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Scary? No, But It Serves Its Purpose Of Entertaining
ccthemovieman-118 July 2007
If you aren't expecting some super-scary or gross film, just a mild ghost-type story, this fits the bill just fine. That's all I expected and I entertained for an hour-and-a-half. Is this some award-winning film? No, Is is genuinely scary? No, but it isn't anywhere near as bad as all these reviews say it is here, either.

What I liked best about this movie was the photography. It was stylishly filmed and I enjoyed the bold colors, decent direction and nice rural scenery. Who doesn't like looking at large groups of sunflowers?

I had no trouble with any of the characters, either. Since it was partly one of those "you don't listen to me," teen girl flicks, I expected some snotty kid was Kirsten Stewart was fine as 16- year-old "Jess." Dylan McDermott and Penelope Ann Miller played nice enough parents, too.

The twist near the end was good after that was revealed, you got the normal clichés with the climactic action scene. That was kind of cheesy, I admit, but most of the film was just fine with me. For what I expected, I have no complaints. It's a decent flick.
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Much better than some reviewers would have you believe!
daggersineyes7 August 2013
I don't know what people expect from thriller/horror movies if they are willing to call this one tragically bad or "lame". Not all thriller movies can be the best - and this one is not one of the "best" you'll ever see. But that's no reason to slam it quite so badly. There have to be a bunch of movies that are in the average range, obviously, not all movies can be the best. This one is definitely in the average range - BUT it's one of the better "average" thrillers you'll come across. The reason it's in the upper levels of "average" is because it's directed by the Pang Brothers. They are responsible for The Eye and Bangkok Dangerous and their brilliant stamp is all over this little thriller. Take notice of how beautifully framed each scene is, the effective use of silence throughout, the play on colours & textures, the minimalist dialogue etc. It's beautifully filmed and well acted by all but the mother character and it creates a lovely tense atmosphere with plenty of scares and spooks (but no blood and guts - so that will "disappoint" some). The biggest problem with the movie is the screenplay itself. It's not the most riveting story in the world & the plot has several flaws (like so many thrillers do). But it doesn't matter, in the hands of the Pangs this taut little thriller still a far better movie than most and easily worth the rental. Just don't go into it expecting the next best thing. It is what it is. An average but gripping movie.
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Good fun ghost story
Danny_G138 May 2008
Well made ghost horror might not be the greatest movie ever made, but manages to entertain effectively.

Let us first of all say that this movie does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a ghost story and never pretends to be anything else. Anyone looking for a highbrow horror tale here can look elsewhere.

Getting back to the story though, and a family with a mysterious past move to a new home in the middle of the country, a home with a chequered history of its own, and it is not long before daughter Jess encounters the secrets of the house...

Husband Roy is desperate to make a go of this new life, by making a successful harvest with the fertile soil in the fields next to where they now live, and despite some troubles between mother and daughter it seems that they are going to try putting their problems behind them.

The house has other ideas though.

The Messengers makes no apology for what it is - an old-fashioned ghost story with a hint of horror and which benefits from a slightly shallow plot to aid with fast story telling and scares. Yeah, it's not exactly earth shatteringly terrifying but it does a better job of building tension than most of its peers.

Its special effects are reasonably decent, and never look too fake bar bar one single occasion in the cellar.

The acting too is acceptable and does the job - Kristen Stewart does her best with the material and produces what the role requires.

But the fun here is with the overall feel of the movie - it just works as long as you don't try to expect too much from it.

The only oddity is 'Cigarette Smoking Man' from X-Files William B Davis making an unnecessary and pointless appearance twice as a real estate broker - a side story which was totally inept and served no purpose and gave the actor all of 20 seconds of screen time.

That aside, good movie and worth seeing as long as you don't expect more than it is.
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leaves me not really offended, though never impresses either, it's just a mediocre horror movie
Quinoa198413 February 2007
I don't think that I would completely write off the Pang brothers, Oxide and Danny, as they don't completely go into the self-indulgent post-modernism that has panged, no pun intended, the horror filmmakers of late. Only once or twice they jump into 'Saw' territory. But even having not seen the majority of the Japanese horror movies that have give rise to the over-abundance of 'ghosts-in-my-house' wave (and, likewise, to their American counterparts), there isn't too much with surprise or shocks in The Messengers.

I'm sure they're self-conscious of the films they're paying homage/ripping off (the one scene involving the crows and their rendezvous with John Corbett's character is like a chummier mash of The Birds and North by Northwest; Shining and Close Encounters references seem a little more than clear to me too), yet they also succumb to having their film be really affect-less. It's never too stupid though; I didn't have a disliking toward any one character, with the exception being maybe towards the end with Corbett (I don't think I'm spoiling much there), and it's the sort of typical family-moves-into-a-creepy-house story that decides to hit the usual bases without going rapidly wrong on the marks.

But there's also the muddle that comes in dealing with the supernatural side of things, amid the average scares of 'what did I hear in the other room, I'll go check'. For one thing, the variations on who the ghosts and demons in the house are- if they're the family that used to live there, or if they might be the whatevers that killed off the family striking back at the new family in the house. There's fair acting from the family (Kristen Stewart of Panic Room fills in the teenage-girl niche, and there's competent work from McDermott and Miller; Colbert is a little creepy, but I guess that's the point; William B. Davis's bit part is the best real surprise of the movie), but it's all at the mercy of a standard script that might've been better, damn if I say it, as a half hour TV episode or something. Only sometimes, too, are there some potential unintentional laughs to be had, mostly towards the climax and with the very randomly placed crows that can only come in a pretty inexplicable flick such as this.

In the end, the Messengers is nothing new, and won't contribute much at all to the horror genre at large, but I wouldn't throw it in my 'I hate this movie so much' bin either, as it only continues to that non-threatening realm of the kinda-creepy PG-13 haunted house picture.
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Nothing new, but not unwatchable
mrmatt141 February 2007
I saw this one tonight at a screening, and I wasn't entirely disappointed. I'll be honest -- there's nothing new in The Messengers. It's all been seen before in earlier, more original movies. This one is kind of a "best of" reel of some good ideas from other horror movies. If you're looking for something original and scary, this isn't it. If you're looking for a little jumpy fun, I can't say this one is a miss. By virtue of the "good ideas" being good, they work. What it lacks in originality it makes up for in assembling them in a reasonably coherent manner.

My only real gripe is that Dylan McDermitt looks about as out of place working the fields of his farm as any actor I can think of. They could have at least tried a LITTLE bit harder casting that part.

Think The Birds + Ju On + Amityville Horror + Sixth Sense.
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Nothing special or original
SnoopyStyle6 April 2014
Roy (Dylan McDermott) and Denise (Penelope Ann Miller) are moving their family out onto a farm. Daughter Jess (Kristen Stewart) holds the reason for the move and her not allowed to drive. The young son is unable to speak. They are growing sunflowers, but are harassed by aggressive crows. Colby Price from the bank offers 15% premium for the property but Roy refuses to sell. There is a helpful neighbor Burwell (John Corbett) and townie boy Bobby (Dustin Milligan) who is interested in Jess.

This is a reasonably made horror, but the story just doesn't have enough tension. It's not scary at any point. It is a really simple haunted house story. There isn't much of a mystery. When it actually reveals something, it isn't actually interesting. There is nothing special or original in this.
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Decent But Heavily Derivative.
drownnnsoda10 February 2007
"The Messengers" revolves around a young teenager, Jess (Kristen Stewart), who moves out into rural North Dakota with her dad (Dylan McDermott), her mother (Penelope Ann Miller), and her little brother, to a sunflower farm. The house they move into is run-down and very spooky, and Jess isn't happy about the entire situation. From the moment they arrive to the house, Jess begins to have strange experiences and see very bizarre things. Her younger brother also sees things that nobody else can, and Jess is concerned. A man who shows up out of nowhere (John Corbett) to work at the farm, and the family becomes pretty close with him as well. But the increasingly frightening supernatural experiences that only Jess seems to see get more and more violent, and seem to have a relation to something that happened in the house years ago.

With some obvious similarities to "The Grudge" (and just about every ghost story you can think of), "The Messengers" is an extremely derivative ghost tale that manages to hold itself up without becoming unbearably watchable. The story itself is your typical haunted-house yarn - family moves into house, strange experiences begin that can only be seen by the children or our main character, seems to have a relation to a horrible incident that happened in the house years before. Full of dark and shadowy rooms, ghost-like figures with ridiculously orchestrated jerky movements (reminiscent of "The Grudge"), mostly useless "jump" scares, and a small child character who can see things others can't, "The Messengers" is clichéd, no doubting that. I wasn't afraid once during this film, because I knew when to expect all of the scary moments. Maybe it's because I've seen films like this one too many times, but all I can say for sure is that I didn't find this film scary.

While this film is heavily clichéd (which is probably it's strongest negative point), I still managed to enjoy the majority of it. While the story is typical, it managed to keep my attention and I was at least interested. The cinematography really soared in this film. Everything was very nice looking and the atmosphere was great. The backdrop of the house and the surrounding land really made it feel like it was in the complete middle of nowhere, and the old house itself, while it was your typical haunted house, was admittedly spooky looking. The acting was really good for the most part. Kristen Stewart is the lead and is very talented and convincing. I'd previously seen her in "Panic Room" at a younger age, and even then she was good. I can see her going places. Dylan McDermott and John Corbett are both very good as well, and Penelope Ann Miller, while not giving the best performance of the cast, was decent enough. I can't say anything too horrible about the acting though.

Overall, "The Messengers" is your typical, cliché-ridden modern ghost story, and it borrows so much from other recent films of it's type (which a lot of these films seem to do), that it becomes another one of those "we've seen it all before" horror movies. It doesn't offer much of anything new for the genre, but it was at least watchable. If you want some cheap scares and a very few number of eerie moments, you'll probably enjoy this. But mostly, this film is one big cliché. Enjoyable if you don't take it too seriously though, but just average. 5/10.
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Not great, but not too bad
kuroneko_kitty5 February 2007
There is evidence to suggest that children... would really rather watch something else.

As suspense/horror movies go, this one isn't amazing. Its hardly original; more like Hitchcock's The Birds meets Verbinski's The Ring. Honestly. Its a perfect combination of the two.

Personally I'd recommend watching the afore mentioned separately, each being better alone than this film. Really, the only thing it seems to have in abundance OTHER than unoriginality, is cheap pop-out scares. I mean, yeah, its kinda fun the first time or two... but after about half a dozen, you start to wonder if there is anything else to be had.

The acting wasn't entirely horrible, I'll admit to that much. The Turner kids who played Ben are certainly entertaining to watch, giving a cute contrast to the grungy atmosphere of the movie. Cancer Man... wait... no, sorry, William Davis could have done better in my opinion, as could Miller... but considering the type of movie this is, one doesn't have a lot of room to nitpick.

As a quick side note, I DO commend this movie for not being gratuitously gory. Its rare to find modern movies in this genre that don't blatantly use blood and guts to invoke fear.

All in all, this movie isn't the worst of its kinda, but it is in no way the best. If you want cheap, minimal-gore thrills that will make you jump, go see it. If you're looking for a deeper, more thought-provoking thriller... I strongly recommend looking elsewhere.
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The Messengers was a Mess!
hate_mcangry6 June 2007
It's really too bad. This movie had all the makings of a good horror flick. It starts out great, then starts to get boring. You find yourself waiting and waiting for something scary to happen. There are a few creepy scenes, but they have been done over and over again in countless other movies. A couple of jolt wanna-be scares are placed here and there, but most times fall flat.

The plot doesn't even get a chance to fall apart, it wasn't there to begin with. Simple is the key for a movie like this. If you want a creepy horror movie, stay with the creepiness. If you want a jolting screaming horror movie, stay with that. If you want some twisting turning horror movie, stay with that. Combining all those factors, with a poor story line, just doesn't work for me.

Good acting all around, but one scene when the family are driving in the SUV, the actors suddenly look as though they are all lost. It almost seemed at that point the director took the script and went to the bathroom for a couple of minutes.

All in all, could've been better.
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A lazy horror film that is filled with the usual clichés
christian12320 February 2007
After having problems in Chicago, the Solomon family moves to a remote North Dakota farmhouse to start anew, but their attempts at an idyllic farming life is disrupted when their teen daughter Jess (Kristen Stewart) and her 3-year-old brother Ben start seeing and being attacked by supernatural beings who won't allow them to live in peace.

The Messengers starts off decently although it eventually becomes a generic horror film that's a lot more humorous than frightening. After reading the premise, I thought this could have been a decent movie since it sounded creepy and it held potential. Unfortunately, the film didn't live up to its potential although I should have expected this since the trailer was awful. The screenplay was probably the worst part about it. It was full of silly sequences and bland dialog. The characters were not developed at all and most of them were acting like a bunch of idiots so it was hard to feel sympathy for them.

The directors did a horrible job at building up suspense. They mainly relied on cheap scares like loud noises and random jumps. The music was really over the top and it just made it easier for the viewer to telegraph the next "scary" moment. I also didn't like how they pretty much just used one location for the whole movie. The house was the centerpiece of the story and that's where the majority of the filming took place so it got a little boring after awhile to see the same area. Also, I didn't like the close-ups of the actors. During a conversation, the camera would continually jerk from character to another in the span of five seconds and it got really annoying. The directors did create a decent atmosphere and they do get some points for making their movie stylish. However, since we have come a long way in terms of style and effects, it's not really that hard to make your movie look nice especially if you are working on a Hollywood film.

The acting was atrocious and if this movie had been released in December, I'm sure it would have received several Razzie nominations. Kristen Stewart showed some talent in Panic Room but you wouldn't be able to tell she has talent by watching her performance in The Messengers. She was okay at acting scared and that's it. The rest of the time she was dry and unconvincing. Penelope Anne Miller was just awful when it came to everything. It sounded like she was reading her lines and she had some of the worst facial expressions I have ever seen. Dylan McDermott was just very wooden and he showed almost no emotion. John Corbett gave the best performance and he had a couple of good scenes. The twins who played Ben were also decent and managed to out act many of the adult actors. Overall, this lame horror film is not worth watching because of it's blandness and lazy film-making. Rating 4/10
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The message is boredom!
Coventry9 April 2007
Well, at least we have to acknowledge the big Hollywood horror-producers are finally getting smarter and more perceptive. Instead of patiently waiting to buy the rights of Asian horror hits and subsequently remake them in America, they now discovered they could simply hire the Asian directors and assign them to make their brand new ghost story directly in the states. That's like killing two birds with one stone; way to go guys! "The Messengers" is pretty much identical to every other supernatural chiller that came out of the Oriental countries ever since "Ringu". Roughly translated, this means it's a boring, overlong and entirely gore-free film, but it does feature copious amounts of false scares and embarrassingly weak "did we scare you yet?" moments. The Pang Brothers (Danny & Oxide) previously made the extremely overrated "The Eye" and it sort of is a tradition for them to build up a story with clues and hints towards a point where it becomes nearly impossible to meet the expectations of their curious audiences, yet they don't seem eager to alter their formula any time soon. And they're also unscrupulous enough to recycle the same old & repetitive ghost topics over and over again. Restless spirits of the previous inhabitants trapped in the walls of a remote countryside farm? The protagonist family torn apart by unprocessed traumas from the past, so they first have to restore faith and trust in each other? Give me a break! Throw in a videotape and a seven-days-curse, why don't you? Even the attempts to make you jump in your seat are too déjà-vu and won't scare anyone over the age of 7. Slamming doors, filthy & gradually larger growing stains on the walls, ghostly appearances, noises coming from the cellar... The endless overuse of cheap tricks like this is almost becoming insulting to horror fans. "The Messengers" revolves on a family on their way to a new life in the country as the growers of sunflowers. The family situation is kind of dysfunctional since a personal tragedy (which doesn't get revealed until late in the film) caused their youngest son to stop talking and the parents to distrust their revolting teenage daughter. Soon after, the children experience strange presences in remote farmhouse, but they don't manage to convince their parents to leave. That's pretty much concludes the entire film. Little Ben sees things but he can't talk and Jessica repeatedly gets attacked by supernatural forces but nobody listens to her. The basic premise of "The Messagers" is very derivative of Stanley Kubrick's immortal classic "The Shining", only it lacks the constantly ominous atmosphere and disturbing tone. The script takes itself far too seriously even though it's fairly easy to predict the final denouement and the total absence of violence and bloodshed is unforgivable. At least "The Eye" delivered some genuine shocks in the end, whereas the happy happy joy joy ending of "The Messengers" is just pathetic. The only positive elements I can think of are the beautiful rural filming locations, the adequate editing job and the promising young acting talents (and beauty) Kristen Stewart. And there's an uncanny, but sadly underdeveloped supportive role for William B. Davis.
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Generic Horror/Thriller
mikekearn5 February 2007
I won't lie to you, I enjoyed this movie. Yes, it was rather generic. Yes, it borrowed some plot points from other movies. And yes, there were way too many crows. Yet despite all the negative I continued to hear about it, I went and saw it anyways, and I'm glad I did.

Many plot points, such as a haunted house in the middle of nowhere, parents not listening to their kids, and ghosts out for revenge are ideas that Hollywood has used and recycled more times than a person can count. However, The Messengers manages to put these together into one movie, without going for too much at once. Certain scenes were rather predictable, so I won't claim that the movie really innovates on any of the standard horror elements, but there are plenty of moments that had me jump in my seat, and had the female members of the audience squealing and clutching their boyfriends.

Overall I felt at the end of the movie that, while not amazing, it was worthy of my time and money to see with a couple friends on a lazy afternoon.
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Farmer Sutra…The Messengers
jaredmobarak1 February 2007
Special sneak previews are always a good time. No matter what movie it is you are seeing, the theatre will always be packed by people who have been awaiting the film, like free stuff, thought it'd be something to do, or just got lost. Either way, no matter how good or bad the film, the audience alone will make it enjoyable. Now when said movie is a PG-13 pseudo- horror film (can you really delve into horror when the MPAA is on your back censoring everything?) you know there will be chatter, laughing, and breath holding. With The Messengers, the crowd did not disappoint giving numerous outbursts and warnings to the characters on screen. As for the actual movie, I feel sorry for those involved because it really could have been much better had it been paced right and allowed to stretch its legs beyond the scare/fade-to-black/show aftermath progression these films have. In the end we are shown a boring, plodding story with no surprises and few moments of actual suspense.

The story is a common one. A family moves from the big city to the country after a traumatic event to try and rebuild their relationship with each other. Once settled in, the spirits of the house come out to the reformed troublemaker child whose past makes it even easier for the parents to disbelieve everything told to them. Of course the child is not crying wolf and those around only find out when it is too late. I will credit the Pang Brothers, (directors of the acclaimed The Eye that I would like to watch more than before to see what they can do without Hollywood interference—supposedly reshoots on The Messengers were done by someone else, but the brothers retained credit; it's a shame what our studio system does to foreigners especially when it was creative independence which made the films that brings them in and not bottomline interference), for really having a fitting style and for keeping the tired plot line somewhat fresh. Unfortunately, though, I also must give them credit for the almost unbearable slowness. Similar to why I disliked What Lies Beneath, I couldn't stand the drawn out suspense, which goes so far as to make it laughable. When our heroine and her brother stand in a hallway with a ghost behind them, the scene lasts about eight minutes with just static, oddly composed close-ups and depth of field focus changes to end up culminating to absolutely nothing. For being only 84 minutes, I almost think it would have worked better even shorter.

Besides a very effective opening sequence, featuring the fantastic Jodelle Ferland, (strangely playing a boy), and a great atmospheric credit sequence, the only thing that saves the film from utter garbage is the acting. Except for Penelope Ann Miller, who first made me wonder what ever happened to her and then, after a few scenes, made me understand why I never asked that question in the years she was absent, and Dustin Milligan, completely lacking in credibility, the acting is very strong. Dyan McDermott does a nice job as the father trying to keep his family together through all the tough times. He has many little moments of light comedy to counteract his serious, dramatic role. William B. Davis (everyone's favorite Cancerman) is used effectively as an almost foreboding character, sadly not utilized more. Our true stars are Kristen Stewart and John Corbett. Stewart plays the emotion very well and shows some promise as an actress with this and Panic Room on her resume. As for Corbett, if he didn't pull off his role, the entire movie would have unraveled completely. I do wish he would be given more work as I've enjoyed him since the under-appreciated series "The Visitor"—I still need to check out his first role in "Northern Exposure," a show I haven't yet been able to catch up on. It's a shame he will probably be most recognizable for the overrated My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

If anything, The Messengers gave me a nice introduction to the Pang Brothers' work and reinvigorated my desire to check out their Chinese horror catalog. The mood and performances were there; it was just the simple and vacant story that needed way too much padding to make a feature film. If they delved more into other characters, rather than just Stewart's, it could have been more effective while also having something more to show then ten minute scenes of nothing. If our protagonist is the only one being attacked, there is no suspense as to how far the creatures will go to harm her. The moments of danger had no gravity to them and until the ending really just stood in as filler. I am excited, however, for the free comic book given away after the special screening, as hopefully the medium will allow for a faster paced story that engrosses before it tries to surprise.
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Entertaining as it as much eerie
jonwalters-111 April 2007
"The Messengers" is a been there, done that, horror about a family who move to a spooky house in the middle of nowhere and then strange things begin to happen. It sounds like you have seen this film before yet the story still keeps you interested and in some cases even intrigued.

A family move from Chicago to an eerie, abandoned farmhouse in North Dakota to start a fresh and to start growing sunflowers on its land, aw. Then the teenager daughter Jess (Kristen Stewart, Panic Room) begins to sense strange happenings from the moment they move in, something just isn't quite right, her toddler brother, Ben, also begins to notice creaking noises and following shadows and the mother (Penelope Ann Miller) just can't get rid of THAT stain on the wall. However, the family don't seem to communicate so everybody just gets on with it without mentioning the strange goings on to other family members. Tut.

Roy the dad, (Dylan McDermott, Miracle on 34th St) then hires Burwell, a man who has literally came from nowhere to help on the farm, just as long as Roy throws in a free dinner. Mysterious Burwell (Aidan from Sex and the City) comes complete with sideburns a beard and a backwards cap, yes, a backwards cap. They are all getting on nicely, the sunflowers are growing, Jess has made a friend in Bobby but mum Denise just can't get THAT stain off the wall. So where did Burwell come from? Please enter ghostly Gollum like figures, shrieking violins, pecking crows and a lot of jumpy movements.

There isn't much new with "The Messengers" but with the film changing which character it's going to focus on every 5 minutes it still manages to keep you entertained and even concerned in what is going to happen. However, we know what is going to happen, don't we? You know what's round the corner, yet you still manage to jump, and I still managed to enjoy it!
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A great tension filling film
Funbeck-957 April 2008
I absolutely loved this film, i read reviews and thought it wasn't going to be anything special and still bought it, and I'm glad i did! it had you on the edge of your seat all the way through, it was tension filling all the way through.

its about family after 2 tough years in Chicago, they move to a desolate sunflower farm. their search for a quiet life in the country is ruined when jess and her 2 year old brother start seeing nightmarish visions and no-one else believes them.jess must find out what is happening to her and what happened to the family what lived there before. she has to fight with things beyond the grave to save her family and prove shes not mad.

this is a spooky spine-chilling film. i recommend you see this movie
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Yeah.... No.
banchi3 February 2007
Just saw this movie on opening night. I read some other user comments which convinced me to go see it... I must say, I was not impressed. I'm so unimpressed that I feel the need to write this comment to spare some of you people some money.

First of all "The Messengers" is very predictable, and just not much of a thriller. It might be scary for someone under 13, but it really did nothing for me. The climax was laughable and most of the audience left before the movie's resolution.

Furthermore the acting seemed a little superficial. Some of the emotional arguments between the family were less convincing than the sub-par suspense scenes.

If you've seen previews for this movie, then you've seen most of the best parts and have a strong understanding of the plot. This movie is not worth seeing in the theaters.
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The best ghost movie
jimanuel129 September 2013
This is the best ghost movie i think i have ever seen. The special effects were very good if not great. I get really tired of reading reviews of very good movies that are almost always bad. So i thought i would write a review of a very good movie for a chance. If you like ghost movies, this one is the best i have ever seen. I usually do not like ghost movies, i cannot ever be scared of one, but this one has a very different take and the ending explains the entire movie. The cast is excellent, the special effects are very good and the plot is good as well. A little slow at first, but as the movie goes along, the better it gets. This is a movie well worth seeing.
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Another new horror movie full of cheap scares
Milo-Jeeder19 May 2007
Americanized Pang brothers go mainstream and sadly the results are not very good. I actually wanted to like this film, because I enjoyed the Pang Bros. previous well-known horror film "The Eye" and for that reason alone, I had some really high hopes with this one too. Well, I guess it was my bad and I must say now that I'm genuinely disappointed; since I was expecting something that would be just as dark and scary as "The Eye", considering that we are talking about the same directors, but this time, they even had a bigger budget to work with. Proof that good directors can screw it up (or at least in my humble opinion) and that won't have anything to do with the financial resources.

In "The Messengers", the Solomon family, moves to an isolated farm, with the purpose of starting a new life and leaving an unpleasant memory behind. However, as soon as they arrive to their new house, the teenage daughter Jess, starts to experience some really odd situations and she claims to see people living inside the cellar. Creatures that are not in peace with themselves and need to give her a message before it's too late. However, her parents, who are pretty much fed up with her and her dreadful behavior, don't believe a word she says. Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time for them to realize that Jess may not be lying this time, after all and that there's actually something in that house…something that has been waiting in the dark for a few years and is waiting to be released.

I won't complain about the fact that these kinds of stories were already told about a thousand times. I'm not one of those movie fans who complain about the lack of innovation when it comes to the plot. Honestly, I think most films (especially horror films) out there, share a decent number of similarities and while many reviews comment on the simplicity and unoriginality of the plot, I will mainly focus on the fact that this film is overall not scary, which is my main concern. It seems like The Pang Bros. basically sold their talent to the devil, just to enter in the American film industry, without realizing that there was no need to copy the most superfluous and silly PG-rated contemporary horror flicks. "The Messengers" turns out to be one of those movies where nothing really happens...ever. It's just a nice variety of hallucinations and situations that end up being reduced to "Did it really happen or was it just my imagination?". No, I'm sorry but I just had about enough with these nonsense. I suppose the real action starts happening during the last twenty minutes, but that just doesn't do it for me. The denouement turns out to be somehow far-fetched and it left me with the hateful "That's it?" feeling inside my head. Overall, not the worst movie ever and it's not like it is unwatchable. It happens to be entertaining for moments and it has a small number of well-done ghostly sequences that made the whole thing endurable in some way. I also enjoyed the scenes with the crows, since they reminded me a lot of "The Birds", which is like partying with an old best friend, or something like that. The music during the opening and final credits is in my opinion the actual high point and that is not a very good sign, unfortunately. Another thing that is not exactly a good sign, would be the overhead microphone that can be seen more than once during the film. No comments about that little detail.
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Sensationally creepy.
ajaws4ever30 January 2007
I saw a special sneak peek at a mall yesterday, and I was absolutely blown away. I walked in expecting another cheesy horror movie, but I was wrong.

'The Messengers' is about a family that movies into a dilapidated, run-down sunflower farm. As the farm begins to revive after years and years of disrepair, the family begins to notice uncomfortable, alarming, and disturbing changes in their father's behavior.

They use very creepy special effects that are similar to, 'The Grudge'. ****MINOR SPOILERS**** You see gray decapitating legs under a bed-sheet when a woman is making the bed. But they aren't just laying down. The legs are standing up, as if a person was actually standing under there, but the top half of the body is gone. If you saw the trailer you'd know what I'm talking about. ****MINOR SPOILERS END****

Although the story is not *totally* original, it still has a good plot line and very creepy special effects. The character named Ben, which is the character that can see things that adults can't see, as the tag line says, should win an award. He brings intense unease and creepiness to the movie, which is what I love about him. Also, Kristen Stewart (Zathura) is brilliant, as she was in Zathura (2005).

All in all, a sensationally creepy film with unsettling special effects, a creepy storyline, great acting, and a semi-original horror that's not as cheesy as it looks.

Official MPAA rating: PG-13: Mature Thematic Material, Disturbing Violence and Terror

My MPAA rating: PG-13: Mature Thematic Material, Disturbing Violence and Terror, and for Some Language

My Canadian rating: 14A: Violence, Frightening Scenes, Disturbing Content
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Don't GO
twyler86-121 February 2007
Personally, I'm not usually the type to want to jump online and start bad-mouthing a movie. However, i felt compelled to save other people from waisting their money on an almost completely unoriginal movie with sub-par acting. To be perfectly honest, the story is just dumb anyways. Family moving to a haunted house in the middle of nowhere... teenager that screwed up in the past, so nobody believes him/her.

The movie has been overdone time and time again and i hope this one quickly gets lost with the other hundreds in some movie rental horror section. Trust me on this one, this film does not deserve your hard-earned money.
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Give me a break!
thickbread152 February 2007
Was this movie being serious? I have seen some bad horror films in my time, but this one.... It has pretty much every single horror movie cliché. The creepy kids (preferably Asian), scary animals, dark spooky basement, "rebel" teenage hero, and the parents that won't believe them. Let us not forget that supposedly shocking plot twist. Which I knew what it was within the first twenty minutes. The acting was, at best, atrocious. Please save the money, do not waste your time on this Amityville formulated excuse for a movie. Spend the hour and a half doing something more smashing a large rock on your foot repeatedly.
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The less things change, they are a repetition.
spinova26 May 2012
I saw this right now in Cinemax, five years later of the cinema screening. I saw it because the directors and screen-players were the same of The Ring, it was a bonus.

The intro in black and white (a flashback of the previous owners of the house) is really good, I get stuck to my TV. Scary, well done effects, music, cinematography. So far so good.

Then when the actual family moves in, well it's all the same I saw countless times in many, many, many... and I mean: many movies.

The abandoned house, the new family move in it, the noises, the visions, the ghosts, are really a cliché. You can play with clichés, but put a new dress on them. Don't trace them like using onion paper.

I'm not surprised the DVD is only $1.95 in A bargain but with no salt and pepper for all horror fans like me.
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Hey, Momma, the monsters got me again - here's my self-harm marks to prove it!
Chris_Docker17 April 2007
The Pang Brothers are mostly known in the West for a creepy little horror film called The Eye, about a girl who gets a cornea transplant and, as a result, sees more than she bargained for. It had a decent storyline and, above all, an excellent sense of timing that gets you jumping out of your seat.

A similar dynamic runs through The Messengers. It's about an American family who make a new start out in the countryside. At first, only the teenage daughter and her young brother can 'see' any of the nasty goings on, but eventually everyone gets dragged in. The Messengers' use of lighting, sound, camera angles and clever pacing ensure shocks are there, even if the story does not have the originality of the Pang Brothers' earlier work.

Mom and Dad take their children, Jess and Ben, out to an isolated farmhouse where they all plan to make a new start. There are hints of problems involving the kids, but it's also make-or-break time for Dad, who has left the city and needs to make a success of farming sunflowers.

Frantic black-and-white horror sequences before the opening credits show us what happened to the last family. They got terrorised and flung about the house by very malevolent unseen forces. Hint: this is not going to be a subtle, CGI-free ride.

A standard convention in the horror genre will have a small group of characters entering a strange and ultimately threatening setting (the farmhouse, of course, is out of range of mobile phones). As they enter new territory, the visual style will emphasise ominous qualities (dark cellar, low lighting, and exaggerated camera angles to make each area seem ever more threatening). Sound often underlines what we cannot see, increasing a sense of dread. Often the monstrous or Gothic threat parallels a psychological state of the victim (we learn Jess is alienated from her parents after 'screwing up' back home in Chicago).

Most landmark horror movies have used these conventions in one way or another. The Pang Brothers, who started without big Hollywood budgets, have stuck to their art. There is no excessive background music, for instance. "Our style is always about the silence because we find that the really scary aspects always come from the silence," says Oxide Pang. "We don't think it is scary when there is so much sound, when it comes from so many directions, so many people. To us, what is scary is when you are alone and the room is completely quiet." A secondary technique, linking psychotherapy and horror, is equally well done. The 'haunted house' representing the 'haunted' or disturbed mind. Some rooms are just too horrible to contemplate; inner demons are buried deep in the basement of the subconscious. But naturally, like all good horror heroines, Jess will go into the cellar, and will enter the rooms where ghosts of the past reach out to grab her. Her isolation is notched up further when Mom and Dad don't believe her. "She's just having a hard time adjusting," they say. Put any injuries down to self-harm. (If Jess really went through or saw what her screams suggest, she would be in the loony bin before the end of act one.) But we mustn't spoil the story - she is far too very good at screaming! It is only after Mom and Dad have an argument (and so also becoming isolated) that they too become prone to horrific visions.

There is no doubting that The Messengers can make you jump, shriek, or hind behind your hands and peek out through the cracks of your fingers. But it does have the predictability of a fairground ghost-ride. Someone creeping up behind you and going "Boo!" can be scary, but it's a bit unoriginal.

The Messengers is American Gothic. Sunflowers blowing in the wind, a run-down farm, crows circling overhead, and lots of threatening-looking pitchforks nice and handy. The plot is flimsy and minuscule, but it can still cope with delivering Friday night shocks to the heart as well as any fairground attraction.
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eerie Haunted House
Pairic5 July 2020
The Messengers (2007): A family move from Chicago to rural Montana, mom, pop, teen girl (Kristen Stewart) and toddler, going to live the dream. Obviously this "dream life" will be a nightmare for the teen. The farmhouse screams run: overgrown with vines and ivy, plenty of crows. We already know from a monochrome prelude that a family was massacred by an unseen force. The house is just as frightening in daylight as in the dark, another failure in the Ideal Homes stakes, Swiftly odd things happen, stains on the wall, the toddler sees dead people, creatures flit along the ceiling, poltergeist effects abound., There's also a creepy real estate agent who wants to buy the farm. Did I mention the crows? Positively malevolent. Stewart isn't just an angst ridden teen though, good acting from her pre-Twilight days. Some jump scares but imho opinion the best are provided by the beastly birds. An effective addition to the haunted/possessed house canon. Directed by the Pang Brothers (The Eye) from a screenplay/story by Mark Wheaton and Todd Farmer. 7/10. I saw it on the Horror Channel.
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Not outstanding but OK
cynthia-boras19 January 2017
Some bits lack some logic. It is nothing unusual. Probably not the potential for an all time favourite but I wasn't too disappointed.

A family tries to start a new life in the gold digging business of sunflower seeds. Who wouldn't spend twenty years of savings for that opportunity on a run down farm without knowing anything about the place?!

Regarding the age, the little boy (aged 3 or something like that) did well.

The daughter seemed to be stronger in character than the mother. Character of the mother was a bit flat. The story could have been a bit more elaborated. Seemed to rush in the end.

The film borrows from other movies like Amityville. At least no exorcist or priest involved to my surprise. It didn't tick every cliché box possible. You get at least some scares and a decent film.

All in all, not too bad if your expectations are not too high. If you don't like it that much, give at least some credit for the crows. Bonus points for those who are going to count them.
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