Prime Screening Room: Fallen

February 26, 2013
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Here in the Prime Screening Room, I highlight Amazon Prime Instant Videos that are not only free for Prime members to watch, but definitely worth the cost of the rental for everyone else as well.

If you enjoyed Denzel Washington’s Academy Award -Nominated turn in Flight, or if you’re a fan of supernatural thrillers with a little depth, give Fallen (R, 4/5 stars avg Amazon review rating, currently priced at $2.99 to rent and $5.99 to buy, currently FREE for Amazon Prime members to view) a try.

Note: this movie will leave the Prime catalog after 2/28, so be sure to catch it by the end of the month if you’re a Prime member and want to avoid the rental fee.

On IMDB, Fallen is described like this:

Det. John Hobbes is convinced that when killer Edgar Reese is executed, all of his troubles are over. But when people he knows and people on the street start to sing the same tune that Reese sang in the gas chamber, and those same people taunt him, he is told that maybe the cursed fallen angel Azazel is behind it all. Azazel is cursed to roam the Earth without a form, and he can switch bodies by any contact, making him hard to track. When Hobbes is forced to kill a man possessed by Azazel, he must clear his name while protecting his family and others from the evil, vengeful Azazel. – Written by Ben Borg

My Take:

I’m a HUGE fan of smart supernatural thrillers and I’m a sucker for interesting movies about the timeless battle between the Biblical icons of good and evil (like Priest, Constantine and Legion). Unfortunately for me, nowadays it seems like most of what passes as supernatural thriller movies are really just teenage love stories (like the Twilight franchise), gore fests (like the Friday the 13th franchise and endless Texas Chainsaw Massacre remakes) and what I call “torture porn”: movies like the Saw series that are basically just a bunch of vignettes of increasingly extreme and sickening torture murders.

This movie starts out seeming like a crime thriller about a serial killer, sort of like Silence of the Lambs, but a bit less graphic. Denzel Washington and John Goodman are the detectives whose police work and determination have finally brought the killer to justice, but after the killer’s execution the murders continue. This is a common enough trope in crime thrillers, the old, “Just when you thought it was over, the killing begins anew!” sort of thing.

But in this case, the truth is nothing so simple as a copycat, or some kind of trick the killer pulled to avoid execution while convincing authorities they’d seen the last of him. Detective Hobbes (played by Washington) soon witnesses signs that the killer wasn’t the man he just saw breathe his last in the electric chair, but some kind of otherworldly being that can jump from body to body and make its hosts puppets to its dark will.

Hobbes has had plenty of experience dealing with the criminal element, but this case will try not only his intellect, but his very soul.

The performances are stellar across the board, and John Goodman is a great match for Washington here. He does a great job of keeping the audience guessing right to the end: has Hobbes convinced him of the truth, does he think Hobbes has gone off the deep end and needs psychiatric help, or has he fallen under the spell of the evil spirit, too? You’ll have to watch to find out.

Fallen is an excellent supernatural thriller that earns and deserves the label. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie the first time I saw it, I’ve introduced many friends to it over the years, and when I saw it was on sale for under $6 in the Instant Video store, I bought it. If you’re a Prime member but can’t squeeze this movie in before it leaves Prime at the end of the month, and you love quality supernatural thrillers, this film is worth buying so you can watch it at your leisure.

I rate it 5/5 stars.

 

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