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Overall Rating
4.47

Awesome65%
Worth A Look: 25%
Average: 5%
Pretty Bad: 1.67%
Total Crap: 3.33%

3 reviews, 42 user ratings


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Angel Heart
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by Slyder

"An Emotionally Draining Horror/Film-Noir"
5 stars

Back when I was in film class, my team was supposedly investigating the "film-noir genre." So, to watch the movies that specifically contained that genre I recurred to IMDB. Two surprises, first one, I didn't know shit what was the genre about but until two days later when I read the definition of it. Second one, this movie; It was so fucking emotionally creepy that it had me on my feet during most of the time. After it finished, my thoughts were: WOW. It was a great, but disturbing film. Though kind of marred in the end, it still had the ability to shock me beyond belief, and oh shit, how I felt later. In other words, before Se7en and The Sixth Sense, there was this film.

Back in the 50's, Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke fresh off his success in Barfly) is a down-on-his-luck private eye who one day gets a contact from one of his friends to help a client. So Angel goes on to meet the client, whose name's Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro), and wants Angel to find a man, a singer, Johnny Favorite, who once had signed a contract and then disappeared without paying back. The last place where he was at the hospital, recovering from a trauma he suffered from WWII, and then he checked out and vanished without a trace. Harry accepts the assignment purely for the money that Cyphre gives him, and goes to investigate. His leads eventually lead him to various witnesses who are adamant in not talking, but eventually get mysteriously murdered in brutal ways. Despite being a prime suspect in each of those murders, Angel pushes on, largely due to Cyphre's paying, and his leads eventually get him to New Orleans, supposedly because Johnny had a daughter there called Epiphany (Lisa Bonet). But as more and more he investigates, the more and more things reflect back to him, more so Angel's piecing of the puzzle and his final solving of the case will not be without shocking consequences.

The movie's combination of horror and film-noir settings make it excellent for its dramatic effect.

Horror: because of the many creepy and scary scenes that it reveals along, which trace to the average horror films.

Film-noir: because it touches the many styles of this genre which dates back to the 50's with tales about Hard Boiled Detectives (in this case Angel) and Pulp Fiction novels. The settings too also resemble this genre, with the dark moods and shots in the dark with dim lights, rainy days, and tilted camera shots. All of these factors define the typical atmosphere of depression, which is a film-noir trademark. Yet all of this fits in the movie very well since film-noir is an examination of the dark side of humanity and pure evil. With all of these elements, including horror, put on place, the film is capable of scaring you shitless. Some scenes are controversial, like the love scene between Rourke and Bonet (you find out why), but in the end it makes perfect sense, and of course, you get the chilling moment in the end.

The performances were great, especially from Mickey Rourke, who gives his last great performance before bottoming out with the shit that would haunt him later on. Robert De Niro is exceptional, and scary, not only because of the long fingers, long hair and black suits, but because his screen prescence is so powerful it captivates you from the very beginning. Lisa Bonet was also good, apart from the sex scene, which is typical in many Rourke films; she performed well up to the standards that I hoped. But the driving mind behind this movie, and the rest of the credit goes to Alan Parker (Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning), who wrote directed and produced this film. Without his creativity and talent, this film would've never been what it is.

In the end, I recommend this film to everyone who's up to being scared. Probably it has better effect after you've watched The Sixth Sense, Seven, 8mm, and finally this one in a row. But in my part, this film really scares and emotionally drains you, I don't know about you guys. 4.55

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2269&reviewer=235
originally posted: 04/25/01 08:57:53
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User Comments

8/15/13 james WOTH IT JUST 2 SEE LISA BONET NAKED 5 stars
1/24/11 bill norris if you even kinda liked the movie, go buy the book! 4 stars
11/28/10 Ronald Holst It was ok I have seen better and worse ! 3 stars
11/24/10 Rob steffenino Awesome horror 4 stars
4/08/10 PAUL SHORTT UNPLEASANT BUT INTRIGUING 3 stars
11/24/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
11/25/06 David Pollastrini Bloody sex scene was good! 4 stars
10/22/06 Dillon Brilliant atmospheric horror 5 stars
8/14/06 Sepi53 Interesting mystery action film! 4 stars
3/11/06 Dillon Geniously atmospheric. Rourke, De Niro and Bonet are perfect 5 stars
1/26/06 Agent Sands One of those movies that's good only for its climactic twist. 4 stars
1/01/06 Jay_kar2004 okay for nudity 4 stars
5/10/05 Vince It has Rourke at his best, De Niro and Lisa Bonnet Naked. Need I say more? 5 stars
10/30/04 FilmWatcher this movie really sent Rourke in hell. Waiting him for first role acting 5 stars
10/23/04 UMER for creating the BEST devil of screen history,deniro should've been awarded an oscar 5 stars
5/24/04 douglas orlich great film: nightmarish and nuanced 5 stars
5/02/04 john bale Supernatural mystery thriller of quality, with clever script, De Niro/Rouke extraordinary 5 stars
3/16/04 LIAM JACKSON Excellent film.Very disturbing.Robert De niro's devil is the stuff of nightmares! 5 stars
1/16/04 tyler awesome 5 stars
12/15/03 Vince One of my favorite. Lisa Bonet is hot! 5 stars
11/28/03 john tight, scary atmospheric and did I mention scary? 5 stars
7/10/03 ron mahl Brilliant movie. Underrated 5 stars
6/21/03 Fred Vaughn My eyes were bulging frequently! 4 stars
3/28/03 Jack Bourbon Silly ending (except for elevator), but great movie. No better atmospherics out there. 5 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby An extraordinary achievement. Rourke is simply magnificent. 5 stars
2/05/03 natasha_theobald great style, engaging story, amazing performance by Rourke 4 stars
10/14/02 Charles Tatum Underrated as hell 5 stars
7/30/02 Matthew Smith disappointing 3 stars
6/20/02 Graham I love this film - have done for 15 years 5 stars
5/21/02 eduardo reudchr great, mesmerizing film that keeps you constantly on the edge. Great actings, especially 5 stars
3/23/02 Butterbean Brilliant movie! Bonet is beautiful and I also miss Rourke 5 stars
3/14/02 Shams Huque Shame about the current status of Mickey Rourke... 5 stars
3/02/02 Alan Smithee Very creepy stuff. 5 stars
2/11/02 Marianne Blackwelder Wedding Planner so far a one-time charm for Jennifer Lopez. This takes a real dive. 2 stars
10/04/01 Phoenix This film slowly builds to the climax, and when it comes it is a knockout. 5 stars
9/24/01 andrew stojanovic this film rocks,cool stuff 5 stars
7/07/01 Elvisfan So Jesse L gets a bone for Lisa..YAY! Let's all celebrate!! 1 stars
5/03/01 eatme too predictable 1 stars
4/27/01 Roy Smith Stars interesting, slowly builds, totally twists on you, gives you an A+ mindfuck ending. 5 stars
4/12/01 Jesse L Great movie. Lisa Bonet is hot. Mickey's best. 5 stars
11/29/00 Cristopher Revilla man, i felt emotionally drained, what a weird film 4 stars
12/08/99 Timbo My girlfriend got so scared she caught fire and died. Mickey's an ugly guy 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Mar-1987 (R)
  DVD: 18-May-2004

UK
  N/A (18)

Australia
  02-Jul-1987




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