Updated: Jun 28, 2021
(This film should not be confused with the 1979 film Prophecy.)
Ah, Dimension Films. Just seeing that logo flash across my screen makes all my joint pain go away, and suddenly I'm a teenager in Mom and Dad's basement again. Pure nostalgia.
I studied Biblical and mythological literature in college. It's always been fascinating to me, but although it was shaky for at least a decade prior, my college studies pretty well drove the final coffin nail into my faith.
Why do I mention this? Because it's relevant to today's movie. Faith, that is. Now, it could be argued that this movie doesn't really fall into the horror category and more into fantasy, but those lines often get blurred, and I'm willing to bend the rules in favor of a good story. But is today's film a good story? What's wrong? Don’t you have any faith in me? Well, I suppose there's only one way to settle this, and that's to fall into 1995's The Prophecy.
As the story begins, we witness an ordination ceremony within the Catholic Church. A young priest-to-be named Thomas Dagget sees horrific visions of a war between angels in Heaven, and as a result, he loses his faith. Years later, Thomas has become a detective with the LAPD. One day, he returns home to find a strange man named Simon in his home who warns him about coming events. Later, Simon is attacked by another angel named Usiel. Simon kills his attacker but is wounded himself and flees the scene.
Thomas is called to the scene and finds several strange clues, including the obituary for a Korean War veteran, his own thesis on angels, and an ancient Bible that contains a previously unknown chapter in the Book of Revelations. After the coroner discovers many baffling physical traits in Usiel's corpse, Thomas begins to suspect the LAPD may have the body of an angel on ice. After a man in black forces his way into the morgue and destroys the body, Thomas heads to Chimney rock, the final resting place of the deceased war veteran, and goes hunting for answers.
Is The Prophecy scary? Well, that depends entirely on what you believe. Through young Mary, we get a glimpse of just how heinous the late Col. Hawthorne was/is/can be, and the thought of such a dark twisted entity deciding the ultimate fate of Heaven is quite a terrifying thought. Christopher Walken delivers a powerful performance as the rogue archangel Gabriel. I once heard someone describe Walken as "reptilian," and I can't think of a more apt descriptor for the actor.
Viggo Mortensen portrays Lucifer in this film, and he does so with a chilling blend of charisma and menace. Of all the Lucifers to ever grace the screen, Viggo is by far my favorite. Sorry, Tom Ellis. As I watched Mortensen, I couldn't help but think he would have made the perfect Randall Flagg. I feel I've gushed enough about Walken and Mortensen. Elias Koteas also deserves his due for his portrayal of Detective Thomas Daggett. I personally feel this is Koteas' finest role, and that's saying something, folks, because I'm a major Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan.
Whether you're a believer or not, The Prophecy is a fantastic religious thriller. Blurring the lines between fantasy and horror, it's accessible for fans of both genres and features some incredible performances from a stellar cast. Do yourself a favor and put the kids to bed, turn off the lights, and give The Prophecy a watch. It's available to watch free with advertisements on both Vudu and Tubi.