How do you explain a movie without giving away the catch, but still indulge in all kinds of witty wordplay? You don’t write about Angel Heart. Yet here we are, so this will be a dull as paint write-up. Because you really shouldn’t know much of anything before seeing this brilliant horror.
People older than twenty might remember that Mickey Rourke had quite a career in the late Eighties and early Nineties. It all fell apart and then was since briefly resurrected, but he played the same kind of anti-hero characters, just with a prettier face. Angel Heart and Rourke’s cynical private investigator Harry Angel put him on that star map. Today the film still has its fans and has more than once been compared to the equally strange Jacob’s Ladder. But at least Jacob’s story was all about salvation. Angel Heart has a far darker purpose in mind…
Hired by a mysterious and rather creepy man, Harry has to locate a missing singer who reneged on a deal. As Harry tugs at the threads, it all starts to unravel – as any good thriller would. But things also become strange – very strange – and there is a growing sense of malevolence and the macabre as the movie progresses. A New Orleans haze blends with dark rooms, voodoo and a growing feeling of something far more evil behind the scenes. When it all comes to a head, you’ll have probably already figured it out. Yet you can’t look away. Especially when Robert De Niro eats an egg.
More can’t be said about Angel Heart, other than it is one of the best films of its genre. Telling that genre would be giving it away. Then again, you might figure it out quite early on. In a brilliant piece of cinematic sleight-of-hand, the story dangles the answer in front of you almost from the start. Indeed, Angel Heart drops quite a few clues about what’s really going on. And yet not unlike classics such as The Usual Suspects, even if you did see the twist coming, the journey to that final revelation is well worth it. That alone makes this one of the movies any serious film geek must watch.
Last Updated: August 26, 2013