What do you get when you combine Richard Gere, a suspenseful script, fantastic special effects, and a mind-blowing climax?
This, however is a review for the dreadfully dull and spook-free The Mothman Prophecies, a sort of hybrid of Don't Look Now and The X-Files, but executed in a drab music video style that reduces it to "Television Movie of the Week" fodder that never quite goes anywhere.
Yep, the Mothman cometh, and he doeseth nothing. We simply get a lot of terrified looks, some quick and rather cheesy looking camera effects, and a very slow and drawn out film about a small West Virginia town that has been victimized by strange phone calls, weird lights and sightings of a humanoid beastie that resembles a moth (although we never get more than an MTV edit glimpse of it!).
Richard Gere plays John Klein, a widowed journalist who mysteriously ends up in said small town where he discovers that several local "Church Going" folk have been visited by a strange being that delivers "prophecies" of tragic events. Klein, whose wife said she saw a being similar to the one these folks describe, becomes emotionally invested in the pursuit of this creature and enlists the aid of the local Sheriff Parker (Laura Linney) to help him decipher the meaning of the mothman and his prophecies. After what seems like several hours, we are then rewarded with an ending that is as senseless and unfulfilling as the rest of the film.
The pace of The Mothman Prophecies can best be described by envisioning an elderly man building a house of cards. It seems like it's only a matter of time before the whole house comes crashing down, but the old fucker keeps it up forever and by the time it DOES crumble, you've wasted so much time waiting for it that there is no joy in its undoing.
The performances by Gere and Linney are serviceable, with Gere playing his usual quiet guy who squints a lot while he tries to piece together the mysteries around him, and you'll be squinting plenty too, as you try to keep your lids from slamming shut watching this snooze-fest.
Fans of this film have compared this to Ringu, the Japanese horror "classic" that I didn't really see as being all that classic or horrifying (I like the remake better, to be honest), and, come to think of it, I was actually quite bored by that film as well, so The Mothman Prophecies should be huge in Japan.