Angel Heart (1987) - Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Hohum Score



A private investigator is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.

IMDB: 7.3
Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro
Length: 113 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 29 out of 245 found boring (11.83%)

One-line Reviews (152)

Fascinating journey to mumbo-jumboland .

what a wonderful taut compelling horror/thriller is exceptionally well made and directed by Allan Parker this had lots of frightening images and an excellent creepy musical score that gave me the creeps it was very well done.

The twists and turns were mostly unpredictable, unlike many generic ones we now witness in today's movies.

OK, it is some kind of a mystery and horror and psichological thriller but this one was really slow paced, boring at times and overall I am not really thrilled about it.

After reading all the stupendous reviews of this film , and then seeing this dreary movie myself, I have to come to realize that either I am totally out of sync or the movie was itself out of sync, with both period-film production as well as modern cinematography.

Sad but true story of how gripping Rourke's performance is in this movie and his other 80s choices, as compared to the post-boxing era of Mickey's life.

And I'll tell you, after watching the moderately entertaining plot, I came to the violently repulsive sex scene between Lisa Bonet and Mickey Rourke...

Truly compelling acting by Rouke, De Niro, "Fowler", Rampling, and "Sweet" to have one watch this movie over and over.

Also appearing are Charlotte Rampling, beautiful as ever, in the role of black magic practitioner Margaret, and the stunning Lisa Bonet, who's memorable in the role of young mother Epiphany.

This was a part in which he apparently immersed himself, both off and on camera.

It wasn't frighteningly scary, but it sure was thrilling at times and often pretty violent.

The first two-third of the film is fairly intriguing as Rourke follows his leads.

That said, the rest of the film is quite enjoyable with a thoroughly involving mystery that needs to be sorted out, a rather potent mixture of black magic and voodoo which creates a nasty atmosphere, an intense and ultimately shocking sex scene thrown in and a rather shocking twist that ends the whole affair nicely.

The film has some continuity problems and some scenes which are confusing, even after you re-watch it several times, as I have.

This film gives you the creeps from the very beginning with it's dark photography and intense sounds.

It has absolutely no re-watch value, and I doubt that anyone will suffer the first 90 minutes of pure, unadulterated boredom, just to enjoy the 5-minute twisty end.

The mood throughout is intense as we discover piece by piece what initially seemed like a typical Chandleresque story is in fact something more sinister.

Love it or hate it - it looks stunning - very memorable .

But this small negative element is largely made up by the subtle violence and compelling mystery this film features.

The De Niro scenes are highly enjoyable, Rourke is watchable and the guy playing 'Toots' is a hoot.

The first time I saw this movie, I was a teenager, and thought the movie was too slowly paced.

It begins on a very ominous note and remains gripping all the way through its serpentine story.

Also examine some of the intriguing lines that slither out of DeNiro's mouth.

But it is a truly absorbing effort nonetheless, and one that I wouldn't pass up if it arrived on TV at some random moment in time.

"Angel Heart" is a flawed, imperfect film that is far from brilliant, yet amazingly intriguing.

His character is pretty entertaining to watch, likable and revolting at the same time.

Parker creates a wonderfully involving atmosphere and infuses a sense of dislocation into a period that has been trivialized in other films, with Rourke a capable, engaging leading man (at times looking like a Bruce Willis doppleganger)--his oft-unusual verbal inflections (his pronunciation of "Evangeline," for instance) make Angel that much more a stranger in hostile, mysterious land.

Creepy and highly exciting .

Overall a wonderful taut compelling thriller that is a must see or own for any movie fan!


Besides, the impeccably drawn cast led by Rourke does a truly remarkable job - that's beyond question - the sets are great, production design and cinematography are very evocative, the soundtrack is memorable and the story is one of the crucial ones.

Watch it on a slow day when you have time to savor these things and aren't overly anxious to figure it out or discover the resolution to the story.

I unsuspectingly decided to watch AngelHeart one day, propelled by the grim apocalyptic landscapes in The Wall and the intense Midnight Express.

Angel Heart had been chosen the worst movie by many people that year.

So, aside from the sometimes confusing plot points, I thought Angel Heart was a very good horror mystery and holds up well for being nearly 20 years old.

The movie must be having about a million camera angles of Rourke's face, the way he speaks, mumbles, stumbles, lurches, runs, drinks, fights, romances, jokes, grimaces, smokes umpteen cigarettes, etc etc etc. The pacing of the film is so slow that it is a perfect panacea for insomniacs.

This is one of those films that seems to have garnered almost unanimous praise, so I feel a bit stupid in admitting that I found the narrative kinda hard to follow; a lot of the symbolism also seems to have gone right over my head, making the film a bit of a chore to fully comprehend.

This is a truly stunning movie - its visual imagery being its most outstanding asset: evocative, haunting, provocative, emotional, memorable - indelible from the mind, in fact.

And, actor Robert De Niro as the drab, soul-collecting Lucifer (with his immaculately manicured fingernails) was a bore of the highest order.

At the end, all comes to light in the dumbest of all ways one can do it in a movie -- a long-winded and confusing monologue that will have you re-winding the DVD a couple of times just to get it straight.

I walked out of the theater totally confused not knowing what the conclusion was.

Last but not least, the stunning Lisa Bonnet in the role which got here kicked out of "The Cosby Show" -- ironic ain't it?

what a wonderful taut compelling horror/thriller WARNING!!!!!!!!

The premise is so fascinating.

His harrowing display of pain in these scenes is so intense and believable that you truly feel his despair.

A stunning achievement, a dark masterpiece .

I've watched this movie a few times now, first because it is so stylishly noir and evocative of a time and place and genre, and secondly because I really would like to get my brain around the actual premise of the diabolical transaction that took place.

"Angel Heart" is not for the faint-hearted (my wife hated it, for example), but for me it was an engrossing and rewarding watch and certainly made my heart pound a little faster as it reached its climax.

(With Rourke I still remain completely baffled by what brought about his vast popularity in the movies during the days of his youth) Angel Heart is clearly one of those frustratingly confused and convoluted stories that (in all of its demented confusion) gives away its surprise, twist ending far too early in the show.

Martin, manager of the Voodoo Museum in New Orleans, Ifa Priest Dr. Afolabi Epega, dancer and teacher Ausettua Amor Amenkum, and others, the "special features" is well worth watching, whether it be by an every day joe or joeanne, an initiate, or a practitioner of the faith.

Overall this film will work best for those who are totally unaware of the twists and turns it takes but is still an effective and enjoyable thriller for those who see the twists coming or know what they are.

Angel Heart is a dreary mishmash of overblown egos, lofty expectations, misplaced symbolism, and garish excess.

It's that gripping.

All in all Angel Heart is a very effective period thriller, it moves along at a slow pace and might prove a little slow and dated for some, but it maintains interest as Angel (and the audience) moves closer to the truth and boasts some solid performances from actors who could have let this all go extremely cheesy.

Sultry music; interior shadows and muted colors; and those 1950s visuals, with its hairstyles, old cars, and drab clothes combine to create an eerie framework conducive to murder and spiritualism in the bayou country of Louisiana, a delicious cinematic cocktail of mystery and suspense.

Director Alan Parker brilliantly weaves an intense thriller using the horror and noir genres.

Even though I actually figured out the whole story after just ten minutes it was still hard to follow.

We see the hero going from one cliché scene to the next and naturally he soon finds himself a suspect in a murder case.

Parker uses very strong images of fiery red that stand out against dull, cloudy grey backgrounds in his effective gory and bloody images.

" You may or may not guess the ending, but if you're the type who's bothered by confusing movies -- simply read all the spoilers or the whole screenplay, THEN see the film!

It's basic set-up - that a man sold his soul to the devil for fame and fortune, but then found a way to renege on the deal - is fascinating.

The violence is deliberately – and excessively – unpleasant, and there's a bizarrely pretentious (and controversial) scene in which Rourke and Bonet have sex, somewhat vigorously, while blood drips down onto them from the ceiling.

Its only fault is: It's boring and way more ambitious than what it delivers in the end.

The story can easily confuse many a viewer, but the pace is slow and deliberate.

Most 90's horror movies would instead tirelessly try to scare us poorly with such images, but Parker has instead ingeniously let such graphic images tell us through their look what is happening in the story; rather then just letting us just think 'Ok another boring dead body that popped out to try to scare me Sh**less'.

They can do this because movies habitually cut out boring, daily activities of their characters - going to the toilet, transporting themselves from one place to another, that sort of thing.

There are other gruesome images, including a chicken sacrifice that would turn the biggest carnivores into vegetarians, but mainly this is a mystery--and what an intriguing one it is!

As we get much deeper in the mystery things just get more intriguing and even stranger, which results in more questions than answers.

I was stunned as I was completely drawn into the world of Detective Harry Angel, and sat mesmerized for the next two hours, until the film's stunning conclusion left me breathless, even though I knew what was coming.

Consequently we share Harry Angel's frustration and confusion throughout the film as to what is going on i.

And, we wouldn't want to leave out Elizabeth Whitcraft (Goodfellas, Working Girl) who gave the most skintastic performance of her career.

Worth watching, at least once, in my opinion!

an enjoyable watch .

Entertaining, thought-provoking/smart, well-acted and brilliantly photographed and directed -- what more could you ask for.

Oh,by the way,don't tell the ending to your friends,because is very surprising and unexpected.

I enjoyed it though.

Set back in the day where the City of Sin was an appropriate setting for mystery, spooky spirituality, sex, brutality,confusion, and murder.

Overall, this is a really intense psychological horror film.

A gripping film .

The twisting suspenseful plot is the key to this film, very well supported by the New Orleans-Louisiana superb background.

The ending is maybe the most suspenseful ever, this movie rocks!

Sometimes it's difficult to follow the plot precisely, and every detail needs to pay attention to get the clues and put the pieces together.

It generates intense visceral fear without the need for gratuitous violence or gore.

I do not go much for that Parker kind of stuff("Midnight express" ,albeit technically breathtaking was a little racist,"Shoot the moon" was a big bore,and you've got to be into Pink Floyd to appreciate such a work as "the wall")"Angel Heart " is a different matter,because it deals with the horror and fantasy genre.

The symbols alone are worth watching.

In order to cause this feeling, the director conceived a claustrophobic atmosphere, highly mysterious and disturbing: spiral staircases, shadows, opening and closing doors, intense and visceral soundtrack full of subliminal sounds, and most important: an intelligent and totally different plot from what we've seen so far.

Put simply its a thoroughly watchable affair that grips from the start and breezes by with nary a dull spell.

DVD Transfer Enhances This Sordid-But-Intriguing Movie .

One of my favourite films and yet Alan Parker wasn't the type of director I'd figure could turn in such a dark, gripping voodoo-noir as he does here.

Voodoo beliefs provide much of interest but I felt they were better featured in such simple low cost B movies as 'French Quarter' or 'Barravento' and I do not know what place they were supposed to have here unless it was to provide justification for some of the extremely crude and gross, but totally pointless images - often verging on the obscene - gracing this film.

Check this movie out by any means if you are bored by all those movies which try creeping you out with extensive gore and close-ups.

But I found the first half of the film somewhat ponderous and I was a little uninterested in where it was all going.

Sadly for all its slick watch-ability its too flawed a work to be all that powerful or memorable but its entertaining at least.

Alan Parker evokes eerie emotions and stunning visuals in a southern voodoo atmosphere with his experimental film-making witch is simply unforgettable.

A Visually Stunning Cult Thriller.

Over all this film is different from most quickly made horror thrilling type films, and that's because careful thought has gone into its writing, directing, acting and production.

The plot is a bit too murky for its own good at times, and credulity is stretched to breaking point, but the constant sense of unease and the off kilter flow of Harry Angel's journey, ensures its riveting from the start to its wonderfully twisted ending.

I also found the suspense to be absolutely riveting.

The movie was slow in places and the story trailed away every now and then.

A melting pot of suspenseful genres mixed pretty well .

The dark atmosphere of evil and voodoo is gripping and well painted by director Parker.

People who are into movies that involve elements of satanism, where the devil is a character, will certainly enjoy it more, but most will get enjoyment out of its classic mystery structure and intriguing twist.

This flick has the ingredients to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Exciting 1987 thriller fare, that time in no way has changed .

Rourke is alert and gripping, and De Niro is cunningly rich (though the role is beneath him).

Instead it's overlong, portentous and pretentious, and lacking in anything approaching real wit.

The acting was still really good so it was for sure worth the watch.

Overall, a sleazy but very intriguing story, with great atmosphere, that I enjoy watching every five years or so.

Other than the delightfully creepy performance by De Niro, director and adapter Alan Parker deserves the praise for the enjoyable parts of this movie, namely it's suspense.

A thoroughly engrossing, psychological thriller, while being an unsettling and foreboding journey, for nearly all it's running time, with danger at many a turn.

Personally, I love slow moving films like this with artsy cinematography and attention to detail.

While it was disturbing and unbearable to watch in certain scenes, this movie still remains one of the best I have ever seen.

But to have either delivered in as confusing and slap-dash a manner as this script did leaves one feeling more bewildered and clueless than anything else.

So the PI is looking for Johnny and its pretty cool and interesting and exciting with a lot of cool locations.

Instead, unique and stylish OCCULT-THRILLER like Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Ninth Gate" based on intrigue, confusion and contradiction.

Not spectacular but not disappointing, "Angel Heart" is entertaining and certainly unique.

Angel Heart moves slowly and intricately, but it has more than enough to keep anyone interested, most notably an intriguing storyline, some lovely visuals and great performances from all concerned.

The plot is thoroughly absorbing, offbeat and full of surprises and the quantity of blood on view is absolutely extraordinary.

This is an intriguing, unusual, beautifully directed, highly atmospheric film that successfully crosses any number of genre: film noir, thriller, mystery, and horror.

Too artsy fartsy.

Alan Parker directs the film with a keen eye for the grotesque yet glorious, framing beautiful shots that capture the films disturbing darkness, as well as mixing in some fast paced scenes with an abundance of quick cuts that scream right into your face and keep you so heavily engaged in the film that you just can't look away.

Rated R: Graphic Language, Graphic Violence, Full Nudity, an intense sex scene and violence-against-animals.

To repeat: A good substitute for Alprax, for those on medication for insomnia.

"Angel Heart" has a haunting quality that makes repeat viewings irresistible and enough twists to ensure that such experiences are both rewarding and enjoyable.

While Cypher explains to Angel just how badly he wants Favorite located – by increasing Angel's fee dramatically – he somehow manages to make the simple and banal task of eating a hard boiled egg infinitely more menacing than I remembered it being as a kid.

The plot was predictable and very resist-able.

Immensely enjoyable mystery.

Angelheart is an intriguing and oppressive movie.

This movie is full of suspense and movie is little slow.

The script, which is based on a novel called 'Falling Angel' by William Hjortsberg is intriguing, complex and rewarding overall if you put the effort in for sure.

The soundtrack is great,the story is compelling .

There's also a fair amount of black humour, and a wealth of sparkling cameo performances (Izzy and Wife) that add depth and quirkiness to the film - making the overall experience even more enjoyable.

It's worth watching if you're a sucker for Rourke's acting chops, occult or alternative suspense/horror flicks, or you just wanna see Rourke's hairless bum (I'm serious).

Favorite had suffered serious injuries during his time in North Africa where he'd been entertaining the troops and had spent time in a mental hospital near Poughkeepsie where it's believed that, after undergoing extensive plastic surgery, he'd been treated for shell shock.

But just as drag races are, in the end, somewhat pointless journeys that go nowhere, so too does 'Angel Heart' fall short of greatness.

Although dealing with the occult, the film is not gratuitously or manipulatively suspenseful or violent, rather, it is artful in its details and engaging as a detective thriller.

His use of heartbeats for this dreadful suspense effect and the way he intercuts the scenes of shocking discovery with normal ones (such as a boy tap dancing in the streets of New Orleans) is nearly adrenaline-pumping.

Very confusing film, I couldn't work out what was real and what wasn't, and the ending doesn't make sense to me - if Angel is really Johnny what is the relevance of him killing all those people?

Good but predictable .

For me, this is a very stylish and intriguing film that has many good things about it.

Actors, with the handsome Mickey Rourke signing his best feature, showing yet his dark side after the otherwise graphically beautiful "9 1/2 weeks", the -this time- impressive De Niro in an unexpected application,Charlotte Rampling in her line with a-can't-more coldish role of medium, telling also of the troubling character of Cosbie show escaping Lisa Bonet.

Among films of this type it's easier to follow than, say, "Memento," but more befuddled and confusing than "The Sixth Sense.

)Including drugs,voodoo,sabbath ,intense love scenes,featuring a wonderful cast:Rourke,who had never been better (and never would)and a frighteningly deadpan DeNiro cast as Louis Cipher,this movie takes us along in a meandering,labyrinthine investigation in which private detective Rourke will find so dreadful things he won't escape unharmed.

DeNiro was fairly predictable but intense and Charlotte Rampling, studied and subtle and pragmatically beautiful as ever.

It was too dark for me, and confusing.

He is enlisted by the mysterious Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro) to locate an allegedly-dead-but-not-dead Jazz musician by the name of Johnny Favorite; what ensues is a trip through gritty locales and offbeat characters (including a guy who has a year-round hobby of "biting the heads off rats"), with Angel winding up in New Orleans, a steamy land of mystery punctuated by intense jazz numbers, voodoo rituals, and bizarre sexuality.

How Robert De Niro became involved in this oddly compelling piece of crap is the strangest mystery of all.

I discovered them at the same time the character did, which made the film much more enjoyable than otherwise.

We are trusting the filmmakers to show us everything relevant and cut out the uninteresting.

So it belongs in a little-acknowledged genre of expressionistic 80s films that combine intense visuals with a silly or incomprehensible plot (think "The Hunger," "Altered States" and "9 1/2 Weeks," which also starred Mr. Rourke).

Just add a terrific soundtrack by Trevor Jones (similar to other collaborations with Parker), featuring the tenor sax player Courtney Pine, which puts extra adrenaline and fear in dangerous doses, and a few good old tunes, and you'll get a clearly underrated movie which is even better on the big screen.

Every 3 to 4 years I will watch the movie again because the premise in engaging and the finale is really good.