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Phantoms (1998)

Peter O'Toole , Rose McGowan , Joe Chappelle  |  R |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter O'Toole, Rose McGowan, Joanna Going, Liev Schreiber, Ben Affleck
  • Directors: Joe Chappelle
  • Writers: Dean R. Koontz
  • Producers: Andrew Rona, Bob Weinstein, Dean R. Koontz, Enrique Cerezo, Harvey Weinstein
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Dimension
  • DVD Release Date: August 19, 1998
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 1558908781
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,686 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Phantoms" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Either Dean Koontz shouldn't adapt his own bestsellers, or his 1983 novel Phantoms was a pack of horror clichés to begin with, or this movie is 15 years past its due date. What might have seemed fresh at the time of Poltergeist now feels like it was made from a derivative script with pages missing. Plagued by reckless leaps of logic, the movie starts with adequately eerie atmosphere and a perversely twisted performance by Scream 2's Liev Schreiber, but decays into a familiar hash of gross-out effects, resulting from the annihilation of a small Colorado town by an evil force known as "The Ancient Enemy." In a dreary role that insults the twilight of his distinguished career, Peter O'Toole plays a paleobiologist whose crackpot ideas have become tabloid fodder, but he holds the key to conquering the beast. Or does he? Sure enough, an obligatory coda leaves room for anticlimactic doubt. Phantoms has a few genuinely creepy highlights, including a devilish beastie resembling an angry flying scorpion, and horror fans will surely find something to admire, but everyone else is advised to proceed with caution and lowered expectations. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

A heart-stopping, edge-of-your-seat thriller with a hot cast of rising stars, PHANTOMS is the latest from master of suspense, Dean Koontz! Five lone survivors in a devastated town must face the unthinkable: a ferocious force of evil lying below the earth for centuries has surfaced with the power to destroy every human being! Left behind are two sisters, the town sheriff (Academy Award(R)-winner Ben Affleck, GOOD WILL HUNTING), his deputy (Liev Schreiber, SCREAM 2), and a noted tabloid journalist (Peter O'Toole). You're in for a pulse-pounding experience as the survivors race to stop this terrifying threat before it wipes humankind off the face of the earth!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Phantoms (1998) December 30, 2005
Director: Joe Chappelle

Cast: Ben Affleck, Peter O'Toole, Rose McGowan, Joanna Going, Liev Schreiber, Nicky Katt, Clifton Powell.

Running Time: 91 minutes

Rated R for science-fiction violence, gore, and language.

Dr. Jenny Pailey (Joanna Going) is bringing her younger sister, Lisa (Rose Mcgowan), home from L.A. to the small quiet town of Snowfield, Colorado. It's a peaceful environment to live in, with a population of 400, and the town has some nice ski resorts that make it a popular site during the summer. Upon returning, however, they discover everyone either missing or dead, with bodies that have a strange gooey look to it. They try to leave, but find their car and every other vehicle in town dead. Exploring further, they enter a bakery, where they encounter Sheriff Bryce Hammond (Ben Affleck) and his two deputies, Shanning (Nicky Katt) and Stu Wargle (Liev Schrieber). As they look further into town, they discuss what could have possibly caused this massive disappearance and all these deaths. The mysterious cause behind this hasn't ended, however, and as the night progresses, Shanning is taken by an unseen presence. Hammond and the others must now try to survive the night and hope they can get off a message to the outside world of their plight.

"Phantoms", adapted and written by novelist Dean Koontz, is a surprise on almost every level. It's a well-made thriller from Joe Chappelle, whose only previous major credit was "Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers", usually regarded as the worst of the "Halloween" sequels.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Adaptation September 30, 2004
I think this is a good adaptation of Dean Koontz's book. As for scary, anyone that thinks "The Village", "Final Destination", "I Saw What You Did Last Summer", or "Blair Witch Project" are scary but think that "Phantoms" is bad, you just don't have a clue. The suspense slowly builds with no clear goal of how to destroy the creature. Excellent music helps build the suspense. If anything is lacking in the movie, it is the creature.

The creature is not quite as good as it could have been with a larger budget. My guess is they didn't want to spend alot of money on CGI. It is still well done and the acting is definitely good. The directing, camera work, and sets are good too. The camera work reminded me of some of Hitchcock's work. All-in-all certainly worth more than the five dollars and ninety-nine cents I paid for the DVD.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Based on a Dean Koontz novel June 22, 2003
I read the book before seeing the movie, thankfully. The movie isn't that bad. It din't win any Oscars but it had a great cast and an intresting storyline, including a classic part where a giant butterfly eats a man's face. CBS-TV thought it was "A Chillingly Original Thriller!" but all in all, you should just see this if you're a horror movie fan or a Dean Koontz fan.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
First off any bad reviews for this movie come from people who have never read the Dean Koontz novel it was based on. That said, the movie Phantoms doesn't even come close to being as good as the chilling novel it was based on. But it's a satisfactory attempt nonetheless. With a screenplay by Koontz himself the movie maintains all the key elements and many of the high points of the novel. The scare factor is high, the action terrifying and intense. The unexpected and seemingly inexplicable demise of the residents of Snowfield, the Ancient Enemy and all its gruesome manifestations. The special effects are damn good, the scenes of death and carnage as original as the book they were based on. The cast is enjoyable and believable (especially Peter O'Toole as Timothy Flyte and Liev Schrieber as the creepy deputy) and Rose McGowan and Joanna Going make great eye candy.
The creep level is pushed to the limit in this film, the monster a truly frightening vision. Finally, a good movie based on a Dean Koontz novel! "Chaos. Chaos in the flesh."
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than I had expected October 1, 2002
First thing is first, Phantoms is a movie to be taken with a grain of salt. There is nothing overly scary or shocking in this run of the mill B-grade thriller, but it is entertaining nonetheless, and mostly delivers the goods. Joanna Going and Rose McGowen play sisters whose return to Snowfield, Colorado is interrupted by the disappearance of every person in the town. Eventually they meet up with a sheriff (Ben Affleck in yet another movie from Miramax/Dimension Films) and his two deputies played by Liev Schrieber and Nicky Katt. Eventually the military is on the scene and we're joined by accomplished actor Peter O'Toole who plays a crackpot paleobiologist whose tabloid fodder may not be so crackpot. A few scares and shocks are abound, with some rather good special effects, and Schreiber nearly steals the entire show with his whacko performance. But, Phantoms is rather predictable and sometimes laughable with huge leaps of logic and a few plot holes here and there, but Phantoms remains a fun ride nonetheless. All in all, Phantoms is a pretty good B-grade horror film that horror or sci-fi fans will get a kick out of.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I liked the book so
Like all movies based on books the source material is better. But still an alright movie. Also a Scream reunion
Published 2 days ago by cbmajik
3.0 out of 5 stars Phantoms and a fantasy avalanch
This is writer Dean Koonz working with Director Joe Chappelle to create an all out swipe at multi-layered horror stapled with superficial science fiction. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Greg Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars good story
these are all movies i have seen and loved that is why i wanted to have them for my collection. will watch over and over. Read more
Published 1 month ago by susan mccaughtry
3.0 out of 5 stars CHAOS IN THE FLESH
Jennifer (Joanna Going) rescues her sister Lisa (Rose McGowan) from the evils of LA as they enter the small sleepy town of Snowfield. Read more
Published 1 month ago by The Movie Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one clever film!
Take a B-movie script, load it with some Grade A talent, some extremely campy lines, and you have a hit. Well, this should be a hit. Read more
Published 1 month ago by brainout
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun little flick..
This is nearly Lovecraft all over again, when you think about it.. good line up of actors, great story line, and thrilling!
Published 2 months ago by Volafox Ravensword
4.0 out of 5 stars Spooky
Original and spooky, loved it. Had it on VHS back in the day and am glad I found it on DVD.
Published 3 months ago by Becky Burns
5.0 out of 5 stars As Good As The Book
Great adaptation that actually stays very close to the book. Every actor hit their mark to bring this one to life. Really good price too...
Published 3 months ago by Brian
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Good
It was a very poor story line. It started out good but went down hill fast. Good cast, poor script.
Published 5 months ago by Denice F Adkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Review
Cool movie! Thinking about taking a road trip, just not in the direction of that town. Then again...I just might.
Published 5 months ago by zoot
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