Stars: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Debra Messing, Will Patton, Alan Bates, Lucinda Jenney
Director: Mark Pellington
Writer: Richard Hatem – Based on the book by John A. Keel
The Mothman Prophecies is based on a John A. Keel book which chronicled strange paranormal occurrences reported to have actually taken place in the 1960s in a tiny town in West Virginia.
Washington Post reporter John Klein’s (Richard Gere) wife Mary (Debra Messing) is seriously injured in a car crash when she becomes distracted by a strange creature that momentarily lands on the windshield. She was at the wheel, and although he was riding in the car at the same time, he didn’t see it. Two years later and in the middle of the night, Klein is mysteriously led to the town of Point Pleasant hundreds of miles from their home in Washington. Point Pleasant, he soon discovers, isn’t all that pleasant because it seems a whole bunch of folks have encountered the same disturbing “mothlike” creature that his wife saw and later depicted in drawings before her death. If that isn’t eerie enough, a local by the name of Gordon Smallwood (Will Patton) has even started getting weird portents, allegedly from the creature, predicting horrible disasters.
Klein investigates, meets a sympathetic and comely police sergeant in Connie Parker (Laura Linney) and follows a lead that takes him to Chicago to meet with Alexander Leek (Alan Bates), a paranormal investigator/author who tells him scary things that leave Klein frightened and even more confused.
The whole thing centers on the believeability of this “mothman” who appears before and even at the time disasters take place and, of course, for some reason likes to communicate with humans about what’s going to happen. In essence, it’s not a bit believeable and if this is truly based on a real events, everyone in the town of Point Pleasant must have been hallucinating from too many drug combos. After all, it was in the sixties.
Filmed mostly at night, Mark Pellington’s handy direction of visual elements makes for a nicely creepy tale. But it’s lacking in any reasonable explanation as to events and leaves the viewer with a an odd detachment to story and characters.
Lotta says The Mothman Prophecies has enough tingly music to set you on edge but this is one dim spooker.