Prince of Darkness: John Carpenter’s Da Vinci Code of horror?


John Carpenter introduces us to a secret sect of Catholicism. The Brotherhood of Sleep keeps the world safe from evil by guarding the Prince of Darkness. Could they be the new Knights Templar?

“In external horror films, the evil comes from the outside, the other tribe, this thing in the darkness that we don’t understand.” – John Carpenter

The Da Vinci Code of Horror

In 2003, Dan Brown took the world by storm with his action-packed thriller, the Da Vinci Code. I am a huge fan of the book series. After almost 20 years spent in Catholic learning institutions, I can definitely say that some tenets in the religion are mysterious and leave you with tons of questions.

Brown’s novel looks at the clues that Leonardo Da Vinci left in his paintings regarding the Holy Grail. Which as it turns out is not a chalice. It refers to the Priory of Scion.

The Priory of Scion is a secret sect within the Catholic Church that was charged with protecting the descendants of Jesus Christ. As theories go, this one centers around the premise that Christ was actually married to Mary Magdalene who bore his children.

Supposedly, after Christ’s death, she was brought to France where the Knights Templar watched over her and the entire sacred bloodline. Of course, this is conjecture or is it?

So, after watching John Carpenter’s masterpiece, Prince of Darkness, I began to wonder if this film could be the Da Vinci Code of horror? I know some of you might be thinking this sounds far fetched but I really don’t think that it is.

The Guardians

Much like the Knights Templar allegedly guarding Christ’s legacy, John Carpenter gives us his own mythological group steeped in Catholic lore, the Brotherhood of Sleep. As explained by Gizmodo in a 2016 article, “Satan is the son of the Anti-God; Jesus was a member of a human-like alien race; and a secret Catholic sect called “the Brotherhood of Sleep” has been covering up all this juicy info for centuries.”

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The premise behind Dan Brown’s book echoes this sentiment. In his world, the Catholic Church doesn’t reveal the fact that Jesus had children and a wife like every other man in his time period. Because then it would ruin the image of him as the Son of God.

For all intent and purposes, the myth surrounding Satan in the Prince of Darkness isn’t revealed either. Most religions believe that Lucifer is his own entity and not the son of another being. According to the Bible, he was one of God’s angels who was cast out of heaven because he rebelled against the Creator.

However, like the discovery of Jesus having a wife and a family is shocking for the faithful to believe, the realization that there is an Anti-God could have the same impact, theoretically speaking.

So, both the Templars and the Brotherhood of Sleep shared similar burdens. Each group guarding over opposite realms. The Knights watching over Christ’s lineage and the Brotherhood keeping the world safe from evil by sealing the Anti-God in a huge tube in the bowels of a dilapidated church.

Deciphering Satanic Code

Another part of the Da Vinci Code deals with the clues that Leonardo left behind in his paintings. One of the most famous ones is within his depiction of the Last Supper. The young boy sitting to the left of him is his disciple, John.

Leonardo_da_Vinci_-_Last_Supper- Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

However, Scion scholars believe that the “boy” is in fact, his spouse, Mary Magdalene and that the two of them form an “M.” There are also similar clues hidden within the Mona Lisa. Supposedly, there are symbols and letters in her eyes.

In John Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness, deciphering a series of texts written in various ancient languages and numbers is very similar to discovering the clues within Da Vinci’s artworks. These are the critical records of the Brotherhood of Sleep recounting all of their knowledge of the Evil One.

Where the Da Vinci Code uses a codex to determine meaning, computers assist with the transcription of the ancient texts in the Brotherhood’s records.

Alas, No More Templars

While the Knights Templar are no more, the Brotherhood of Sleep lives on in Prince of Darkness. In the character of Priest (Donald Pleasance) who remains ever vigilant as the keeper of immortal evil.

Are you a fan of the Prince of Darkness and the Da Vinci Code? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below. We want to hear from you.

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Susan Leighton can be found on Twitter and Facebook @SusanontheLedge. She is also featured on Friday Night Tights, the ultimate pop culture wrap up show at Nerdrotic Podcast every Friday night at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. You can catch her weekly coverage on IFC’s Brockmire at TV Series Hub.