I must admit I'm a big John Carpenter fan. Prince of Darkness is certainly no exception to this rule. The star of this show is actually the soundtrack which is amazingly effective in establishing the mood and never letting it go. I can only wish all soundtracks were this good. So kudos to Carpenter and Alan Howarth for their amazing work on this film.
Prince of Darkness is a supernatural/satanic tale starring [Yes!] Donald Pleasence [Dr. Loomis from the Halloween franchise] as a priest who takes over an abandoned church. The problem is that there is a mysterious cylinder that was hidden in the church's basement and it begins causing trouble at every turn. A research team is sent in to investigate and things keep getting weirder and wider until the film's suspenseful conclusion. Sweet! The effects are mostly understated but effective. The lady with the decaying, bloody face and the wide eyes was particularly awesome as she kept calling for the Dark Lord to cross over into this world. Super Sweet!
I must admit that it takes a lot to unnerve me while watching a horror film. But there is something about Prince of Darkness that's just plain old creepy. There are no loud noises to make you jump or things popping out at you. Just simple, unrelenting, creepiness which is actually a hard thing to accomplish.
When everyone talks about Carpenter's horror work they always reference Halloween and The Thing. I think Prince of Darkness stands pretty close to both of them. It's one of those films that tells a highly original and compelling story. Well done. Don't miss it!
P.S. As an added bonus, rocker Alice Cooper makes an uber-creepy cameo appearance that puts him head and shoulders above the rest of Satan's minions in the film.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.