Horror takes a rest from those boring slasher films and turns in a truly creepy thriller by the name of The Mothman Prophecies.
Richard Gere and Laura Linney star as a Washington Post reporter and small town sheriff, respectively, who begin to suspect that a supernatural force has invaded their town. As there are more and more sightings, and as Gere starts to unravel the mystery, they begin to realize that something bad is going to happen in the small town of Pleasant Point.
I had heard bad things about The Mothman Prophecies, like it was boring and not very interesting at all. I don't know what those people saw, but watching it with the lights off in my living room, I was honestly freaked out - I even looked over my shoulders down the hallway a few times. The sounds, the sights, and more than anything just the setting make The Mothman Prophecies one of the scariest movies to hit theaters in a long time.
In most horror movies, there are periods of time when you don't have to worry about something jumping out or anything scary happening period. Luckily (or, while watching the movie, unfortunately), The Mothman Prophecies decided to do away with that. Whether it be night or day, there is the constant threat of something creepy happening.
Director Mark Pellington is very visually aggressive in this film, loving to toy with visuals to make for cool transitions and short snippets of flashbacks. At first, they're just annoying, as you wonder if there is any reason for these other then to look cool, but as the movie goes on, Pellington skillfully turns his neat little tricks into horror devices. Halfway through the movie, when they really start to take effect, you're pretty much used to them, but then he turns it around on you. These little flares of light might turn into a face, or into a quick shot of Gere's dead wife, and that's all you need to know to always be on your guard.
The Mothman Prophecies is scary, weird, and thrilling, blending a realistic mystery in with supernatural sightings. By the time you reach the climax you're thankful it is more thrilling than scary, because you can't handle much more of the latter. And, by the way, the climax is a truly classic scene, right up there with Alfred Hitchcock.
Despite what you may have heard about The Mothman Prophecies from some critics, it is one of the scariest movies to hit theaters in a long time. It's a lot better than those popcorn slasher films and even creepier than What Lies Beneath.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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