Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Prophecy

Year: 1995
Director: Gregory Widen
Screenplay: Gregory Widen
Starring: Christopher Walken, Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz, Viggo Mortensen
Running Time: 98 minutes
Genre: Horror, thriller, supernatural, religion

Summary: Just before he is to be ordained as a priest, Thomas Dagget (Koteas) experiences a nightmarish vision and loses his faith. Years later he is a homicide detective and assigned to the bizarre case of a corpse seemingly born with no eyes, and a hermaphrodite, he also has an ancient hand-written Bible with an extra chapter in the Book of Revelations. Translating the chapter, Dagget learns of a second war in Heaven due to some angels who were jealous of God elevating humanity over them. Dagget discovers that the leader of the rebel angels, the archangel Gabriel (Walken), who has an extreme disgust for humans - he refers to as "talking monkeys" - has arrived in a small Arizona town in search of an evil soul to use as a devestating weapon.

Opinions: This movie, which was also released as God's Army, is a striking mix of action, horror and theology. It benefits enormously from a very strong cast full of familiar faces from independent films, with Christopher Walken being a particular standout as the charismatic and malevolent archangel. It also provides a lead role for Elias Koteas, a talented and prolific actor who tends to be quite underrated. The film is well-written with the complex storyline unfolding with enough twists and turns to sustain interest and keep the viewer guessing without being unecessarily convoluted. It also has a strong thread of dark humour. Packed with originality and invention, it is certainly the best religious themed horror movie of recent years. The film's main problems are mainly down to it's low-budget, the special effects are at best adequate, although the film is wisely sparing in it's use of special effects, and it lacks a distinctive visual style, although some image are very effective - most notably a brief glimpse of Hell. Although the film was not a huge success on it's original release, it's reputation has grown and it has become something of a cult hit, and to date has been followed by four sequels.

Christopher Walken in The Prophecy

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