Oscar winning director John Schlesinger (Midnight Cowboy) comes to the Satanic Panic party way late in the game, albeit there was a bit of a mini-revival in 1987 (Jacob’s Ladder, Angel Heart, and two others that will come up later on this month.)
The Believers has a shocker of an opening involving a coffee pot and a puddle of milk which makes Martin Sheen a widow and his son, motherless. While trying to rebuild his life as a police psychologist, they are persecuted by conspiracy and cults in New York City as he gets into a deep investigation into Latin America’s brujerías, or witches. Lurid, panicky and sweaty, as is right for this kind of film, Schlesinger pulls no punches, which may not exactly class up the joint, but makes for an pretty effective 80s horror outside of the ubiquitous teen sex and slashers glut.
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