December 2002
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The Mothman Prophecies
By Nicole B., Grade 12, Fredericton High School, Fredericton, NB

The Mothman Prophecies
Directed by Mark Pellington
Lakeshore Entertainment

Resembling an eerie episode of the X-Flies, The Mothman Prophecies delivers an unexplainable phenomenon that few of us will ever encounter, or would ever want to.

Set in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, The Mothman Prophecies is a supernatural thriller inspired by true events. The Mothman Prophecies stars Richard Gere as John Klein a reporter for the Washington Post and, co-stars Laura Linney as Connie Parker, a police officer for the town of Point Pleasant in West Virginia.

Happily married and blessed with bliss, character John Klein played by Richard Gere, sets out one moonless night to view perspective homes, with his beloved Mary Klein, played by Debra Messing. While driving home from exploring a perspective home the couple, are faced with an unforeseen tragedy caused by the sighting of a moth-like creature.

This is where the unexplained begins and the story takes an interesting twist. Upon the sighting Mary Klein lands herself in the hospital where it is distinguished that in fact she has a rare brain tumor. Shortly after being admitted into the hospital Mary, acts distraught and terrified uttering words to John, that are unclear and confusing of the creature she saw while driving home. It is determined that the sightings were Mary's only when John has no recollection of the moth-like creature. Following Mary's confession of her sighting she dies sending John into a downhill spiral of emptiness.

Preceding the death of his wife, John drives to Virginia on the basis of interviewing a politician. Having car trouble John treks up to a near by home to use the phone. The owner of the home accuses Klein of having harassed him for three nights in a row. Confused and frightened at the homeowners accusations John leaves but is stopped by local police officer, Connie Parker (Laura Linney). Parker explains that unexplainable sightings have been reported of a moth-like creature. Creepy phone calls of strange sounds, flashes of light, and an immense creature with red eyes were reported as well. Klein confesses that previous to his wife's death, she too had an encounter with the moth-like creature, the Mothman! Klein decides to stay longer than expected in the town to investigate these strange happenings.

The sightings, phone calls and flashes of light spread to wider territory catching the attention of nearly every resident of Point Pleasant. The encounters begin to play out as omens because, following every sighting, etc. horrific events involving multiple deaths occur. Creating a stir amongst every townie the Mothman leaves his mark everywhere, leaving you to wonder if he is the cause or the cure of the phenomenons.

This movie, which is in fact, based on a novel by John A. Keel, dealing with actual events that occurred in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, 1966-1977 delivers an eerie, disturbing and menacing feeling throughout the film. What made this film so thrilling are the reports of sightings (a moth-like creature), the phone calls (static and high pitched noises) and not actually visually seeing the Mothman. A detail that made this story so believable was the description of the Mothman. Only vaguely glimpsed by the viewer, the characters described "him" as being 7 feet tall with piercing red eyes that burnt through your soul, taking on any form of life.

Like all scary movies the set of the film was dark and dreary, in this film whenever the Mothman was seen the color of the film changed to red and gray only, adding to the eerie feeling of the movie even more. As far fetched as the storyline many seem to the everyday Joe, this film is decently believable because of the small details but, only with an open mind.

The cast of The Mothman Prophecies stars, Pretty Woman's Richard Gere, and Oscar nominated Laura Linney, as the main roles, smaller roles were played by Debra Messing, Will Patton and Lucinda Jenney. Character Gordon Smallwood played by Will Patton, delivered a believable performance as a crazy man who is being the "window" for the Mothman. He played the role as being edgy, paranoid and terrified. The overall performance by all actors in this film were convincing and made the movie what it is, their portrayals and reactions were well done.

Director Mark Pellington, who also directed Arlington Road, told the story as thoroughly as it could have been told due to the fact that there is no real explanation of what the Mothman is. Pellington did a decent job with the sets for this type of film, the shots were well thought out and the lightning added to it all. All of these details added to the effect of the storyline.

The music throughout the film was typical scary movie music. There wasn't any "real" music it was mostly sounds that jolted you in your seat making your heart race. One part in particular that was demented was the random phone calls that were simply high-pitch noises with odd deep voices in the background.

The overall perception of the film is pretty much up for interpretation. The Mothman is not explained as to what it actually is or why it behaves and does the things it does. He is mysterious, which only makes his position in the film creepier. He is able to tell what the future holds, and knows everything that has happened in your life and is everywhere. So is it God? The Devil? Is it human? Who knows, there is no real explanation.

Despite the abundance of non-explanations one detail shines through. With the Mothman's messages to humans telling them of the events to come in a riddle-like kind of way, the receivers of the information are not worthy of living if his messages are not heard loud and clear. Through this detail of the film, the message behind it could be that we should think and listen with clarity, always to follow your instincts.

As a moviegoer, this movie was well done, making me believe the unbelievable. It is a scary film, which makes you think twice about beings or creatures that could possibly be out there. The only major problem with the film is, that the Mothman is not explained as to his purpose and what "he" is. Then again, where the film is apparently factual the writer was unable to tell the whole story because it is unclear even to them what the answers are; they just wanted to tell the story. In actuality, sometimes fact is stranger then fiction.

Mothman Prophecies website


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