Tue January 29, 2002
The Mothman Prophecies
"The Mothman Prophecies" is an X-Files-like trip into the paranormal, disorienting and interesting...
By John DeSando, WCBE's "It's Movie Time"
"The Mothman Prophecies" is an X-Files-like trip into the paranormal, disorienting and interesting. Why? Because a young couple in real life saw a bird-like creature with little red eyes as they were making out on a lonely road, and because the Pt. Pleasant bridge between Ohio and West Virginia did buckle and break with no satisfactory reason.
Except that a strange mothman did stalk that town and predict tragedy. If you like some of the old sci-fi’s about strange creatures, precognition, and an astral world underneath ours, joined to a sometimes affecting performance by "You Can Count on Me's" dimpled sheriff, Laura Linney, then relax and see this B thriller. Richard Gere is competent, underplaying in order to heighten the suspense or from lack of talent.
"Arlington Road's" Mark Pellington directs with cool understanding of the slow tension this genre requires (it takes at least a half hour before the mothman arrives). He knows how to compose for creepiness and edit for eeriness.
Recently a young man in Pennsylvania reported seeing the mothman, but he couldn’t discuss it because he was still traumatized by the sighting. "The Mothman Prophecies" is not great art -— just a treat for a regular X-Files fan. And Gere doesn’t sleep with Linney, proving there is truth out there.
John DeSando co-hosts WCBE’s "It’s Movie Time" and vice-chairs the board of The Film Council of Greater Columbus.