Remember how I mentioned in my review of The Prophecy how the 90’s seemed to be filled with films about angels and demons? One film that really stood out to me from that time period is today’s entry, Fallen, starring Denzel Washington. Fallen is one that really surprised me and has stuck with me since the first time I saw it over 20 years ago.
Today’s Key Movie:
Not to be confused with the 2016 film of the same name, Fallen follows Detective John Hobbes as he tracks down an apparent copy cat killer only to discover that the killer might be a fallen angel named Azazel. Hobbes soon finds himself in a race to end these murders by a man who may in fact be an ancient being from before time itself.
Why this movie?
When I first saw this film, I was living on my own for the first time renting video’s from a local grocery store. Every week, on payday, I would walk down the street and, after collecting my groceries, I would select the first film that caught my eye in the small area filled with VHS. I was single, with few friends and an insatiable love for movies that I fed on a regular basis. The films I watched those days became some of my favorite and I am sure will be touched on in this blog at some point in the future but it is this film that really captured my interest.
In the 90’s Denzel Washingon was everywhere. This was an actor who you ran to the theater to see as you knew you were in for a treat when he had a starring role. Many of his roles were either action films or had a historical significance but in 1998 he starred in an interesting cop drama that takes on a supernatural twist.
On its surface, this film comes across as a cop film in the vein of Se7en or Silence of the Lambs, but as the film progresses, it soon becomes clear that there is something strange going on. There is a mystery involving a fallen angel named Azazel and how this being has been killing people for centuries.
You like it, but is it really a ‘good’ movie?
To me, this is one of Denzel’s finest works. It is not a blockbuster film or the typical ‘feelgood’ movie, instead it is a cleverly written and carefully steered tale that is told from a very unique point of view. I have to be careful not to say too much as going to deeply into the plot will give away one of the most inspired twists I have seen and that will only ruin the experience. If you have seen it, you will know what I am talking about, but if you haven’t man you are in for a treat.
While this is not technically a horror film, it’s supernatural elements brings it awfully close. What is delightful about this film is that it manages to tell a supernatural tale with little use of special effects but still captures the essence through clever camera tricks and filters while maintaining a sense of urgency throughout. There is a certain tension that Director Gregory Hoblit brings that really makes this film as intense as it is intriguing. Even in the quiet moments, Hoblit manages to get you looking for the subtle hints and clues as to what is going on just as Detective Hobbes is doing the very same thing. When the truth is revealed, it is perhaps one of the coolest and most interesting scenes I have seen in a while, causing confusion and revelation all at once.
Much like Hitchcock did for birds and showers and what Spielberg did for beaches, Fallen will have you thinking twice about handshakes and the song ‘Time is on my Side’ by the Rolling Stones. Trust me, every time you hear that song it will remind you of this film and give you a chill down your spine.
Besides the wonderful Denzel Washington, the cast includes John Goodman, Donald Sutherland, Embeth Davidtz, James Gandolfini and, not ironically, Elias Koteas. I say the latter because Elias played a similar role in The Prophecy with Christopher Walken in which he too pursued a fallen angel but with much more at stake. The cast as a whole is tremendous. Everyone is at their best in every way giving some of their best performances in their careers. Throughout the entire film, you find yourself truly believing that these people exist and that there are indeed things hiding in the unknown reaches of reality, whether those things are really there or not.
Overall, this is an excellent supernatural thriller that makes you second guess the world around you. It has a great deeper story that is only touched on implying that there is a greater effort at work that have been attempting to battle the demons since time began. With an all star cast and an incredible story, this is a fantastic example of Horror-Noir and is one that is well worth the watch. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and grab a copy, you won’t regret it.
OK, where do I get this movie?
You can snag a copy here for around $15 on bluray or really on any digital platform you prefer. If you find a copy on sale, I highly recommend grabbing it as it is an excellent film that many people overlooked when it first came out.
As usual, the trailer:
Late To The Game 2/6/2020
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