraft mentioned it a couple times (as well as Carpenter’s frequent inspiration from Lovecraft) and I put it on my viewing list.

A mysterious death at a run down church causes a priest (Donald Pleasence) to enlist the aid of Professor Howard Birack (Victor Wong). Wong gathers a top notch squad of graduate students to study a bizarre cylinder of green matter in a secret chamber under the church. As their research continues, the team concludes that they are facing pure evil and attempting to quantify it! But evil never sleeps, and it uses this opportunity to attempt an escape, one that will tear the very fabric of reality apart and bring about the arrival of trans-dimensional being that will destroy our world. Oh and Alice Cooper is on hand as possessed homeless man.

Good Points:
  • The Lovecraftian core story is intriguing
  • Some solid jump scares
  • Gets creepier the longer you think about the implications
Bad Points:
  • Goes overboard explaining the premise
  • Slogs down a little too often while trying to build tension
  • The ending lacks the punch it was hoping to deliver
A really interesting concept that is restricted with some clunky exposition and a budget that can’t quite pull it off. Carpenter tries to recreate the isolation and building dread that made The Thing and The Fog work so well, but he never quite manages it here. Part of the problem Is the characters are less compelling here, and the pacing never really works out. It is an interesting watch and one that provided a neat twist on pure evil. I get the feeling this will work better in a second viewing a few months from now.

Scores (out of 5)
Visuals: 4
Sound: 3
Acting: 3
Script: 4
Music: 3
Direction: 3
Entertainment: 3
Total:  3

Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.   

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