Weird Review: The Mothman Prophecies

Somewhere within the shadows of a sleepy town called Point Pleasant, a creature stirs and its goal is to wreak terror onto the town’s citizens. Is this creature a warning or manifestation of mass hysteria?

Washington Post star reporter John Klein (Richard Gere) finds himself in Point Pleasant, a couple years after a tragedy involving his young wife, Mary (Debra Messing). Klein finds out that the visions his wife was having are occurring in the sleepy town. The visions include an eight-foot man who seems to come from the shadows. The visions seem to be also associated with erratic phone calls also. Regardless of the origins of the sightings and phone calls they seem to be connected to Klein. Who is this mysterious man? How are the sightings connected to Klein’s wife and why are they sprouting in Point Pleasant?

The film moves very slow and probably needed another editing where it could have seen at least 30 minutes shaved from the film. The flashing lights, long-pans and constant shadows just reminded me of another X-files episode. We have been seeing this kind of suspense and filmmaking for over 8 years on the critically acclaimed TV series. Why couldn’t we abandon the Blair Witch/X-Files look and pave new ground for the paranormal. As soon as Gere arrives in Point Pleasant I had to yell out where is Fox Mulder.

I liked the beginning with Debra Messing and Gere. Messing brings a pure innocent presence which is powerful and a lot more believable than what is going on around her. The film keeps referring to her throughout in a picture and that picture comes alive just from the few moments we spend with her in the beginning of the film.

I did like how the film subtly follows Gere’s grief but this is only enveloping to a point. Richard Gere’s performance departs with any real emotion after Messing’s tragedy and it isn’t till practically the end of the film that there is really any emotion displayed by him. What was actually going through the man’s head? I believe we should have understood more of this man’s emotional connection and how it leads to his obvious obsessions in Point Pleasant.

Laura Linney plays the Point Pleasant sheriff which is a much underused character. The character is almost beneath Linney’s acting ability. Linney and Gere have been re-united in this film. They appeared together in the much-better thriller Primal Fear.

I also enjoyed the bridge scene and 2 or 3 scenes but that’s about all that kept my attention. I had a hard time sitting through this film because it was just so slow. There was no real shocker at the end because I had figured it out before the final revelation.

One thing that does boggle me is why they arrived at the conclusion that this is a mothman when it is blatantly obvious by the drawings shown that this figure looked a lot more like the grim reaper. I mean why wasn’t that discussed? I mean the circumstances, the prophecies and impending death all relate back to what has been described as the myth surrounding the reaper.

I will highly recommend this film for people who are fans of the X-files, PSI-Factor, the Unexplained and other syndicated paranormal shows but I am definitely sure this isn’t for everyone. I kept finding myself comparing this film to the other real-life paranormal film Fire in the Sky which was a far better film in my opinion because it actually had pacing, an enveloping paranoia and presence. I guess when it comes to Mothman I am the Scully of the bunch.

2.5 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer.

Please note: The Drag Me to Hell review has been rescheduled to the weekend.

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