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
The studio cut $2 million out of the film's budget just days before shooting began. Director Mark Pellington was furious, having vowed not to make the same concessions that plagued his previous film Arlington Road (1999). See more »
On Klein's drive from Point Pleasant to Chicago, a glimpse of an exit sign for "New Kensington" can be seen. There is no "New Kensington" between West Virginia and Illinois, but there is one near Pittsburgh, where the movie was filmed. See more »
Bad things just happen. We usually can't stop them.
The Mothman Prophecies is a solid thriller. It's supposedly based on true events, but even if it weren't, it would be worth a look. Richard Gere stars as a Washington Post reporter who inexplicably finds himself in a small West Virginia town where a series of strange goings-on have been happening. His wife was killed two years prior in a mysterious car accident, and there seems to be a connection between her death and the strange happenings in Point Pleasant. Holding the key behind the mystery seems to be a large moth-like creature who tends to show up in places where the loss of human life is about to occur. Gere meets up with several locals who claim to have seen the Mothman, and after a while this creature begins communicating with him. The creature warns people of tragedies about to strike (plane crashes, earthquakes), and Gere thinks this creature can even put him in contact with his dead wife. Gere is given a warning about an upcoming tragedy near Point Pleasant, but can he act in time to stop it? Or should he even try? The film is very moody and sullen. The direction and photography are top drawer, and they enhance the mood greatly. The acting is terrific, as well. I usually can't stand Gere, but he's great in this film. Laura Linney would seem miscast as a local cop, but by the end of the film, she will have proved how truly talented she is. Will Patton is outstanding as a local resident who has several run-ins with the Mothman until it drives him crazy.
What exactly is the Mothman? According to this film, he's some type of oracle. He can see bad things that will happen, and he can even see through to the other side. Does he cause these tragedies? The film would seem to argue not. Though he may have caused the fatal car accident that took Gere's wife early on. Apparently the concept of the Mothman has been around for a while, but this film gives a pretty good explanation of it for those of us who had never heard of it before.
The film came up short of its $40 million budget in theaters. I blame this on a terrible marketing campaign, and some bad reviews from the big name critics. Don't let their reviews scare you away. This film is very good. I was hooked after seeing only a couple minutes of it. It was the very effective scene where Gere and Patton first meet up at his home one evening. That was well done! Be warned, however. The film will likely leave you feeling very mortal, and maybe even depressed. There is a really cool new-age rock song during the credits that also adds to the mood.
Consider this film a thinking man's Final Destination. The climactic scene at the end could have even wandered in from one of those movies. The Mothman Prophecies is worth about 8 of 10 stars.
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