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Overall Rating
3.63

Awesome: 29.41%
Worth A Look35.29%
Average: 16.81%
Pretty Bad: 5.88%
Total Crap: 12.61%

5 reviews, 89 user ratings


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Mothman Prophecies, The
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by EricDSnider

"Unfocused and scattered, but occasionally very scary."
4 stars

As movies with supernatural themes go, “The Mothman Prophecies” is all over the place. There are unexplained occurrences, strange visions, and prophetic hallucinations -- all of which usually get their own movies, without being forced to share space with other phenomena.

People who are dead make phone calls, and townspeople encounter actual physical beings -- again, a contradiction in movie terms. Usually, there is either an actual monster, or it’s in people’s heads, but not both.

This doesn’t hurt “The Mothman Prophecies,” exactly, but it doesn’t help, either. Were it not for director Mark Pellington’s talent for eerie visuals and creepy sound effects, you’d probably notice that the film is almost devoid of focus.

What is scaring these people? Is it real or not? What does it want? Most suspense thrillers answer these questions, in one way or another, but this one emphasizes its “based on actual events” origin and leaves many things unexplained. As far as we can tell, the thing -- whatever it is -- just wants to mess with our heads. And so does the movie.

Fortunately, it does a good job of it. You may not care about the unresolved issues, because the film gives you such a good case of the heebie-jeebies.

Richard Gere, as good-naturedly wooden as ever, is a Washington Post reporter named John Klein. His wife (Debra Messing) dies early in the film of a brain tumor, but not before seeing a couple weird things. Two years later, John mysteriously finds himself in Point Pleasant, W.V., where reports of the same kind of weird visions abound.

The local cop, Connie (Laura Linney), is overwhelmed at being 1) a police officer and 2) everyone’s friend. She’s heard all the stories, and they’re freaking her out. Local unstable nut Gordon (Will Patton) reports a voice in his bathroom sink telling him, “Ninety-nine will die,” the night before a plane crash kills 99 people.

John is riding down the supernatural highway, too. One of the film’s more intense moments has him on the telephone with someone purporting to be the monster (or whatever), reading his mind and freaking him out. The monster (or whatever) even has a name, which conjures images of the bat-like creature people have reported seeing, standing at a pay-phone, playing psychic to a newspaper reporter.

On the screen, it doesn’t play out nearly as silly as it sounds on paper. Gere is strong in the lead role, Laura Linney has the right blend of terror and bemusement, and director Pellington knows how to put on the scares. Quick cuts and odd camera angles help the film drip with atmosphere, even if the story itself barely holds water.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1882&reviewer=247
originally posted: 01/25/02 08:44:10
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User Comments

1/09/17 Bents Good portrait of grief, just ok as a drama/thriller 3 stars
10/30/16 morris campbell eerie and entertaining 4 stars
4/20/11 The Big D Weird. Strange. Offbeat. Uncanny. Eerie. Bizarre. Unsettling. Unnerving. Perplexing. 5 stars
2/17/11 Wes Gates Agrees throughtly with Rob Gonsalves, good insights. 1 stars
9/18/10 Ritty Horton Terrible movie 1 stars
3/08/10 Steve Herrick Compelling every viewing.Real feel to this.Erie 5 stars
7/08/09 *Holy_J@lapeno* Some very slow parts but for the most part keep you wanting more! Some intense moments!!! 4 stars
5/26/09 gail s. 2 hours wasted on a weak finish! 2 stars
5/15/09 Quigley One of the creepiest, most unsettling films ever made 4 stars
3/02/08 Pamela White suspense and lots of questions to be answered before the movie ends good ending 4 stars
2/02/08 David Cohen "Based on actual events" Bwa-hah-hah! 2 stars
5/09/07 William Goss Hokum that works better than it should, complete with a rather tense climax. 3 stars
1/21/07 David A. It hovers between intelligent horror and science fiction--outstanding picture 5 stars
12/29/06 David Pollastrini not great, not terrible 3 stars
10/22/06 Dillon Directed with style. Eerie and intriguing. 5 stars
7/07/06 margarette GREAT..I LIKED IT... 5 stars
4/10/06 Dillon A creepy, visually stunning thrill ride 4 stars
9/17/05 R.W. Welch Agreeably spooky yarn with some factual basis. Has a few loose ends. 4 stars
8/18/05 ES I thought this would be the first movie with gere I'd like= I was wrong 2 stars
7/23/05 John Jones This movie was quite possibly the worst movie I have ever seen, really, it simply is crap! 1 stars
6/17/05 Bluto Kinda creepy, liked the concept 4 stars
4/01/05 failingloser waaay too long 3 stars
3/18/05 indrid cold A rare thing, a horror/thriller that actually gets under your skin. 4 stars
2/05/05 Jeff Anderson Everything spooky & scary that THE RING lacked. MARK PELLINGTON IS AN AMAZING DIRECTOR!!!!! 5 stars
2/01/05 Graves Meh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 2 stars
10/26/04 Steve Newman Excellent film, deep,dark and keeps you interested 4 stars
8/22/04 gcc confusing plot - but eerie atmosphere/sound effects very scary 4 stars
8/21/04 R.W. Welch Paranormal thriller is eerie enough but rambles around too much. 3 stars
2/01/04 john it has some creepy ideas in it but it just never makes any sense 3 stars
1/26/04 Eric Bruce Willis instead.Could have been better 3 stars
1/20/04 Jack Sommersby An original, cannily creepy masterpiece. Pellington's work is smashing! 5 stars
1/15/04 Samuel john, you can't call something pretty crappy because it was over your head 5 stars
12/11/03 john doesn't make much sense 2 stars
9/17/03 Obi Wan Loved it . . Gere's finest work since Primal Fear 5 stars
9/03/03 Charles Tatum Pellington finally finds a winning script 4 stars
8/11/03 Joesco Well done but confusing - Gere standard - Linney good 3 stars
8/04/03 Double G who made this crap 1 stars
7/21/03 dirtyharry i liked it i thought it was pretty good.. 4 stars
6/14/03 Alice Unique movie, very dark... 5 stars
6/05/03 Shadaan Felfeli I was quite engrossed through the film. Worth a watch 4 stars
5/07/03 Flounder Bone chilling. This is one of the most intriguing movies I have seen in a long time! 5 stars
4/11/03 RaboRon Beautyful fotographic movie with an 'X-file' like story 4 stars
3/21/03 Jack Sommersby A new American classic. Eerie, suspenseful, exciting, and emotionally affecting. A+ acting. 5 stars
3/12/03 Bill Gates Fucking shit. No ending...Signs was better. 1 stars
2/04/03 Pinkline Jones I thought Gere danced better in Saturday Night Fever 2 stars
1/31/03 The Talking Elbow This was a GOOD fucking movie. 5 stars
11/26/02 Indrid HELLLLLLLO.......DID YOU LIKE MY MOVIE......I WILL SEE YOU ALL IN TIME 5 stars
11/19/02 Massive Johnson I thought movies were supposed to have a point? sucked. 1 stars
9/23/02 y2mckay (who saw it TWICE) Actually, she saw the mothman in the car crash, died of tumor later. Dumbass. 4 stars
9/20/02 tigguhtoo worth the rental, I had to see what was "true" after watching. his wife did die of tumor. 4 stars
9/09/02 othree teaser...alot of hype, predictable ending 3 stars
8/30/02 Someone Who Saw The MOvie Hey y2mckay ... His wife died in a car crash not a brain tumor fool 5 stars
8/17/02 AJ One of the best horror/thriller movies 5 stars
8/06/02 KMG THIS IS THE SCARIEST MOVIE I HAVE SEEN IN YEARS!!! 5 stars
8/05/02 Jim Fairly creepy monster movie leading up to a tragic denoument. "Wake up, #37!" 4 stars
7/29/02 Kyle Meh. I've seen better horror based on a true story. 3 stars
7/28/02 christina really liked the movie 5 stars
7/25/02 palaboy101 One of Mark Pellington's best... Stylish and creepy 5 stars
7/19/02 Indrid Cold This movie is a thinking man's movie. Don't see it if you expect to be spoon-fed. 5 stars
7/16/02 JesseL Makes Blair Witch look like Citizen Kane. 1 stars
7/04/02 gary vidmar My wife couldn't sleep for weeks after seeing this 'true strory' thriller. 5 stars
6/24/02 Joe Very creepy movie!!! Worth owning on DVD 5 stars
6/23/02 David A. Intelligent, terrifying look into the unexplained. Richard Gere at his most mature. 5 stars
6/11/02 ^Elendil^ Fun. Geer is always terrible, and a bit too much fast-blurry-lights a la The Extraordinary. 3 stars
6/07/02 stud scary 5 stars
6/07/02 Joe Levy Vidmar you loser. This movie is based on a true story you moron! Go to hell! 5 stars
6/04/02 Chris This is a well made movie. It is not, however good because it has no tangiable villian. 3 stars
6/03/02 sd one of the best 4 stars
4/26/02 J Lyons Not bad, but reminded me of blair witch. 4 stars
4/10/02 Natalie Stonecipher If a true story, it's truth stranger than fiction; as fiction, just too strange 3 stars
3/30/02 DirtySocks A pure entertainment film. No artistic b**sh*t. Oh, it was creepy too! 5 stars
3/20/02 ^ZuLu^ The ending was much too Hollywood-like.But still very scary. 4 stars
3/17/02 Yono Oko A wild ride. A must see for x-files type people! 5 stars
3/12/02 spaceworm Happy while watching; won't need the DVD. 4 stars
3/10/02 indrid cold when all other possibilities are exhausted, what is left must be true 5 stars
2/24/02 Spanky Due to the lack of intelligent comments below, I will let my rating speak for itself 5 stars
2/24/02 Gadzooks! Hey PeteFountain, you asshole. 4 stars
2/22/02 Shish-Ka-BOB Maddeningly creepy. 5 stars
2/22/02 Dino If u don't think this story is true, look up the police reports from 1967. It happened. 5 stars
2/18/02 Reverend Krule They shoulda called it "The Sony Prophecies" 2 stars
2/17/02 Devil Boy B Best Scares I've Had Since Blair Witch Project 5 stars
2/15/02 GGG absolute garbage..Gere should retire 1 stars
2/15/02 Ziggy Stardust If this movie was any less scary i would have fallen asleep driving home 3 stars
2/14/02 Hotaine As if it wasn't a good enough movie on it's own, I also got to stare at Debra Messing. 5 stars
2/12/02 PeteFountain The entire audience gasped when he saw his dead wife in bed 5 stars
2/05/02 Jimmy James . 4 stars
1/29/02 rogue a bit bewildering 4 stars
1/28/02 Dick Many events make even less sense than no sense at all. 1 stars
1/26/02 John Rufi Freaky, Freaky, Freaky! Mothman has also been see before the chernobyl meltdown 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  25-Jan-2002 (PG-13)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  23-May-2002




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