The Mothman Prophecies
Dir: Mark Pellington
Star: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, David Eigenberg
Cert / Year: 12 - PG13 / 2002
Format: DVD R1

John Klein (Richard Gere) is a respected reporter who is along with his wife is involved in a car accident, which she claims, was caused by a seeing a moth like creature. Shortly afterwards she dies and he is left not knowing what to believe. A couple of years later he is travelling to Richmond when he ends up in Mount Pleasant (600 miles away and impossible to get to in the time it took him). This is one of many bizarre events that are happening to the people of the town. Many of these events appear to be linked with the moth like creature. Only one man knows what it means, and all he will say is that a great disaster is due to occur. Is this creature a warning or the cause of the disaster and what can be done to stop this ambiguous prophecy?

I know what you're going to say not another weird film. Yes I'm sorry, but this time one supposedly based around true events. So what is it all about? Well its another supernatural thriller very much in The Sixth Sense mould, with just a touch of the old classic The Medusa Touch. The end result is a surprisingly frightening, or at least unnerving, and an extremely effective thriller.

The strongest part of this film is the story. The events in the film are also supposed to be true, and while I know that the disaster shown is real I find the supernatural element a little difficult to believe. Ignoring my Scully like scepticism this does make the film that bit more frightening, and it means that the plot holds together well in a logical way. What ever you believe the story is a good one. However no matter how good it is what makes or breaks a film like this is the delivery of the story.

Mark Pellington's previous film was the very good conspiracy thriller Arlington Road (a film even more chilling post 911), and he has taken this fine form into The Mothman Prophecies. He manages to make the story come alive allowing it to be chilling rather than silly. This is edge of your seat stuff, shocks and plot twists come thick and fast delivered in the most unsettling way. Flashed images, spooky events, and the refusal to explain or show the Mothman ramp up the tension and really keep you guessing. This is fine direction, and gripping stuff.

Added to this are the clever use of special effects and the effective use of sound effects to form clues to the films final ending. The moth flying around the light bulb, the shape that is repeated everywhere, and the sound on the phone all hint at what is to come. A really good sound system is needed to get the most out of the film as the audio clues are difficult to spot, but the overall effect is very clever and extremely inventive. Of course all of this is just a prelude to the spectacular ending where the effects really go into overdrive.

The Mothman Prophecies is a very effective supernatural thriller. The Sixth Sense may have the overall edge, but this is a far cleverer affair and the direction is much slicker. Where it is let down is in the cast Richard Gere is as usual un-involving, and Laura Linney is just miscast, but overall this isn't important as it does not detract from the films effectiveness. Playing like an episode of the X-files on steroids this film is unsettling to the point of being scary, its plot is gripping and the ending is difficult to spot (I only knew because I remembered watching a documentary regarding the disaster). Overall The Mothman Prophecies is a very good film and essential viewing for all fans of The Sixth Sense.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Picture 2.35:1 Anamorphic Great picture
Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 Necessarily great soundtrack, with superb effects.
Features Music Video
Verdict For a modern hit film this disc is inexplicabily pants. Where are the extras? The answer is that they will be on the region 2 release, so best wait for that then.

Rating: 2 out of 5

Reviewed by Glitz Link Back Top Home