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Although it's occasionally overwhelmed by excessive special effects, The Serpent and the Rainbow draws on a chilling atmosphere to deliver a intelligent, politically informed story. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

In a time of social and political unrest in Haiti, anthropologist Dennis Alan (Bill Pullman) travels to the torn country to study a Voodoo drug used in religious practices to turn victims into living zombies. With the help of a witch doctor (Brent Jennings) and a fellow researcher (Cathy Tyson), Dennis pieces together the deadly mystery. But as Dennis uncovers the secrets behind the mysterious powder, he must evade the Haitian authorities who view his research as a potential threat.

Cast & Crew

Bill Pullman
Dennis Alan
Cathy Tyson
Marielle Duchamp
Zakes Mokae
Dargent Peytraud
Paul Winfield
Lucien Celine
Brent Jennings
Louis Mozart
Michael Gough
Schoonbacher
Paul Guilfoyle
Andrew Cassedy
Dey Young
Mrs. Cassedy
Rob Cohen
Executive Producer
Brad Fiedel
Original Music
John Lindley
Cinematographer
Glenn Farr
Film Editor
David Nichols
Production Design
David Brisbin
Art Direction
Peter Mitchell
Costume Designer
Robert Engelman
First Assistant Director
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Critic Reviews for The Serpent and the Rainbow

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (12)

Audience Reviews for The Serpent and the Rainbow

  • Oct 06, 2013
    When Bill Pullman is your most commanding presence, you can rest assured that the casting is pretty maladroit. In a precursor to the early 2000's torture porn, Pullman's scrotum is ruptured with a nail and aside from that unpleasant image, the film is piddling and not hair-raising in the least. Craven has always been an overpraised director of the horror variety and while the concept is brimming with occult potential, it is more suited to a documentary than a full-fledged chiller. To spice up the otherwise lumbering proceedings, Craven shoehorns a medley of hallucinations with corpse brides and reanimated zombies. None of these approach cohesion. All of the titillating genre elements are extraneous (the aforementioned dream sequences and a needless sex scene). In a career of monumental near-misses, 'The Serpent and the Rainbow' might be Craven's most bungled effort.
    Cory T Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2013
    Voodoo based horror apparently inspired by a true story. When a researcher comes back a bit fucked up after a trip to Haiti he gets sent back again(?!) to find a powder that is meant help bring the dead back to life, as has been reported in sightings in Haiti. Obviously he's going to need help and gets teamed up at the island with a pretty nurse-type lady but there are certain people and powers that don't want him there and in the mysterious world of voodoo, anything can happen. It's not that bad, Bill Pullman is pretty good as the researcher and it gets better as it goes on with some decent dream sequences, creepy bits and stuff and its directed by Wes Craven so wasn't going to be a complete waste of time. Worth a look but overall The Serpent and the Rainbow is a little dull for far to long.
    Adam M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 15, 2013
    Craven comes up with enough memorable images that I'm willing to forgive the ridiculousness of the whole story. Also, that "hammer and nail" sequence is one of the most upsetting things I've ever seen.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 12, 2012
    Cheap special effects and a distracting plot leave The Serpent And The Rainbow colorless.
    Matt P Super Reviewer

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