The Mothman Prophecies

Year: 2002
Production Co: Lakeshore Entertainment
Director: Mark Pellington
Cast: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Will Patton
An example of extreme direction in this brooding, visual tale told with tension and an off-centre attitude. Pellington uses the camera to great effect with camera angles, lighting, moods and movement that are haunting and unconventional but always clean and classy, never going for the rough indie look (Se7en). The directing style, in fact, draws what could almost be called a performance from cold fish Gere.

He plays a Washington Post reporter who finds himself (literally) in a small West Virginia Town to investigate weird goings on - sightings of a strange creature complete with precognitive locals and weird phone calls. Following a car crash in the area in which his wife 'saw' something that haunted her until her death two years before, he gets the help of local cop (Linney) to talk to other witnesses (in the one plot hole - he effortlessly wins the trust and help of a cop who gives him all the police files on the topic).

The climax is crushing and well rounded, although the entire story is a bit hard to grasp. Basing a film (and trying to devise a rational ending and explanation for audiences) on real life incidents that weren't explained is never an easy job, and the script - with Pellington's deft use of the medium - makes up for the lack of a satisfying conclusion.

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