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Movie review: The Serpent and the Rainbow

The Serpent and the Rainbow
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Movie review: The Serpent and the Rainbow


Searching for a voodoo powder that can turn people into zombies, Dennis believes it can also be used as a medicine. Traveling to Haiti he instead finds a community that would rather turn his life into a living nightmare.

Bill Pullman (Dennis), Cathy Tyson (Marielle), Zakes Mokae (Dargent), Paul Winfield (Lucien), Brent Jennings (Louis), Conrad Roberts (Christophe), Badja Djola (Gaston), Michael Gough (Schoonbacher), Aleta Mitchell (Celestine).

The Serpent and the Rainbow begins with Dennis already in another country searching for medicine which leads him on a psychological journey of self-discovery. Realizing the potential power of ritual, he sets out for Haiti in search of the mysterious zombie powder. Instead he finds a secretive, subversive community that will gladly abuse him mentally both to keep their secrets, and for fun. The story turns to horror slowly and only when adequate suspense is built first, keeping things flowing well and interesting through the end.

Pullman did an incredible job in this film, both with his delivery and physical abilities. Mokae and Winfield were great additions and brought a realistic feel to the film. The remainder of the supporting cast was solid and contributed well.

Camera work and sets were very realistic with good attention to detail. Backgrounds felt very natural and added well to the film. Physical and horror effects were nicely done throughout. Dialogue was solid, as were sound and soundtrack.

Overall The Serpent and the Rainbow is a nicely done though it feels like more of a psychological thriller than a horror film as billed. Those who enjoy a detailed storyline and good suspense will enjoy this the most.

With some violence, nudity, foul language, and mildly disturbing scenes, this should be fine for older teens and above.

Released: 1988
Reviewed: 3.23.14
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: Horror Movies, Supernatural Horror Movies

copyright ©2014 Dave Riedel

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