The Prophecy 1995 Movie Scene Christopher Walken as Gabriel using his powers to burn a dead body in the morgue

The Prophecy [1995]

I’ve known about this movie for almost twenty years. And yet, something about it seemed off so I constantly kept avoiding it. I don’t know what exactly turned me off. Perhaps the fact that there are no less than four sequels of declining quality. Although, now that I think about it, that should be a good sign. Maybe I didn’t like the cast but, then again, I fucking love Elias Koteas! And he’s in the lead role here along with Christopher Walken and the supporting cast is even better. I guess, the ancient texts were right and I simply had to watch this movie now, in the year of our lord Cthulhu 2024. So, with that unnecessary intro out of the way, it’s time to take a look at this bizarre little movie from the nineties. 

The Prophecy is an occult thriller with strong horror elements following a detective who accidentally finds himself in the middle of the battle of Angels, here, on Earth. You see, Gabriel has had enough of this shit and he wants to find a soul so evil that it’s going to tip the scales of this angelic war in his favor. To prevent him from doing that, Simon, another angel now walking amongst us, will have to work hard. However, things will get increasingly complicated and morally ambiguous as time goes on. And soon, you might find yourself cheering for the “wrong side”. The Prophecy has all the hallmarks of a B movie including the lack of wider recognition.

And yet competent direction, unique story, and an all-star cast make it feel like a much bigger movie. So, you could argue we got the best of both worlds all wrapped up in one nice package. Not to mention all the subtle humor and witty one-liners. Even the practical effects are surprisingly good and gruesome. This includes make-up and scenes depicting the ongoing battle between different factions of angels in heaven. The transitions between the scenes were expertly done, further immersing you into this surreal and oddly captivating story. Granted, you will have to pay attention to figure out what’s actually going on and who’s who. 

So, I think that the storytelling could be a bit better. I would even accept a couple of exposition dumps just to understand better the main story. Still, even this slight confusion contributes to the overall atmosphere giving it a nightmarish vibe. Like you’re not really sure what’s going on but you know it’s important and bad. The Prophecy actually prophesized the arrival of the new breed of the occult thriller. In just a couple of short years after its release, we got no less than five movies featuring similar stories. The most popular one is undoubtedly The Devil’s Advocate starring Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino. And don’t worry, I will list the rest of them a bit later.

For now, I want to focus on the movie at hand. The Prophecy is the first and only film Gregory Widen directed after writing the script for the eighties classic The Highlander. The grandiosity and the seriousness of his approach here cannot be understated. They contrast the humor and bizarre visuals quite effectively. I say bizarre visuals but what I really mean is all the angels squatting in an unnatural way. This pose was supposed to symbolize birds, angels as birds, which is even weirder. Gabriel, who’s actually a villain in this movie played by Christopher Walken is no exception and it was truly strange to watch him do this. Angels do not have wings here but look like they’re members of the underground goth band.

Their appearance resembles the style used in Widen’s first hit, The Highlander. Their minions, however, look like they’re straight out of Hellraiser. While we’re on that subject, while there won’t be a lot of graphic violence, there will be a couple of nasty scenes. After all, this is an R-rated movie. In fact, this whole movie is quite strange and, at times, even nightmarish. I played it late last night thinking I’m just going to start it and that’s it. However, I’ve made it almost to the hour mark when I finally decided that it was time to go to sleep. As I was brushing my teeth, I kept thinking how ridiculous the whole story was and just how seriously everybody took it. And then I fell asleep. 

What happened next was one of the most vivid nightmares I’ve had in a long time. Eternal suffering, huge responsibilities, endless power, all came crashing down on me in this dream. I woke up sweaty, terrorized, and confused, refusing to go back to sleep for fear that I would end up in that place again. All of a sudden, The Prophecy had a completely different tone for me. And when I finished it the next day, I was really happy that the whole thing was finally over. Well, I should wrap this movie recommendation up by telling you that the supporting cast did a terrific job. 

We have not only charismatic Eric Stoltz and Viggo Mortensen but also convincing Virginia Madsen. I should also mention poor Adam Goldberg who was excellent as the guy who just wants to die. Finally, I didn’t forget about all those occult horrors/thrillers from the nineties, so here they are: Fallen, The Ninth Gate, End of Days, and Stigmata. The Prophecy sequels are not too bad as Christopher Walken reprises his role of Gabriel in most of them. So, if you’re looking for religiously themed horror movies, they’re not a bad choice. 

Director: Gregory Widen

Writer: Gregory Widen

Cast: Elias Koteas, Christopher Walken, Eric Stoltz, Virginia Madsen, Viggo Mortensen, Adam Goldberg

Fun Facts: In one of the scenes, Gabriel is trying to find out which one of the kids is hiding the evil spirit, so he lets them play with his trumpet. According to religious texts, Gabriel’s trumpet symbolizes the end of the world. This is why he tells the kids to go easy on it.


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