Prince of Darkness
Donald Pleasance plays a priest who contacts a group of academics, including Professor Howard Birak (Victor Wong) and his students, Walter (Donald Dun) and Brian (Jameson Parker). The priest brings the group to an abandoned church to study a strange cylinder that’s filled with a swirling green liquid. The liquid appears to be alive and intelligent. Everyone at the site also seems to be having the same reoccurring dream that may be a transmission from the future. Whatever the liquid is, it wants out and begins possessing members of the research team.
It’s nice to see this film starting to get a little more attention. As much as some of Carpenter’s other works are held up as prime examples of horror cinema, this was the one film that actually scared me. I distinctly remember the dream sequences making the hair on the back of my neck stand up, and the idea of an Anti-God living just behind the mirror haunting me for days afterwards. From the opening moments there is an oppressive dread hanging over everything. It’s not Carpenter’s most technically accomplished film or his best scripted, but for me it at least, it’s the one that really got to me.