Friday, March 5, 2010

Oh, The Horror! #48: Angel Heart

A masterfully done film, one of my absolute favorites. Starring Mickey Rourke as Harry Angel, Robert De Niro as Louis Cyphre, and Lisa Bonet as Epiphany, a Vodou mambo, from start to finish you're hooked into this hard boiled noir inspired horror film. Alan Parker does a wonderful job crafting a film of complete and utter mystery, tension, and suspense. You're constantly at the edge of your mind wondering just where this film is going to go and the climax totally lives up. The tone given from beginning to end is creepy, enchanting, and pulls you in. From the music to the colors and the strong performances, you truly believe what you're watching. Is there a supernatural element to this movie? Is it all just in our heads or is the film tricking the viewer? You should see for yourself.

Harry Angel is a private detective hired by Louis Cyphre to look for a man who seem to have vanished off the face of the Earth, the man named Johnny Favorite. Harry searches high and low from NYC to New Orleans searching for Favorite. But things start to get highly tense when the the people Harry questions start to drop off like flies through disturbing ways. The cops start to pursue Harry along with other questionable people. He also meets Epiphany, a beautiful young Vodou priestess who's connected somehow, further entangling Harry into this strange web and world of Vodou.

I give this film full praises throughout from direction to overall production and acting. A lot of the tense moments are only pushed further by the fantastically strong performance of Mickey Rouke. I have to say from the different films I've seen played by Rouke, his turn as Harry Angel is by far my favorite, especially by the end of the film when everything gets revealed. De Niro clearly has a lot of fun in this weird role as Angel's client and Bonet is fine as a Vodou priestess. I'm impressed greatly in the scene where Bonet shows off her Vodou dancing skills along with a huge group of Vodou practitioners and Bonet really falls into character, making a sacrifice to whoever she's dancing to (why don't we find out she she is dancing to?). I also really adore the sex scene between Bonet and Rourke. A truly enticingly horrifying and mind-bogglingly scene, fantastically well shot with quick jump cuts and highly intense with blood dripping from the rain and pouring on the lovers. Definitely one of the very best "love" scenes I've seen in a movie that compliments well with the suspenseful tone of this masterpiece of a film. A highly recommend piece of art. If you haven't seen this do so. It's a wonderful film to add to your collection, whether you're a horror fan or not.

Also noted, I want to mention the special features from the DVD. There's a wonderful documentary going into details of the religion and practice of the Vodou religion in contrast to Hollywood Voodoo that's been pushed forth in movies. I loved this documentary and hope people check it out and don't have a close-mind of the belief and actually take into account just how much Hollywood and the media as tainted people's minds on the Vodou faith.


Will Errickson said...

I loved Angel Heart back in the day but it's been too long since I've seen. Lisa Bonet was the shit back in the day. I read the novel it's based on too. Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

Excellent review. I couldn't agree more.

This was a film which was actually creepy and scary. I love horror, but usually just for the fun of it. But this film went much deeper than that.

Excellent stuff. I will search for the DVD. Thanks for the recommendation.