Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 10 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 4 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A research team finds a mysterious cylinder in a deserted church. If opened, it could mean the end of the world.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 10
  2. Negative: 3 out of 10
  1. Reviewed by: Ted Mahar
    Sep 24, 2013
    75
    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]
  2. Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    Sep 24, 2013
    75
    Prince of Darkness is a real tour de force, and a welcome return.
  3. Reviewed by: Hal Lipper
    Sep 24, 2013
    70
    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]
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Sep 24, 2013
    50
    John Carpenter's Prince of Darkness gets off to an intriguing start. But then the movie loses its way.
  5. Reviewed by: Vincent Canby
    Sep 24, 2013
    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.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Sep 24, 2013
    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.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Harrington
    Sep 24, 2013
    25
    Carpenter being Carpenter, he vacillates between overexplanation -- his are the most verbose horror films -- and cheap shocks.

See all 10 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 20, 2014
    8
    It's a shame Carpenter the director wasn't as spot-on with technique and suspense as he was with Halloween and The Thing. Some really brilliant ideas, like the shared dream, but a truckload too much symbolism and imagery--some subtlety here would have been nice. Good scoring by Carpenter, fine work by Pleasance and a nice cameo by Alice Cooper (in the soundtrack too). If it had perhaps another star or two, could be considered a classic... Expand

Trailers