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In the realm of horror films, THE PROPHECY ($30) is a standout. Instead of the usual demonic creatures that inhabit these types of movies, both good and evil inhabit the form of angels. God created angels to be his foot soldiers, performing all the unpleasant tasks required in Heaven and on the Earth. As soldiers, the angels have fought two wars for the sake of Heaven. The first war drove Lucifer and his followers from the heavenly realm. However, the second war has raged for ages because a faction of angels don’t like that they have been displaced in God’s favor by the only creatures given souls- namely mankind. Recently, the angels have moved the battlefield to Earth as they search for something they can use as a weapon to shift the balance of power.

THE PROPHECY stars Christopher Walken as the Angel Gabriel, the leader of forces that wish to keep "the talking monkeys" out of heaven. Elias Koteas is Thomas Daggett, a cop that once studied for the priesthood, until a vision of the war that rages in heaven made him question his faith. Virginia Madsen portrays Catherine; a schoolteacher who finds herself dragged onto the frontline when Gabriel comes looking for one of her students. Eric Stoltz is the Angel Simon, who remains true to God’s wishes by trying to keep Gabriel from finding objective on Earth. Viggo Mortensen portrays the fallen Angel Lucifer, who has his own selfish reasons for becoming involved in the war. The cast of THE PROPHECY also includes Amanda Plummer, Moriah Shining Dove Snyder and Adam Goldberg. Writer/director Gregory Widen has crafted an intriguing story that skews one’s preconceived notions about angels, while also skewing the faces of good and evil. As you might expect, Christopher Walken delivers an amazing performance as Gabriel. Completely unrestrained by human conventions, Walken takes the role to dizzying, but rewarding heights.

Dimension Home Video has made THE PROPHECY available in the Letterboxed format. While the transfer recreates the film’s 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio almost perfectly, the DVD is unfortunately lacking the 16:9 anamorphic enhancement for wide screen televisions. Despite not offering the anamorphic enhancement, THE PROPHECY looks very good on DVD. The transfer is very sharp and well-defined, even dark sequences don’t loose detail to the shadows. Color reproduction is also quite good, with natural looking flesh tones and respectable saturation. Chroma noise was never a concern on this DVD. Solid DVD author prevented digital compression artifacts from becoming overt.

The Dolby Digital soundtrack is of the two-channel variety, which decodes very well to standard surround. THE PROPHECY was originally offered in Ultra-Stereo, but mixed on THX equipment. The superb mix still shines through, however I have to wonder what THE PROPHECY might have sounded like if the film had originally mixed for a 5.1 channel format. As is, the soundtrack offers a strong, atmospheric mix with well placed directional effects. Dialogue reproduction was clean and focused, while the bass had a solid presence. English subtitles have been provided on the DVD.

The interactive menus are very simple and offer access to the standard scene selection feature.

If you are a horror fan, THE PROPHECY is a DVD you will want to add to you collection. Recommended.




DVD reviews are Copyright 1999 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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