The Mothman Prophecies
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From the director of Arlington Road comes a spine-tingling, super-natural thriller based on actual events that will rattle your nerves and shake your beliefs. Distraught by the sudden, tragic death of his wife (Debra Messing), John Klein (Richard Gere), a journalist for The Washington Post, finds himself mysteriously drawn to a small West Virginia town when his car inexplicably strands him. Rescued by the sympathetic but skeptical local police sergeant (Laura Linney), he soon learns that many of the town's residents have been beset by bizarre events, including sightings of an eerie "moth-like" entity, similar to the one seen by his late wife. Investigating further and having his own terrifying encounters with the creature, he becomes obsessed with the idea that this supernatural being canpredict impending calamities and is trying to warn the town of one. Is this a psychic delusion brought on by his grief or can he convince the police sergeant that there's a tragedy that must be averted
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This movie is one of the most demented and boring I have seen in the last few years (and again, I do watch a lot of bad movies:). If you want to spend two hours of your like watching Richard Gere spending most of his time at the phone, in the middle of a scant story that makes no sense whatsoever, well then be my guest, but my advice is avoid this demented flick like plague! The idea goes more or less like this: happy couple, buying a new house, the Mothman urban legend appears to the wife driving back home, causes her to crash and hit her head against the car window. Turns out she is terminally ill with brain tumor. Spends last days drawing mothlike monsters. Makes sense, right? I guess a mothman's work is appearing to terminally ill people and cause them car accidents. But it gets even better. Couple of years later husband find himself by night in the middle of nowhere(Point Pleasant:) ask for help at a house , turns out he 's been there three days consecutively. Now that's mystery! Then husband goes on an interview spree with a hot female agent asking around for Mothman sightings, kind of a cross between agent mulder and scully of X-Files and a Monsterquest episode. And like if that was not enough, the unfortunate owner of the house that husband went knocking at so often starts seeing the Mothman as well, once even calls husband and actually passes him the mothman on the phone ( I am not kidding...!). Of course the only intelligent questions that husband manages to make are a couple of questions to ascertain that the guy on the phone knows everything about what him and what he's doing in that moment..asking about what this is all about would have of been unpolite I guess. Then unfortunate owner of the house that husband went knocking at so often finds nothing better to do than go into a wood and dying of cold (by the way, no snow, no ice, pretty comfortable climate out there, must have taken a while...). If you are starting to get lost at this point don't worry, you're not alone...
What else, ah yes husband starts getting hissing phone calls from the Mothman announcing an ominous event. Telling which event of course would have been too trivial, Good job Mothman, keep 'em guessing! Husband single-handedly decides that the disaster is gonna be in the chemical plant the day of the governor's visit (on the basis of the bad luck that politicians always bring, I guess..). Turns out he's wrong. Bad Mothman.. bad Mothman....Then husband gets an anonymous letter saying his dead wife will call him at home at noon Christmas. He rushes back home in Washington, five minutes before noon gets a call from the hot police officer in point pleasant. Call you back in 15 mins? No way he chats with her quite a while and she invites him for Christmas with her family.. how sweet! Take that mothman! Then when she hastily hangs up since he 's whining and weeping on the phone with no sign of stopping he finally gets the call he 's gone back to Washington for. And what does husband do? But rips phone line off and when the phone keeps ringing anyhow he just ignores it and happily sets for a Merry Christmas a Point Pleasant. Makes sense, right? Then he finds himself on the collapsing Silver Bridge and guess who is there too, the hot police officer of course. The scene when both her and husband go running around the collapsing bridge telling everyone to "get out of the bridge" is priceless. Nobody would have thought of that otherwise!!! Finally hot police officer closes himself in car so she can drown better and comfortably when the car goes down, but husband is there and jumps down in the river, swims to the bottom and rescues the fainted hot police officer from her underwater car with skill that every journalist have I assume.. So there it is, hot new fiancee saved! Take that , mothman! .. Or thanks Mothman?? You go figure it out.. I guess we' ll never know...
Makes sense , right??? :)
The hook for this film is a car accident in which a sudden mothlike image startles Klein's wife, Mary (Debra Messing). The resulting accident is not fatal, but leads to the discovery of a brain tumor that proves to be. Klein is haunted by not only Mary's death, but her dying wish that he be happy and her frantic question, "Didn't you see it?" After her death he discovers she has drawn pages of disturbing mothlike images.
We then jump ahead two years to the line. Klein, a political reporter for the Washington Post (and therefore a cynical skeptic by occupation if not temperment) leaves at 1 a.m. for Richmond. But at 2:30 he finds his car breaking down near a house in Point Pleasant, West Virginia--400 miles away--with no memory of how he got there. Curiouser and curiouser, when he knock on the door of Gordon Smallwood (Will Patton), he is threatened with a shotgun and told this is the third night in a row he has come knocking on the door.
The sinker is Connie Mills (Laura Linney), the local cop who saves Klein from Gordon and who admits that strange things have been happening in this neck of the woods for quite some time, usually having something to do with disturbing mothlike images. You might think that there is an inevitable romance to be had here between Klein and Connie, but whatever attraction exists between the two is nothing in the face of the growing mystery.
One of the reasons "The Mothman Prophecies" creates such a sense of disquiet in the audience is that we are not sure exactly how to read the film. Should we be thinking straightforward gothic horror or something more along the lines of science fiction? Eventually I came to the conclusion that part of the dynamic of this film was that we were not supposed to figure it out; indeed, you cannot. I watched the film a second time specifically to try and make pieces fit (no, did not read the book, but am interested in doing so given the comments of other reviewers), and I could not do it. Nor could I really lay out the powers of the Mothman in a way that would be particularly helpful. Indeed, I became so wary in this film that I was unwilling to believe phone calls were from the characters we heard unless we actually saw the person talking to Klein on the other end of the connection.
Gere's character is trying to proceed in good old journalistic fashion, but is constantly left befuddled by the people he talks to and the events he witnesses. Linney provides the stability in the film, not just to Gere's character but to the entire situation. The emotional heart of the film is Patton, as the local guy caught up in events beyond his wildest imagaintion, although Lucinda Jenney, playing his wife Denise, provides wonderful support (her scene in the hall of the hospital where she offers her husband total support is the small acting gem in the film).
"The Mothman Prophecies" is not a conventional horror film, and I suspect that those who have the most trouble with it will be those least satisfied by unconventional films. Ultimately, this is a film (and a story) where the questions are more important that the answers. The fact that those answers are virtually nonexistent only underscores the point that we are not supposed to know what is going on. Actually, there is something to be said for a film that reduces both its main characters and audience alike to asking themselves "What just happened?" and "What does it mean?"
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I found the actual police reports on the web about this incident.