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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.Read more ›
Some chilling scenes in the movie include a giant moth that sucks brain, screams coming from everywhere, strange sounds coming from the town's plumbing system, and dead people that disappear then reappear alive. The scene where the giant moth attacks the survivors in the police station is one of the best in any movie. In the second half, the movie has some more chilling scenes with a high body count, but I was a bit disappointed that the movie ended so quickly. It's 100 minute running time didn't feel like it was long enough to fit all the events that occured in the movie. Dean Koontz also made the mistake of not exploring the thematic elements of the movie more deeply like he did in his novel.
The special effects in the movie were very good. The giant moth looked real and so did the other creatures that appeared. The film isn't as gory as it's reputed to be. Sci-fi horror films like Alien Resurrection and Event Horizon are much bloodier. (Although Event Horizon uses the goriness effectively). Overall, Phantoms is a creepy horror film that holds the viewer at the edge of their seat, especially in the final confrontation between Hammond and a boy.
Small-town doctor Joanna Going and kid sister Rose McGowan return to Going's mountain resort community of Snowfield, Colorado, to find everybody missing or horribly dead. Nearby town sheriff Ben Affleck and twisted deputy Liev Schreiber turn up to help them make sense of the mystery. Their only clue leads them to unknown scholarly author Peter O'Toole, whose all but forgotten book on mass disappearances holds the answers they seek.
Derivative, yes - anyone familiar with John Carpenter's The Thing and H. P. Lovecraft's "shoggoths" in At the Mountains of Madness is ahead of the game - but that hardly diminishes the fun of this fast-paced monster movie. It's slick and well-produced, and the cast are quite good in their roles. It bogs down a bit in the second half, but not enough to ruin the marvellous setup and ultimate payoff.
Though the movie couldn't match the book because of necessary limitations, in some ways Dean Koontz's self-adapted screenplay improves upon the novel. For one thing, Colorado has more resort communities of the type Koontz set the story in than his original choice of California. For another, the fate of O'Toole's character in the book is less satisfying than the one he comes to in the film.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So, this was one of my favorite books when I was younger. An easy and interesting read. I bought the movie to add to my special VHS collection I keep. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Mariellyn
This was a decent attempt to bring a Dean Koontz book to film. The acting was fair. Worth watching on a do nothing day.Published 13 months ago by iluvadeal