Directed by: John Carpenter
Synopsis: A group of graduate students and scientists uncover an ancient canister in an abandoned church, but when they open the container, they inadvertently unleash a strange liquid and an evil force on all humanity.
‘Prince of Darkness’ is the aptly titled supernatural horror directed by John Carpenter, starring familiar faces.
Donald Pleasence, Victor Wong and Denis Dun unite to stop the devil from unleashing hell on earth. Pleasence plays a priest who goes by the name, Priest and Victor Wong stars as quantum mechanics professor Howard Birack, these two along with some grad students become our unlikely Saviour’s against the devil.
When a priest dies a huge secret is uncovered, he was protecting the world from an evil force, kept contained in liquid form in the basement of a church. Now the priest is dead there is no one to contain the evil and it is starting to grow stronger and looking for a way out and broadcasting complex streams of ancient data, this mystery box begins to affect the various students.
The first half of the movie takes its time setting the stage and building an uneasy atmosphere, slowly revealing answers to the mysteries that have been presented and it also features Carpenter’s trademark music score. The second half opens up Carpenter’s box of carnage as this is when the gore factor comes into play.
Prince of Darkness is one of Carpenter’s most thought-provoking films as he combines scientific elements with elements of the supernatural and sells quite a believable story of the Apocalypse. For newcomers to Carpenter, I would recommend watching the likes of Assault on Precinct 13, The Fog and Halloween, just so you can get a feel of his directorial style as this movie could deter you from moving onto others in his filmography.
For fans this movie is a must! It has a great cast and solid acting throughout. An unexpected role in the movie is played by rock legend Alice Cooper, who portrays a completely menacing character. I have always found the presence of Donald Pleasence on screen to be a delightful surprise, so it is enjoyable to see Carpenter temporarily take him out of the Halloween Series for a while.