Friday, 9 January 2015

The Prophecy (1995)

Any film with Elias Koteas in it has to be worth watching, and this also contains the king of psychopathy Christopher Walken!

I honestly can't remember watching this before, which is odd as it's typical of the films I would rent on VHS in the mid-nineties.

The premise is that the Archangel Gabriel, leader of a faction of breakaway angels, comes to earth hunting for the soul of an evil man so that he can win a heavenly war that will forever stop humans from reaching salvation. Only one man can stop him, an ex-novitiate cop who has lost his faith.

Okay, so the first thing we notice is that angels have long hair, sniff and lick the dead, and like perching on things. A bit like hippie cats; and just like cats they enjoy tormenting their prey, tearing at them and throwing them around before, finally, destroying them.

There are some rather heavy-handed parallels with racism. Gabriel refering to humans as monkeys. Thinking that his government (god), is placing them above his kind. Looking even deeper this could be a metaphor for the battle between the civil rights movement in America and the white power groups. Going further back, the Union and Confederate sides in the American Civil War. On the other hand it could just be a rather fun horror movie with a religious theme.

One interesting idea; can an angel (Gabriel) from one religion have dominion over a follower (Mary and her family) of another? If not then surely "god" is not omnipotent? If so then there can be no other god.

Some decent practical effects are used sparingly to highlight rather than dominate the story.

If you like your horror films to be subtle and with a large dash of religion, metaphor and allegory, this'll be right up your street.

So, what have we learned? Angels are nasty, psychotic, petty, pieces of shit. Viggo tries to out-crazy Walken and nearly succeeds. Elias Koteas is still one of the coolest men to walk the earth.

Original letterboxd review

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