Movie Defense Force: The Mothman Prophecies - Surprisingly and Subtly Creepy

Jimothy Sterling

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Apr 18, 2011
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The Mothman Prophecies - Surprisingly and Subtly Creepy

Whatever brought you there, brought you there to die.

Watch Video
 
Oct 20, 2010
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Cool, I'll give it a watch. Also John Keil is actually a real character in the Discworld Novels. He is Sam Vimes' S.O. So Doubly awesome video :)
 

Weaver

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Apr 28, 2008
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I actually really liked this movie when it came out! It's one of the movies I put up as a posterboy for "psychological horror". It just manages to somehow just kind of be creepy almost the whole time. Like you said, it's almost imperceptible, but you can still tell something is a bit off.

A great horror movie, I wish we had more like it.
 

Kenjitsuka

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Sep 10, 2009
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Really liked this back in the day. Saught it out because I knew about the creature from some other sources already.
I think you nail the problem on the head when you say things are constantly very subtly off.
If you are actually perceptive and a person who focusses on details you get the constant feeling.
If you're a critic who's mind works differently you will probably be down on the movie a lot more than you should be.
 

Stryc9

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Nov 12, 2008
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Maybe the only thing holding this film back was the lack of Willem Dafoe, Brendan Fraser, Danny DeVito and Edward James Olmos.
 

SnakeoilSage

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Sep 20, 2011
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Indrid Cold is one of the coolest characters in film, a presence if not a physical entity. Despite not exhibiting any true malice to anyone, his utterly creepy voice sends shivers down your spine.
 

Olas

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Dec 24, 2011
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I'm happy you did this one Jim. The Mothman Prophesies is one of the scariest (or at least creepiest) movies I can recall, and it totally doesn't get the praise it deserves. The fact that it's based on true accounts almost doesn't even matter, I didn't know that when I saw it and it still left me feeling irrationally paranoid of this creature which almost certainly doesn't exist.
 

SwimmingRock

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Nov 11, 2009
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Loved this movie back in the day. If I may, you say some of the scenes felt meandering and could've been cut due to lack of story relevance. I felt those scenes were there to establish the relative normalcy of the main characters life, so that the movie avoided feeling too much like a supernatural movie. Basically, they were meant to anchor the movie in our world and make it seem more plausible that all this really happened. Entirely possible we'll still disagree on this, ofcourse, but I felt it worked as a whole.
 

josh4president

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Mar 24, 2010
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Jim, I respect your opinion but the most memorable line from this entire film is literally:

"Chapstick."

If you like the film fine but talking it up like that is just going to get people annoyed at you when they spend an hour-and-a-half watching Richard Gere look confused at things.
 

Carnagath

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Apr 18, 2009
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I adore this movie. It's creepy and oppressive in a way that you very rarely see in western horror films. Richard Gere's character also reminded me a lot of James Sunderland from Silent Hill 2, in how obsessed, on the edge and simultaneously hopeless he is after tragedy pulls the rug from under him. It's easily on my top 10 of the genre, and I've watched a lot of horror movies. As for the critical reception, it doesn't surprise me. Shitting on horror movies is a thing that happens very often.
 

WouldYouKindly

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Apr 17, 2011
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This was another one I thought was a pretty damn good movie but got mixed reviews.

What's nice about it is the subtlety that you don't tend to see in a lot of western horror these days. Another thing is the relative powerlessness of the protagonist. Even in a lot of horror movies the last protagonist left survives and kills the monster. Even Alien, which was pretty much one of the best horror movies of it's time, ended with the monster dead. Mothman just ends after a massive tragedy.

I consider this the kind of creepy that slenderman got me with later. Also note that I wasn't much more than a child when I first saw this movie, so a few sleepless nights were had.

josh4president said:
Jim, I respect your opinion but the most memorable line from this entire film is literally:

"Chapstick."

If you like the film fine but talking it up like that is just going to get people annoyed at you when they spend an hour-and-a-half watching Richard Gere look confused at things.
Not everything is for everyone. Most people understand this. If you have a massive love for slasher flicks then this movie is probably not for you.

I will give it to you that that line is a bit narmy. It's also probably why he went for the watch scene, which had a wonderful, "well of course I know" kind of timbre to it.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Apr 18, 2011
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I thought this movie was fucking fantastic the first time I saw it. Just the right amount of creepy and Jim is right, there is something unsettling about... well, about everything. You just get this sense of dread in every scene.

"Great tragedy on the river Ohio" and that camera pull back at the end of the movie still sends chills up my spine.
 

DoctorImpossible

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Jan 18, 2013
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Agreed with this review 100%. I just watched this myself a few weeks ago after having not seen it since it's original release in 2002. Loved it then and it holds up just as well today.
 

Camaranth

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Feb 4, 2011
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hmmm I know I've seen this but honestly can't recall any of it. I was probably too young at the time to really appreciate the subtlety and creepiness. I'll have to look it up again especially since I've developed a love of fiction where things are just slightly off kilter or a little bit different. X-files, Fringe that sort of thing
 

AdagioBoognish

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Nov 5, 2013
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I watched this way back in the day when my mom rented a VHS copy from Blockbuster. Thought it was really creepy back then and have loved re-watching it every once in awhile, ever since. I wasn't aware of any hype or negative criticism back then, being a little kid, but I didn't realize it was so overlooked until now. Sweet episode Jim!
 

RJ 17

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Nov 27, 2011
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Seen this movie once, and that was enough for me. Not because I didn't like it - far from that - but rather because it creeped me right the fuck out! What's interesting is that the Mothman is actually a "do-gooder" monster in that he gives warnings of terrible events that will come to pass in the near future...but the fact that he was a "good" monster didn't stop me from having nightmares about the bastard for a few days. Personally I'm a believer in the paranormal (to a certain extent), so the whole "based on a true story" shtick is what added that extra layer of spice for me.

Still, I really enjoyed the movie and would highly recommend it to anyone that hasn't seen it. Jim hits the nail on the head by emphasizing how the atmosphere is the real star of the show.