This film is about a hyper-vigilant employee of the department of public safety who, while training his young female replacement, has to track down a missing girl who he is convinced is connected to a paroled sex offender he is investigating.
John Klein is involved in a car accident with his wife, but while he is unharmed, his wife mentions a moth shaped creature appearing. After her death, John begins to investigate the secrets behind this mentioned Mothman. It takes him to a small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where he discovers a connection with the same problem. Here he meets Connie Mills, while he continues to unravel the mystery of what the Mothman really is. Written by
A cut down modernized Hollywood version of John A. Keel's famous UFO story.
(**** out of *****)
What a wonderful and rich role for Gere who should maybe experiment more in movies that deal with the realms of the unknown.
A much respected reporter for the Washington Post John Klein (Richard Gere) is about to have his life turned upside down when his wife dies in an automobile accident that seems to have been caused by a mysterious flying creature which he never did see himself. The plot takes Gere to the Ohio/West Virginia border where he meets with the local residents who all seem to be having their troubles with strange lights, weird phone calls and a bird like creature which they call the Mothman. Klein investigates the mystery at the cost of his own sanity and career.
The film is very scary but lacks the pace and fibre that made the John A. Keel's book an awe inspiring read. There are no Men In Black, UFO's, alien impregnated women, phone tapings or a clear resolution to some of the character's fate. In fact only about 10% of the book is actually reproduced in the film. The other 90% seems to have been plucked from an episode of the `X-files'... but what a good episode it is! This is a film that has high production values. The lighting, camerawork, sound and editing are always on top form which is something that prevents the movie from disappearing into the ranks of science fiction B movie hokum. `The Mothman Prophecies' looks simply `weirdly' gorgeous on the big screen.
There is not enough Mothman revealed to the viewer but country folk Gordon Smallwood (the well cast and superbly acted Will Patton) creates a much needed conduit into the effects that the Mothman has on the people of Point Pleasant and this is what the film is really all about - The consequences that the supernatural can have on the psyche of a small backward town's population. Although the ending is Mothman free it certainly does jolt the emotions and evokes a sort of belittling sympathy for the human beings of this planet.
Watch this film and then go read the book for a much better look at really went on. All in all, the film is a spine-chilling riveting stuff and well worth repeated viewing even though it never truly escapes its `X-Files' feeling.
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