The Believers 1987

Nothing can stop them, no one can help you. They know who you are.

6.1 / 10   94 vote(s)
Crime Drama Horror Mystery Thriller

Mourning the accidental death of his wife and having just moved to New York with his young son, laconic police psychologist Cal Jamison is reluctantly drawn into a series of grisly, ritualistic murders involving the immolation of two youths.

Release Date 1987-06-09
Runtime 1h 54m
Directors Robby Müller, John Schlesinger
Producers John Schlesinger, Mark Frost, Edward Teets, Beverly J. Camhe, Michael Childers
Writers Mark Frost, Nicholas Conde

Unpleasant big city crime drama with Martin Sheen that morphs into sorcery-oriented horror

A widowed therapist (Martin Sheen) moves back to New York City to find himself assisting the NYPD in a series of slayings linked to a Caribbean Voodoo-like cult. Things get worse when he discovers they want his son for a human sacrifice. Helen Shaver plays his landlord and possible romantic interest.

“The Believers” (1987) is an adult-oriented crime drama that gets increasingly horrific. The plot and tone are akin to “Wolfen” (1981), albeit with the brujería cult replacing the super-wolves. It’s leagues superior to the similar “The Serpent and the Rainbow” (1988).

The diabolic angle makes for some ugliness (e.g. death due to electric shock, suicides, grisly sacrifices, snakes and creepy arachnids), but there are rays of light as well. Sheen is outstanding as the protagonist while Shaver offers her wares to the table. The shocking spider sequence was later ripped off by "Urban Legends: Bloody Mary" (2005).

The movie runs 1 hour, 44 minutes, and was shot in New York City & Toronto.