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The Serpent and the Rainbow

The Serpent and the Rainbow

1988
Fantasy
Horror
1h 38m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 42.85% from 628 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(628)
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Rated 07 Dec 2017
74
76th
"All of us under its spell. We know that it's probably magic. Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices? I've heard them calling my name." "I've heard it too many times to ignore it. It's something that I'm supposed to be." - not Bill Pullman fearful about being buried alive as a victim of local Voodoo. It's actually Kermit the Frog singing Rainbow Connection. So there's that.
Rated 24 Jul 2018
80
85th
Craven uses Walked to make his living dead. As this fearless scholar goes deep into Haiti - all sorts of rituals and ceremonies - to find zombie powder for corporate - and, who knows, medical use - interest, we watch a spiritual and political battle in a country in turmoil - Duvaliers about to flee - and in the mind of the American visitor - in a way, he's the menace. Beautiful make-up - zombie taking his head off, chair taking the villain to hell. Some of the best nightmarish dream sequences.
Rated 23 Aug 2011
65
42nd
Lonestar gets a nail in his dick. The end.
Rated 09 Dec 2019
65
27th
An oddity amongst the Craven I've seen, probably because he didn't pen the script. It very much feels like a typical goofy archeological adventure flick in the vein of the Brendan Fraser Mummy, or National Treasure that somehow found its way into Craven's hands. It has some brilliant dreamy FX sequences, but the 'exoticism' of Haiti is uncomfortablely overplayed, the voice over is awful, and Pullman has about as much charisma as a shovel. Fiedel totally plagerizes his own T2 score.
Rated 08 Apr 2009
70
56th
I really liked the whole atmosphere in this movie, it just feels kinda right. Reminded me a lot of Gabriel Knight at some points :) It also has its scary moments and I really enjoyed most of it, like, everything right up to the last 20 minutes or so, it got pretty silly and absurd.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
55
32nd
Bill Pullman gets his sack nailed to a chair by voodoo practitioners when he goes to Haiti to investigate zombies. Cheesy and forgettable.
Rated 20 Oct 2011
64
39th
I remember Bill Pullman, a nail, and a dick.
Rated 11 May 2017
78
83rd
Absolute horror classic. Loaded with stunning dream visuals.
Rated 26 Dec 2018
60
48th
A white man of 'reason' becomes lost in an otherworldly place that doesn't conform to his narrow preconceptions, much to his detriment. Craven works overtime to create a strange atmosphere that is pitched somewhere between Tournier and Friedkin (i.e. exoticism meets docu-realism), but its politics are simplistic and it descends into standard monster movie tropes in its final reel. Fortunately, the disturbing dream sequences and the buried alive scene rank amongst Craven's very best work.
Rated 09 Apr 2007
70
61st
I actually liked this movie a lot. Neat locations, creepy plot which doesn't stray too far into horror movie territory, decent acting from Bill Pullman. Silly, but still worth a few viewings.
Rated 21 Mar 2007
81
39th
Great zombie story that actually works for the story and ambience. It's a shame that Craven uses some Marvel Comics like special effects for the ending - it would work better if it remained on a more sobber level.
Rated 13 Dec 2013
65
38th
Ok, I have to admit, I'm sorta guessing on this one based on the fact I saw this in the early 90's when I was barely a teenager, but I do remember being really fucking creeped out by it, and the movie was genuinely scary. Course, I thought, for some reason, that Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap was the star. He and Bill Pullman look nothing alike, though, so that's kinda fucked up.
Rated 12 Feb 2009
68
48th
This is a film where the political elements are just as frightening and claustrophpbic (perhaps even more so) than the shock/scare moments in the rest of the film. A wonderful entry into the zombie genre, with atmosphere to spare. Two plot elements bog this film lower than it should: 1) personally, for a movie about religion and Catholicism/mysticism, it is Godless; 2) the false/second ending really destroys the emotional resonance and contributes to point number 1.
Rated 11 May 2011
47
3rd
It's a shame Craven made this as a horror, the (true) story it is based on is really intriguing and would have made a great mystery thriller in good hands. The filmmaking is pretty poor - the editing and lighting in particular, but the film has a certain authenticity in mood and locations. There's also a whole white man/rationalism triumphing over black man/primitivism thing going on that I didn't like. For a good Zakes Mokae role, check Dust Devil.
Rated 24 Feb 2007
50
35th
Not bad.
Rated 21 May 2009
20
44th
Not, as the title may have led you to suppose, an ingenious blend of two novels by D.H. Lawrence. With the added historical-political dimension of Baby Doc Duvalier and the Ton-Ton Macoute, this is a bit of a stretch for Craven, and he comes up a bit short, most embarrassingly whenever a two-fisted Harvard professor has to step in and take charge of the Indiana Jonesian heroics.
Rated 20 Dec 2007
60
19th
I think in the right hands this could have been a classic horror movie.
Rated 02 Dec 2023
65
28th
Craven brings his signature brand of unsettling imagery to what is otherwise an old-fashioned adventure story – Pullman lacks the presence required to pull off his INDIANA JONES-ish hero, but the supporting players are all well-cast, especially Winfield going all-out sinister, and Gough as this film’s equivalent of a mad scientist. Nice sense of local atmosphere in the Haiti scenes, and the other worldly moments are well realised and disturbing, but somehow it never quite comes together.
Rated 14 Nov 2020
65
41st
65.2.
Rated 27 Feb 2022
39
31st
Pullman is badly miscast and I'm still waiting for a decent horror/thriller set in Haiti during the Duvalier regime.
Rated 16 Aug 2014
70
46th
poor execution of cool ideas with some nice scenery, like the descent
Rated 30 Oct 2015
75
40th
No this isn't a Carebears episode, this is a horror film by the late Wes Craven. I really liked this movie in theory... zombies created in Haiti by a magic powder and a drug company from America wanting to harvest that drug for themselves as a new anesthesia method. I love Bill Pullman and I wish he was in more stuff, he was really good in this movie too, I just felt like the movie wasn't really all that scary...
Rated 02 Jun 2008
69
32nd
Offically the most misleading movie cover ever made, do not watch this movie in hopes of zombie action, you will be disappointed.
Rated 27 Mar 2013
90
52nd
An above average and interesting horror film with the backdrop of voodoo practices in Haiti.
Rated 27 Feb 2010
56
64th
well, the story is pretty dull and pullman is uninspiring (and dresses like a dork). but on the other hand, voodoo is awesome and there should be more horror movies about it, plus the film has a few solid Craven scares. and mozart is pretty cool.
Rated 07 Jan 2018
1
20th
Looked one of those fun messes, just a bad one.
Rated 02 Aug 2013
34
4th
A bunch of nonsense IMO.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
74
67th
A very fun, effective thriller.
Rated 01 Apr 2007
60
47th
Has its moments but kinda silly
Rated 24 Apr 2008
92
94th
Easily the best thing Wes Craven ever did.
Rated 03 Oct 2013
50
36th
The voice over narration makes the whole thing seem like a dime store documentary, and Craven fails to turn any of the creepy plot or subtext into anything emotionally resonant. Oh, and Bill Pullman is just horribly miscast. Really could've/should've been much better.
Rated 29 Aug 2017
6
2nd
I think I hate voodoo movies.
Rated 10 Oct 2013
61
24th
60.500
Rated 24 Aug 2009
45
20th
Boy howdy, I thought this movie was bad BEFORE the zombie-man leapt out of the wall to prevent Bill Pullman from dismantling the scrotum-torture-chair. Yeah.
Rated 30 Nov 2020
60
23rd
It has some nice gory practical effects. The story is a bit weak, and the end feels rushed. Overall meh.
Rated 22 May 2011
43
7th
Hmmm... "The Serpent and the Rainbow" could have been a lot better. The story is pretty cool, but it has some narrative problems. It also felt kind of long, even though it's only about 1 hour and 30 minutes. That's not a good thing.
Rated 14 Feb 2009
70
52nd
Been awhile
Rated 30 Jun 2019
71
47th
Este filme é típico produto dos anos 80, fora daquela década talvez ele não tivesse muita razão de ser, essa mistura de Coração Satânico com Altered States, ao passo que não é tão boa quanto seus pares, ainda mantem um clima e tensão com algumas cenas marcadamente ótimas do mais fino horror. Darkflix TV.
Rated 24 Mar 2013
59
33rd
I'm one of the few people that FAR prefers EC Comics/voodoo zombies to Romero zombies, their queasy racial politics notwithstanding. Aside from the burial scene, though, it's not anything to write home about.
Rated 04 Aug 2008
65
45th
Alright. The only groundbreaking thing we got from this was a good song called Voodoo by a band under the name Godsmack.
Rated 08 Oct 2011
60
28th
60.000
Rated 17 Jun 2009
79
57th
good practical effects....but a bit dated.
Rated 16 Oct 2008
2
33rd
Talk about underwhelming. The genuinely creepy moments are ruined by the stupid little political subplot and the fact that Bill Pullman is kind of a nerd. He has a nerd face and it really bothers me.
Rated 30 Jun 2008
81
91st
Nice
Rated 31 Mar 2014
44
29th
Craven is not a very good director, but he is a committed surrealist, so the horror scenes carry some interest from a visual point of view at least.
Rated 25 May 2020
45
21st
Some cool bits, most "borrowed" from Cocteau or Craven's previous movies, sometimes at the same time: dig those Freddy extendo arms reaching out from the cells and walls at Pullman. & Paul Winfield gets his own DEADLY FRIEND moment! & it actually looks pretty good! The generally shoddy construction and resulting terrible voiceover just kill any real involvement, though, and the whole thing reeks of test marketing (in white neighbourhoods).
Rated 15 Nov 2011
40
14th
Meh. It's an interesting spin on the zombie genre, taking the myth back to its Haitian roots, and isn't quite as overtly pseudoracist and sensationalist as it might have been (especially since it was actually shot in the midst of Baby Doc's abdication). But Bill Pullman is as dull as always in the lead, and even though they manage some really unsettling hallucination scenes throughout, the ending goes completely over the top in all the wrong ways.
Rated 14 Aug 2007
65
83rd
One of the most "realistic" zombie-films. Not particularly scary, but contains a lot of Haitian color and has a strong, eerie atmosphere. It's clearly based on a book, and occasionally feels like a Greatest Hits of scenes that don't always fit together that smoothly - underlined by the unnecessary narration. Still, a solid horror film, one of Craven's best, and makes an interesting double feature with his Elm Street, as both contain antagonists who are controlling the dreams of their victims.
Rated 16 Dec 2008
55
25th
A film with a good premise, and it begins well enough but just gets rather silly towards the end. The climax is straight up b-movie stuff. There are enough creepy moments to make for good late night viewing, though.
Rated 17 Sep 2007
65
49th
flawed, but eerie

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