The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

Directed by Mark Pellington

It seems an odd thing. The Mothman Prophecies makes a point of letting us know it is a movie based on real events. In other words, it’s based on a real story. Yet it’s greatest weakness is the lack of one. How’d that happen?

There is a story of sorts, I suppose: Weird things happening in West Virginia. And there are a lot of standard suspense scenes and mysterious happenings, generally all well done. Unfortunately, the scenes are connected by a mumbo jumbo of fast edits, swooshes, and assorted rock video flim flam that works best when you’ve no idea what a scene is about or how it connects to the one following it. Bogus transitions removed, it becomes clear the film is a series of non sequiters.

It’s a pity too. Richard Gere and Laura Linney are quite good. But you have to wonder sometimes if the puzzlement on their faces is genuine acting or simply confusion over the script.

In the end, we have an unsatisfiying film, more atmosphere than substance. And while atmosphere is crucial in a film like this even more fundamental is a coherent storyline.

© 2002 Piddleville Inc.

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