Review of "Mothman Prophecies, The"

published 10/12/2003 | emmaclaire
Member since : 02/04/2003
Reviews : 82
Members who trust : 50
About me :
Pro good cast, music + set, scary as anything
Cons Oh god the fear...
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"You didn't see it, did you?"

Laura Linney and Richard Gere

Laura Linney and Richard Gere

CAST: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Debra Messing, Gordon Underwood
DIRECTOR: Mark Pellington (‘Arlington Road’ 1999, ‘Going all the way’ 1997)
LENGTH: 119mins

When I first saw the Mothman prophecies advertised, right away I knew it was a film I HAD to see. So, why has it taken me so long to get round to watching it? I don’t know but while I am glad that I have seen it, in some ways I wish I hadn’t…

--- The Plot ---

The film is based on events that supposedly happened in the 1960s in a town called Point Pleasant, Ohio. You can visit the town’s website to read more about the history of the events and decide for yourself what you think of them.

John Klein (Richard Gere) is a reporter who turns up in Point Pleasant in mysterious circumstances. His wife, played by Debra Messing (Grace from Will & Grace) died two years earlier, after a car crash in which she claims to have seen something. This something caused her to crash the car.

After arriving in Point Pleasant, John soon discovers that there are some strange happenings that can’t be explained. A local man insists that John has visited his home before even though John has never been in the town before in his life. People see odd, moth like creatures in their gardens, and several receive messages seemingly warning them of a great tragedy.

John has to unravel the messages, discover who or what the mothman is and wants and come to terms with his own personal tragedy. Can he do it?

--- The Characters ---

Richard Gere gives a fairly normal performance as John Klein. I say ‘normal’ meaning gravely voiced whispers and reluctant blinking to express his emotions as is the Gere way. He could quite easily be pulled out of this film and plonked back into ‘Pretty Woman’ and he probably wouldn’t know the difference. That’s probably the reason for his wife having red hair in this film… But, even though he’s a fairly nondescript character, the script is fantastically controlled and executed so he couldn’t really go far wrong with his performance.

Debra Messing is in the film for about ten minutes, so it’s difficult to comment on her performance. Suffice to say, she’s not the happy-go-lucky Grace we usually see her as, so maybe there is something more to come from this actress that other performances might pull out of her.

Laura Linney puts in a good performance as Sgt. Connie Parker. She has more recently been seen in ‘Love Actually’ in which she also did herself justice. I hadn’t really heard of her before seeing these two films but she’s definitely an actress worth keeping an eye out for. She plays her role just right, combining disbelief and a little fear yet maintaining her professional outlook. At first I thought she had just been introduced as a love interest for John, but by the end of the film you realise that their relationship is deeper and different to that.

The rest of the cast all play their parts well. They show their fear, confusion and slight embarrassment at having seen the weird things that are going on. Gordon Underwood played by Will Patton deserves a mention purely because he does a good job of walking a fine line between being driven mad and trying to hold himself together.

--- Music, scenery etc. ---

The music was wonderful throughout the film, so much so I even commented at one point, “the music’s wicked” which is a high accolade from myself. It is spooky, builds up the suspense and pressure and releases it when necessary. There weren’t any recognisable tunes, but it worked well as a background score and probably would make a good cd to put on for Halloween as atmospheric music.

The scenery is also pretty good. The bleak town provides quite scary shots of houses with man shaped, ten foot high holes in them, a foreboding chemical plant and of course the vague apparitions of the mothman itself. We never actually see anything physical, but his presence is felt within phonecalls, drawings and just plain menace. I did NOT want to get out of bed in the middle of the night…

--- My conclusion ---

The film is immensely good. I’m not sure what I was expecting when I turned it on. I expected to jump a bit and that the plotline would be ok. What I didn’t expect was to watch a perfectly controlled film with a plot that wove certain elements together and deployed them when you were least expecting it. There were things that became creepy because of the context – I don’t usually have to check the plughole before I clean my teeth – and other images that were just downright terrifying.

All in all, it’s a fantastic film that is perfect to watch with your boyfriend, parents, friends or whoever. Just don’t watch it alone…

Woolworths - £8.99 or 3 for £20
Amazon - £7.99 + P&P - £9.99 or £24.99 as part of a gift set with Jeepers Creepers and the Gift.

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Comments on this review

  • Metalmorphosis8 published 28/12/2003
    I forgot too, oops!
  • whoopidoo published 22/12/2003
    I wanted to watch this when it first came out and completely forgot - now I must watch it! Fabulous review!
  • wfiona published 22/12/2003
    I keep meaning to watch this film, must look out for it on sky or go and rent it. fi
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Listed on Ciao since: 27/03/2002