Prince of Darkness (1987)

I was a bit stuck with what to write about this week. I was going to write about Rogue One, but I only just managed to stay awake during it (my wife actually did fall asleep). I’m a big Star Wars fan and I enjoyed last year’s The Force Awakens, however, I have friends who are bigger Star Wars geeks than me and they loved Rogue One. I found it boring and badly written, there was no suspense (as everyone knew that they’d get the plans for the Death Star out). There were some okay performances and some nice use of 3D – but the script was blah…

The problem with films like Rogue One is the complete lack of ideas, matched with big budgets. When the plot gets stuck, repetitive or simply boring there is a tendency to blow everything up with CGI in a desperate effort to keep the audience awake. Yawn…

Lower budget films with more ideas and carefully worked out characterisation are infinitely more interesting than big budget CGI snoozefests, and a film I watched recently that only reinforced what you can do with a low budget and some good ideas.

John Carpenter’s Price of Darkness (1987), if a full-length feature film, that has about 3 locations, a small cast, a low budget and so many more ideas than the average Hollywood CGI film.

The film is about religion, science, gender politics. It’s also scary, unsettling and is Lovecraftian in a way that flatters H.P Lovecraft. It’s also very funny, and contains the great Donald Pleasance who enjoys hamming up his role.

This film is a master class of what can be done with a limited budget and a lot of imagination.

The trailer is below.

Matthew Cooper has been a script writer for hire for over 20 years. He’s written for most of the UK soaps, including writing award winning episodes of Emmerdale, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Family Affairs and has been BAFTA shortlisted and Royal Television Society nominated as a script writer. He also works as a content writer for hire and as a UK script consultant. You can find some of his broadcast credits on the IMDb. You can get in touch with Matthew on or hire him on Peopleperhour