Prince of Darkness (1987)

Carpenter smashes together a lot of interests and aesthetics here – time-travelling tachyon transmissions, Catholic conspiracies, body horror, a bevy of science-fiction concepts and gestures at religious iconographies. The result is very 80s and a lot of fun in that self-awarely shlocky horror way. It’s charming.

A lot is undercooked, especially the college romance underpinning a lot of the film, but its tightly paced and not overlong so it always trucks along well. The ‘dream’ sequences punctuating the film every so often are the highlight, inspired and memorable in their construction, and coming at a good pace.


A lot of the concepts touched on in the film are shallow but they’re mixed together in such a way that it always works and feels immersive. The most straightforwardly well-executed part of the film is, unsurprisingly, the score, a pulsing, atmosphere propulsion always setting the tone and punching up whatever’s on screen.

Not one of Carpenter’s best, but very enjoyable. Three and a half tachyons, and a broken mirror.

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