Wednesday, March 31, 2010

'Fallen' is a superb supernatural thriller

Fallen (1998)
Starring: Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Donald Sutherland, and Embeth Davidtz
Director: Nicholas Kazan
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Homicide detective John Hobbes (Washigton) captures and witnesses the execution of a serial killer... but a short time later, the murders start up again, as the demon that was doing the killing has found a new host. Will Hobbes find a way to stop a formless, immortal being that slips easily from host to host before it's too late?

"Fallen" is a slow-boil horror film that's low on the graphic violence so many people seem to crave today, but high on suspense. It's also a movie that demands the audience pay attention, because if you notice the various clues and hints scatterered thorughout, the film is that much more exciting. (The way the end loops back to the beginning is particularly cool... I was so engrossed in the going-ons that I'd forgotten the entire film is a flashback that starts with "Let me tell you about the time I almost died.")

The cast is excellent--Denzel Washington is as good in this film as he's been anywhere, I think--and the supporting cast is also great. The photography and other technical aspects are also top-notch, and it's all driven by a perfectly paced script and well-crafted characters.

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