Critic Reviews

50

Metascore

Based on 10 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
Prince of Darkness is a real tour de force, and a welcome return.
75
Portland Oregonian
Those who don't go for horror films, period, won't go for this, but those who do will find this one of the more intelligent, better produced outings of late, with a good, continuing stream of sarcastic humor. [30 Oct 1987, p. E13]
70
Tampa Bay Times
Carpenter returns to his roots, which is to say he's gouging eyes and summoning demons. He's doing it in a wonderfully rough-hewn, low-budget style that fondly recalls Halloween, the granddaddy of slasher movies. [24 Oct 1987, p.1D]
70
It's an endearingly odd, consistently creepy film that hearkens back to the director's previous work.
60
To give the movie its due, it's been directed, at least on the visual level, with unusual elegance: filled with graceful, gliding tracking shots, and icily precise Hitchcockian setups of the bleak decor and scary effects.
50
John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness gets off to an intriguing start. But then the movie loses its way.
40
A surprisingly cheesy horror film to come from Mr. Carpenter (''Halloween,'' ''Escape From New York,'' among others), a director whose work is usually far more efficient and inventive.
30
Carpenter spends so much time turning the screws on the next scare that he completely forsakes his actors, who are already stranded with a shoddy script.
25
Carpenter being Carpenter, he vacillates between overexplanation -- his are the most verbose horror films -- and cheap shocks.
25
Miami Herald
The sole mystery is the apparent collapse of Carpenter's skills as a storyteller. Prince of Darkness is shapeless and almost utterly lacking in rhythm, as if it had been slashed and then badly reassembled, like a Carpenter victim. [28 Oct 1987, p.D8]

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