PRINCE OF DARKNESS started like it wasn't a horror movie. It looks like a science fiction at the beginning. John Carpenter wanted us to get along with its characters first. It didn't have to wait much longer to change its storytelling. From perfectly normal to a nightmare. Honestly, I liked this kind of movie. PRINCE OF DARKNESS maybe slow at the beginning. But after it turned into a horror, it will become exciting..
There's a lot to like here: the score that together with the editing creates a fairly good atmosphere, the church as a desolated place of evil surrounded by back alleys and a gorgeous apocalyptical L.A. sunset, Carpenter's approach to evil (which is a hell of a lot more interesting than in The Exorcist), but ultimately all the ideas feel very half-baked and there's not a lot happening. Personally, not my favorite JH.
Gorgeous cinematography. The first half is unique, original, interesting, and extremely chilling, but the second half turns into a stock zombie-possession slasher. Although still very creepy and well directed, it's shame that the film veers so off course from the path of originality.
The intro is a slow unravelling which cuts between the ensemble cast & credits. The rest of the film is stylised similarly; a constant, throbbing electronic score & rhythmic editing create a unique building of tension. The pace drops in the middle & it's not that scary (bar the dream...) - but the end wraps up the entire film masterfully, turning the whole thing into an almost prologue. I'd take a sequel.
Sur le thème maintes fois filmé, celui de l'Antéchrist revenant sur notre planète pour imposer enfin son pouvoir diabolique, un excellent petit film fantastique à la superbe partition musicale. (comme souvent chez Carpenter) Hormis les rares scènes d'intimité bancales, l'oeuvre est une correcte réussite... www.cinefiches.com
(...)Hier wird kein Krieg der Wissenschaften gegen das Übernatürliche geführt, keiner zwischen der Gewissheit der sichtbaren und dem Chaos der subatomaren Welt. Es ist einfach nur ein weiterer Film geworden, in dem die Guten von den Bösen eine Weile lang beschäftigt werden, bis sich alles in einem finalen Showdown auflöst.(...)
Not many twists or turns, just a slow death march towards the End Times with a pulsing Carpenter baseline setting the rhythm. The idea of a team of scientists and priests uniting against oblivion is rich, though Carpenter tends to be better at creating concepts than taking them to an eloquent conclusion. The virtues, as always, are atmosphere and a striking ending that makes genre material feel very non-generic.
It takes christianity and science, combines them together and turns them into a horrifying 24 hour long event, where faith is no longer a matter of conventionalism but a scream for waking up from a Second Coming; which is not at all as believed for 2000 years. Every single scene from a strange weather to possessed beings and richful protagonists, including the most terrifying presentation of Antichrist, is pure gold.
Intriguing mix of Lovecraft horror, Christian theology and quantum physics with a great premise and some inspired moments, but, it all felt slightly muddled. I feel like this movie would have needed more money and a better cast to really reach its potential. Still, its Carpenter, and its pretty damn good.
The problem here is that Carpenter tries to bring science into supernatural occurences but fails miserably. The script suffers from over-exposition and badly written dialogue. I will admit though that some scenes are pretty well directed when no one is speaking. And the soundtrack is pretty effective. But it can't elevate the movie to much more than a passable level.