6.1/10
4,998
43 user 46 critic

The Believers (1987)

A New York psychiatrist finds that a brujería-inspired cult, which believes in child sacrifice, has a keen interest in his own son.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kate Maslow
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Carla Pinza ...
Carmen Ruiz
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Raúl Dávila ...
Oscar Sezine
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Larry Ramos ...
Diner Counterman
Philip Corey ...
Calder's Assistant
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Storyline

After the death of his wife, police psychiatrist Cal Jamison moves to New York. There he has to help in the investigation of the murder of two youths, who seem to have been immolated during a cult ritual. Jamison believes it's been Voodoo and, ignoring the warnings of his housekeeper, enters the scenery and soon gets under their influence. They try to get him to sacrifice his own son. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nothing Can Stop Them. No One Can Help You. They Know Who You Are. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 June 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los creyentes  »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$18,753,438
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One studio executive suggested having the Beastie Boys perform on the soundtrack. See more »

Goofs

(at around 42 mins) When the second body is discovered, you can see him clearly breathing while the investigators are photographing. See more »

Quotes

Tom Lopez: They know who I am!
Cal Jamison: Who are they, Tom?
Tom Lopez: Oh no no no no. How do I know about you?
Cal Jamison: Alright, I understand. You don't have any reason to trust me yet. But you don't have any reason to distrust me, do you?
Tom Lopez: The spirits help them. They walk through walls. Don't forget that.
Cal Jamison: I wont. And they can see us in here right now, is that it?
Tom Lopez: [freaks out]
Cal Jamison: What is it? Easy...
Tom Lopez: They knew that I was onto them. I walked in, and they were waiting for me.
Cal Jamison: Can you identify them?
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in NCIS: Head Case (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

El Nacimiento de Ramiro
Performed by Rubén Blades
Courtesy of Fania Records
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User Reviews

 
A bit disjointed, but overall a good film
17 January 2005 | by See all my reviews

After his wife dies, police psychiatrist Cal Jamison (Martin Sheen) moves with his son, Chris (Harley Cross), from Minnesota to New York City. There, he quickly becomes embroiled in a bizarre string of occult-related murders of children and apparent suicides of adults.

If you enjoyed The Serpent And The Rainbow (1988), Angel Heart (1987) and Rosemary's Baby (1968), there's a good chance you'll enjoy The Believers as well, as it bears quite a few similarities (although it's certainly not a rip-off). In my view, it's not quite as good as those other three films, which are all 10s in my book, but it is well worth watching.

The principle flaw, which probably arises from trying to condense a novel--in this case Nicholas Conde's book, The Religion--into a screenplay, is that The Believers quickly brushes over some developments so that it's occasionally difficult to follow, especially towards the beginning. We can sense that there's much more to the story but that there just isn't time to show all of it to us.

However, a characteristic of the subgenre of occult/voodoo horror films is a prominent surrealism and dream-like narrative flow, so what might be more of a flaw in another kind of film can be more of an asset here. The Believers also benefits from a great cast--Sheen is a delight to watch (and listen to) as a psychiatrist who can fly off the handle in rage at the drop of a hat, and Jimmy Smits is wonderfully insane every time we see him.

The Believers is also worth checking out for its cinematography and set design. The set for the climax is a visual treat and integral to the plot. And the tag scene after the climax is remarkable for its visual change--beautiful, wide-open spaces and bright colors. It's just too bad that the sequel set up by director John Schlesinger never came to fruition.


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