Angel Heart (1987)

Featuring perhaps Mickey Rourke’s definitive role, directed and screen written by Alan Parker, Angel Heart is a powerful movie based on a thriller novel by William Hjortsberg. Taylor Hackford’s, The Devil’s Advocate, made ten years subsequent and very similar in storyline elements, is tepid in comparison. While the latter movie becomes highly predictable throughout, Angel Heart, is a mystery thriller to the very horrific end. With its colorful cast, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet, and Charlotte Rampling, and an array of highly entertaining supporting actors, this film should one day acquire classic status.

The viewer is “settled in” from the start as though treated to see the usual suspense mystery with the lady pleasing gumshoe and a client whose impact suggests only a slightly ominous foreboding…at first. Not for long. Quickly the body count begins stacking up and our “hero” is having some highly discomforting dreams about each. Special effects enhance a growing sense of expectation as little suggestions are dropped here and there. Many, many possibilities are credible but as the movie progresses they become increasingly confined to one more inevitable than the others. The stuff of which great horror thrillers are made.

Watch this one closely as every detail counts (another mark of superlative craftsmanship.) You might even appreciate the care taken to provide viewers with a most remarkable and detailed setting of the movie’s time period, the fifties.

Scenes with upper body nudity, graphic mutilation and voodoo sorcery authentically portrayed. To the extent, in each case, inadvisable for children and overly impressionable adults.

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