on 19 September 2002
This is a fabulous film. It's based on the true story of a "moth-man" creature seen in various sightings around the world, as a pre-cursor to disaster events. This moth-man appears before the disaster, presenting rather clouded and confusing messages to those he visits. It transpires that these messages are in fact prophecies of the impending disaster.
Richard Gere is very well cast here as the innocent guy caught up in the mystery after his wife dies after a car crash. In the seconds before the crash, his wife "sees" this awful creature lundge at the car. She dies some days later, after doctors discover a brain tumour - which would not have been discovered had it not have been for the crash caused by the moth-man.
Two years later, Richard's character is drawn into the mystery when he takes a drive in his car, only to end up hundreds of miles away from his intended destination in about a quarter of the time it should have taken to get there! He soon learns of sightings of this wierd being whom he recognises as that seen by his wife before her death.
What follows is Richard's attempts to quantify his experiences which are interlinked with an increasing number of sightings in a small American town he is drawn to.
I won't say any more as it will ruin the many twists and turns.
Suffice it to say it's a very well made film with some chilling moments (similar in effect to that famous twist at the end of Sixth Sense). It keeps you on your seat's edge guessing at precisely what is going on and why.
You are still left with questions at the end, but they retain the mystery surrounding what is a true phenomenan.
The final scenes on a river bridge are superb and just when you think you know where the film's going, it takes yet another twist.
Fine acting, a deep and fascinating story line and cleverly directed suspense scenes make this one NOT to miss.
on 4 September 2002
mark pellington's film has many strengths - a surreal atmosphere evoked by sound and light, strong performances from the cast, superb editing and a spine tingling score... but perhaps its strongest point is the films restraint. the film scares well but it doesn't use sudden loud noises, cats jumping into frame or quick editing to do so. instead, pellington builds a sense of dread from the off - something in this world isn't quite right.
richard gere is quite effective in a stoic role - indeed he reigns in a performance free of his usual facial ticks. laura linney is as good as she ever is (which is fine by me) even if her role is a little under written. in a tiny role as gere's wife, debra messing is surprisingly good and will patton gives a strong reading of a man tortured by visions of disaster.
a terrificly subtle movie that lingers in the mind - perhaps one of the best horror movies of the last few years.
on 24 August 2002
I don't think I've ever been quite so disturbed by a film as I have this one... I'm not sure if it's because I watched it when overtired and late at night, but wow... nothing has ever quite made me feel so paranoid!
The Mothman Prophecies follows Richard Gere as a reporter, who, after his wifes death in a mysterious car accident, suddenly finds himself dragged into the middle of strange goings-on in the town of Point Pleasent, Ohio. Locals are reporting stories of a giant winged man-creature to the police Chief, played by (I think) Laura Linney, their sightings causing ripples of fear throughout the community.
Richard Gere's character recognises the drawing of the creature made by one witness as that of something his wife scrawled in her hospital bed before she died, and before long finds himself communicating with it and being dragged into its insanity.
What's great about this film is that it never really shows you the mysterious Mothman. It's appearance is recounted by Gere's encounters with the locals, most distrubingly with a guy named George who unravels before his eyes as the monster prophecises various disasters.
Some may complain that the film is slow, but I think it drags you in with it's forboding atmosphere, great script and well drawn characters. It does sag a little near the middle-end, but it more than makes up for it in an amazing finalé that is a little too horrific for words.
The editing is incredibly clever, as is the cinematography and use of subliminal images. You do get the feeling that the filmmaker is paying tribute to Kubrick at some points, but it's satisfying to know that he didn't just make some bog-standard creature-feature out of what is a very well crafted plot.
The sound design is also amazingly well done... playing with your perceptions and, in the case of the voice and sounds of the Mothman himself, incredibly disturbing. I may never pick the phone up late at night again.
What is incredible is that this film is based on a book of the same name by a reporter called John Keel, which in turn is centred on real events that occured in 1966 in Point Pleasent. The 40-or-so minute documentary which comes bundled as an extra on the DVD, if a little over-americanised, is genuinely disturbing through the amount of witnesses, vintage news reportage and the fact that the events lead up to a disaster mirrored in the film itself.
Other than that, there are some bog-standard biogs, interviews and HBO Making Of's which I feel it could do without. To sum up - a clever, tense film with characters you can care for and a mysterious creature you hope you will never meet...
Unfortunately, for the survivors of the inhabitants of Point Pleasent, Ohio, they did - and apparently, many more people will...
on 22 March 2012
The biggest criticism of this film when it was released seemed to be it's inability to answer the questions that it posed; but that's truly the point. Mothman Prophecies comes to the conclusion that we can't truly know about death, when it comes, why, and what happens afterwards, many times throughout it's runtime. And this is a message that's presented quite beautifully, thoughtfully and subtly, the 'Mothman' (as silly as it sounds) acting as an extended metaphor for this. This immediately places the film in a far more intelligent bracket of films than most horror. However, it's not without it's flaws. The performances aren't fantastic - as brilliantly likable as Richard Gere is, his gurning becomes tiresome by the third act, whilst melodrama infects some of the lesser roles. There are also some distracting visual gimmicks - the camera washed red, fastforwarding - that just seem cheap and dated, and provide no real purpose. Overall though, the film will get under your skin, the chills masterfully and quietly excecuted - not only that but it's a horror with something to say. Oh, and it has one hell of a climax.
on 28 January 2007
The uneasiness this film precipitates in the viewer is quite enjoyably disturbing! One cannot ascertain if the the forces at work within the story are benign or malignant and this adds to the stress it induces! If you're a fan of 'shock and gore' horror then this film is NOT for you. This is a film that stays with you long after it is over and has one ruminating about the idea of what the Mothman represents
I thoroughly recommend this DVD if you enjoy intellectually-driven horror!
on 27 February 2013
The Mothman Prophecies is based on the book of the same name by paranormal investigator John Keel. In my opinion the director, Mark Pellington, has done a fantastic job of cherry picking the most interesting parts of the book for this superb film. The story is set in a small town in West Virginia where a series of increasingly bizarre events took place. Richard Gere plays reporter John Klein who has recently lost his wife Mary to a brain tumor. He finds somehow himself in West Virginia and becomes engrossed in the happenings. This is a complex film which explores life after death, pre-cognitive ability and even extra terrestrials. The Mothman is barely sighted in the film which makes the story more credible. Laura Linney puts in a fantastic performance as Connie, the Town Policewoman who refuses to be intimidated by the Mothman or the weird going-ons. There is a real sense of paranoia, confusion and fear as the story unfolds. Definitely worth a second viewing.
on 31 July 2004
Right from day one (apparently), 'The Mothman Prophices' was not meant to be a creature feature or a horror movie, it was supposed to be, as the director, Mark Pellington so nicely put it, "a psychological mystery with naturally surreal overtones". This however does not make the film any less frightening, because to be honest, i found this film very scary, and even some of the cast said that they were slightly scared while filming.
I think that what really adds some of the spookiness to the film is that the 'Mothman' is in fact real and has been seen by hundreds of people all over the world and is supposed to prophise disaster and doom. For example in the thirteen months leading up to the Silver Bridge disaster (the bridge that goes accross the Ohio River, conecting Ohio to West Virginia) Mothman was seen all over Point Pleasant in West Virgina. The peculiar thing is that sightings started thirteen months bfore the disaster, and it was the thirteenth pin of the suspension bridge that broke, and caused its collapse. The Mothman was never seen again in those parts, although was signted in other places round the world before other disasters such as easrthquakes and hurricanes.
In 'The Mothman Prophices' Richard Gere plays a Wasington Post reporter who is made a widower when his wife crashes the car after swerving to avoid a big caped bird/man like figure with glowing red eyes. Two years after the death of his wife, John finds himself in West Virgina where he traveled in just an hour and a half from D.C, which is over six hundred miles! Arriving in Point Pleasant he finds out that sightings of a bird like creature with glowing red eyes are being seen by the villages. The drawings of the 'Mothman' are exactly the same as the ones his wife had drawn while in hospital, just before she died.
Determined to find out the truth, John goes to see Gordon Smallwood, a man who has been researcing the 'Mothman' for years, who explains to John that the Mothman has been around since days when men where grunting and gragging their knuckles along the ground, and are usually seen in a place before a disaster is about to take place. Sure enough a disaster does happen not long after; the Silver bridge connecting West Virgina to Ohio, collapses while full of cars.
Although i didn't think that Richard Gere would be very good in this type of film, at the start, i very quickly changed my mind, and he was in fact the perfect actor to play John Klein, the Wasington Post reporter. At the begining of the film we see him go from having everything; a loving and beautiful wife, a big new house, and talk of a child, to having almost nothing.
Laura Linney is also brilliant in her role as Connie Parker, the police woman at Point Pleasant.She has lived there all her life and everyone who reports the sightings she knows very well and literally has grown up with them. She doesn't quite know what to do, but she puts her fear of the 'Mothman' on the 'back-burner' while she trys to sort it all out for them.
I feel that i must mention the wonderful selection of extras that are on this DVD. Firstly there is an hour long documentary about the real life 'Mothman' and all the history behind it, with interviews from survivors of the disaster that the 'Mothman' prophisised, and people who have seen him. Secondly there are a number of trailers for the film, including the original theatrical and a teaser trailer. Thirdly there are a number of interviews with several of the actors from 'The Mothman Prophices', including Richard Gere and the director Mark Pellington. All these things, along with interactive menus and subtitles etc make this DVD a definate must-have and make it seem much more worth buying.
Overall, 'The Mothman Prophices' is a really great film however as it is hard to put it into a percific genre i will just say that it has somthing for everyone, and will be enjoyed by all who watch it. It is quite scary though, so anyone with a nervous disposition, watch out! If you have already seen this film, and want to look deeper into the real life 'Mothman' then there are a number of books that you can buy, although i would recommend 'A Mothman: The Facts Behind The Legend'. You could also check out the website at [...] Enjoy!
on 23 March 2015
Richard Gere is excellent in this movie. His performance nearly reduced me to tears.
Despite the story being a bit slow the film grabs and holds you.
It is all allegedly fact-based on people's premonitions and prophecies made by a strange and evil being. But under a pretty straightforward "disaster premonition" surface there is a lot more going on. The movie is full of subtle clues about the nature of the "Mothman" and gives just a hint of what a creature like that may really want with us.
What is the most important thing in a human's life? Why would the creature, who has all the signs of being evil, want to warn people? Would you pick up a phone call from your dead wife? Is there anything looking after us in "God works in mysterious ways" style? These are just the few question the movie attempts to answer.
I think the essence of the film is expressed by one of the characters (excellent piece of acting too!): "We are not meant to know". And everyone has to make his or hers own choice in life based on own judgement.
on 6 August 2016
Based on true events this film presents a deeply eerie and surreal style from the very beginning which slowly but surely delves into a nightmarish string of events which lead up to a really tense and strong finale. The characters are interesting and played very well , Richard gere is amazing as usual! This film blends the detective mystery genre and supernatural horror genres perfectly without ever feeling forcefully creepy or too slow in pace , very well done! Definetly recommend if you like suspenseful mysteries with horrific spooky tones and scenes.
I approached this film with an open mind but found it an ultimately disappointing experience. Richard Gere is a Washington Post reporter who inexplicably finds himself in the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia two years after the death of his wife. He encounters Laura Linney, a local police officer who informs him that "things have been a little strange here lately". It seems that sightings of a `mothman' have occurred, similar in description to the sketches which his wife had produced on a notepad prior to her death. He decides to investigate this phenomenon and begins to experience `other worldly' happenings himself. However, despite the great Alan Bates and his Basil Exposition contributions this supposedly supernatural thriller lacks both thrills and supernatural. There are hints about advanced beings but in truth, this is an unsatisfactory exploration of the `unknown'.