Movie Defense Force: The Mothman Prophecies - Surprisingly and Subtly Creepy

The Mothman Prophecies - Surprisingly and Subtly Creepy

Whatever brought you there, brought you there to die.

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Cool, I'll give it a watch. Also John Keil is actually a real character in the Discworld Novels. He is Sam Vimes' S.O. So Doubly awesome video :)

Did not see this coming, interesting.

I actually really liked this movie when it came out! It's one of the movies I put up as a posterboy for "psychological horror". It just manages to somehow just kind of be creepy almost the whole time. Like you said, it's almost imperceptible, but you can still tell something is a bit off.

A great horror movie, I wish we had more like it.

Really liked this back in the day. Saught it out because I knew about the creature from some other sources already.
I think you nail the problem on the head when you say things are constantly very subtly off.
If you are actually perceptive and a person who focusses on details you get the constant feeling.
If you're a critic who's mind works differently you will probably be down on the movie a lot more than you should be.

Maybe the only thing holding this film back was the lack of Willem Dafoe, Brendan Fraser, Danny DeVito and Edward James Olmos.

Indrid Cold is one of the coolest characters in film, a presence if not a physical entity. Despite not exhibiting any true malice to anyone, his utterly creepy voice sends shivers down your spine.

I'm happy you did this one Jim. The Mothman Prophesies is one of the scariest (or at least creepiest) movies I can recall, and it totally doesn't get the praise it deserves. The fact that it's based on true accounts almost doesn't even matter, I didn't know that when I saw it and it still left me feeling irrationally paranoid of this creature which almost certainly doesn't exist.

Hmmm... sounds interesting. I'll have to watch this one.

Loved this movie back in the day. If I may, you say some of the scenes felt meandering and could've been cut due to lack of story relevance. I felt those scenes were there to establish the relative normalcy of the main characters life, so that the movie avoided feeling too much like a supernatural movie. Basically, they were meant to anchor the movie in our world and make it seem more plausible that all this really happened. Entirely possible we'll still disagree on this, ofcourse, but I felt it worked as a whole.

Jim, I respect your opinion but the most memorable line from this entire film is literally:

"Chapstick."

If you like the film fine but talking it up like that is just going to get people annoyed at you when they spend an hour-and-a-half watching Richard Gere look confused at things.

Yeah this one was always super creepy imo

I adore this movie. It's creepy and oppressive in a way that you very rarely see in western horror films. Richard Gere's character also reminded me a lot of James Sunderland from Silent Hill 2, in how obsessed, on the edge and simultaneously hopeless he is after tragedy pulls the rug from under him. It's easily on my top 10 of the genre, and I've watched a lot of horror movies. As for the critical reception, it doesn't surprise me. Shitting on horror movies is a thing that happens very often.

This movie needs defending? I thought it was great.

This was another one I thought was a pretty damn good movie but got mixed reviews.

What's nice about it is the subtlety that you don't tend to see in a lot of western horror these days. Another thing is the relative powerlessness of the protagonist. Even in a lot of horror movies the last protagonist left survives and kills the monster. Even Alien, which was pretty much one of the best horror movies of it's time, ended with the monster dead. Mothman just ends after a massive tragedy.

I consider this the kind of creepy that slenderman got me with later. Also note that I wasn't much more than a child when I first saw this movie, so a few sleepless nights were had.

josh4president:
Jim, I respect your opinion but the most memorable line from this entire film is literally:

"Chapstick."

If you like the film fine but talking it up like that is just going to get people annoyed at you when they spend an hour-and-a-half watching Richard Gere look confused at things.

Not everything is for everyone. Most people understand this. If you have a massive love for slasher flicks then this movie is probably not for you.

I will give it to you that that line is a bit narmy. It's also probably why he went for the watch scene, which had a wonderful, "well of course I know" kind of timbre to it.

I thought this movie was fucking fantastic the first time I saw it. Just the right amount of creepy and Jim is right, there is something unsettling about... well, about everything. You just get this sense of dread in every scene.

"Great tragedy on the river Ohio" and that camera pull back at the end of the movie still sends chills up my spine.

Agreed with this review 100%. I just watched this myself a few weeks ago after having not seen it since it's original release in 2002. Loved it then and it holds up just as well today.

hmmm I know I've seen this but honestly can't recall any of it. I was probably too young at the time to really appreciate the subtlety and creepiness. I'll have to look it up again especially since I've developed a love of fiction where things are just slightly off kilter or a little bit different. X-files, Fringe that sort of thing

I watched this way back in the day when my mom rented a VHS copy from Blockbuster. Thought it was really creepy back then and have loved re-watching it every once in awhile, ever since. I wasn't aware of any hype or negative criticism back then, being a little kid, but I didn't realize it was so overlooked until now. Sweet episode Jim!

Seen this movie once, and that was enough for me. Not because I didn't like it - far from that - but rather because it creeped me right the fuck out! What's interesting is that the Mothman is actually a "do-gooder" monster in that he gives warnings of terrible events that will come to pass in the near future...but the fact that he was a "good" monster didn't stop me from having nightmares about the bastard for a few days. Personally I'm a believer in the paranormal (to a certain extent), so the whole "based on a true story" shtick is what added that extra layer of spice for me.

Still, I really enjoyed the movie and would highly recommend it to anyone that hasn't seen it. Jim hits the nail on the head by emphasizing how the atmosphere is the real star of the show.

Product Placement:
This movie needs defending? I thought it was great.

My thoughts exactly. I've only seen it a couple of times, but it has really stuck with me. If I'm driving down an isolated wooded road at night, this movie will invariably cross my mind and then I will get scared Hehe.

Stryc9:
Maybe the only thing holding this film back was the lack of Willem Dafoe, Brendan Fraser, Danny DeVito and Edward James Olmos.

All of them? In the same movie?! Are you referring to some movie they were in I never heard of?

Darth_Payn:

Stryc9:
Maybe the only thing holding this film back was the lack of Willem Dafoe, Brendan Fraser, Danny DeVito and Edward James Olmos.

All of them? In the same movie?! Are you referring to some movie they were in I never heard of?

I'm making a reference to Jim's podcast where he semi-regularly comes up with movie ideas for Willem Dafoe that often also involve Debra Messing, Brendan Fraser and Danny DeVito. Since he left Destructoid and started his own podcast he's also been doing Edward James Olmos ideas too.

I thought that was a very boring movie. Yes its got 'some' of the elements of a good horror movie. Its got the subtlety, its got a few well placed scares, its got a good premise for a movie that also has the advantage of being based on a true story, but it commits the cardinal sin. Theres no pay off, theres no good guys getting dead or bad guy getting dead. Theres no big reveal or twist. Its just a man walking around being confused.

Its that kind of anti-climactic bullcheese that doesn't really belong in a thriller which is what the movie was being passed off as by the video stores. So thats why it gets polarized, expectations of both horror and thriller movies makes one ill equipped to face this kind of movie. Even if you are in the right frame of mind, I personally don't find it all that scary and if its not scary than its boring because it has nothing else to contribute.

Product Placement:
This movie needs defending? I thought it was great.

I thought it was great as well. I usually recommend this movie to people who claim to want a "scary" movie slightly beyond the typical Hollywood blockbuster. That, or older women who love Richard Gere and want to see more of his movies.

Also, Jim, a review of The Relic (1997) would be greatly appreciated.

Mothman prophecies was one of my gateway horror movies. It's absolutely fucking brilliant. Every 'creeping' horror film fan ABSOLUTELY needs to see the film.

But is IS super slow paced and whatnot, so take that as you will.

I watched this with a buddy late one night shortly after it came out on video and it creeped the hell out of us. We had heard the mixed reviews but we both like this type of stuff so we gave it a shot. We certainly we not disappointed. It kept us guessing pretty much right up till the end. We loved it.

Cool. I just added it to my Netflix streaming queue! I'm looking forward to watching it tonight.

Hate this damned movie. Mothman and Indrid Cold are some of the very best pieces of true American legend and the movie missed all opportunity to do them justice. If people who saw the film and thought it was creepy want to be really creeped out, actually go out and look at what the movie was based on. If you've any imagination at all, the actual tale about the Mothman event, the Men in Black and Idrid Cold is far creepier than this slog was.

I saw this movie in the cinema when it was first released - I didn't really want to but someone gave me a free ticket. I'm glad they did because, even though horror films really aren't my thing, I was held rapt throughout. Rather than rely on blood, guts and gore, The Mothman Prophecy is much more subtle and the suspense, boiled slowly, kept me guessing right up to the finale.

I'd recommend this one to anybody!

One of my favourite films. One of the only that I've watched that had me literally jump out of my seat at a certain point, which I shall not spoil for any who have yet to see this masterpiece of suspense. 5 star film.

silent hill may have borrowed from the book, but certainly not the movie.. seeing as Silent hill 2 (this one with the wifey stuffs) came out a year before this yawnfest.

I have to disagree about this one. I saw it for the first time a few months ago and found it a poorly paced, pretentious load of boring twaddle.

I also discovered later that a lot of the events depicted were completely made up for the movie, and not just the ones you'd expect. John Keel never had a wife, much less did he lose one to a Mothman related accident. He was just a professional UFO hunting writer. To give you an idea, he's the guy who popularized the term "Men in Black" back in the 1960s. Of course a professional UFO hunter is gonna swear up and down weird things have happened to him, either to sell his books, or just because he was crazy to begin with.

OK movie on streaming. Appears the writer/director never saw Ghost Ship:

regarding the big finale at the bridge.

I would also agree this movie is extremely creepy & well-made, even if it has only passing resemblance to the book on which it was based. I will however, take a bit of an issue with the comment you made about taking the events that happen to John Klein as either real or grief-induced hallucinations. Perhaps it was both, but no amount of grief will allow one to drive 800 miles(pretty sure that's the number given in the film) in a few hours. Also, when he takes the recording of Indrid Cold's voice to a sound analyst, the man says the voice wasn't created by human vocal cords. I suppose one could say someone was mucking with John's head & made a computer-generated voice, but there's no evidence in the film for that. In any case, Klein's 2ish hr 800 mile drive was a clear indication something truly odd was going on.

 

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