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The Mothman Prophecies  

There are many things in this universe that science has a hard time explaining. The mysteries of Atlantis, The Bermuda Triangle, crop circles, Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster, and The Yeti, are just a few of the subjects that cant be resolved nor fully explained by scientific theory.

Nature is often full of mystery as life forms are still discovered to this day. The Celocampth was thought to have been extinct for thousands of years only to be discovered again in the late 1980s off the coast of South America. Many people love mysteries, and that is why films, books, and television shows dealing with the unknown have proven so popular over the ages. With the recent announcement by series creator Chris Carter that “The X-Files” would be ending its nine-season run on the small screen, a new movie is set to debut this weekend on the big screen with a mystery as compelling as anything that Mulder or Scully ever faced. What makes the premise of the film even more interesting is that it is based on true events that are supported by numerous eyewitness reports from credible sources.

The movie in question is “The Mothman Prophecies” and like the book of the same name by John A Keel, it covers the mysterious events that befell the town of Point Pleasant West Virginia from 1966-67. Though set in modern times, the events have been recreated with only slight dramatic enhancements by director Mark Pellington, and Writer/Producer Richard Hatem with chilling results. Mothman stars Richard Gere as John Klein, a respected and accomplished journalist for the Washington Post. Klein has just purchased a dream home with his lovely wife Mary(Debra Messing), when a car accident turns their world upside down. While in the hospital, Mary asks her husband if he saw it, confused by the question, John chalks the notion up to accident trauma, and forgets about it, as the health of his wife is his main concern. Sadly for John, his wife dies, and while sorting her things discovers a series of bizarre and horrific sketches his wife made while in the hospital. The film then jumps two years ahead and John is a shell of his former self. He is still mourning his wife, and going through the motions at work and in life. John is sent on assignment to interview the Governor in Richmond, VA, when his life takes a turn out of the Twilight Zone. A short 90-minute drive later, John finds himself stranded in a small town with a local man claiming he has woken him up the past two nights previous and he has been waiting for him. The arrival of officer Connie Parker (Laura Linney), only adds to the confusion as it is determined that John traveled over 400 miles in just under 90 minutes and is now in a small west Virginia town named Point Pleasant. During his time in the town, John learns of mysterious sightings, strange phone calls, and odd goings on from people who are pillars of the community. A series of sketches by witnesses are exact ringers for the images John’s wife drew two years earlier, and before long, John is receiving odd phone calls by something that does not sound human, yet knows everything about him and what he is doing, even in a closed room. Soon after, some people start claiming a mysterious moth shaped figure is talking to them, and telling them of disasters to come. John soon finds himself racing for an answer before something bad happens to the area, as he is convinced is about to happen, and the lines between reality and madness start to blur in a frenzy of bizarre and unexplained activities.

The film is slowly paced and builds to an interesting if though predictable climax. I saw what was to come before it happened, but it did not spoil the moment for me. Gere and Linney give solid performances, and the film does keep your attention. The true nature of the mystery is left a mystery, as the audience is left to ponder what they have seen and in some areas draw their own conclusions. That is the joy of the film as to this day, The Mothman continues to be reported in areas often before a disaster strikes and then never to be seen in that area again. There were sightings in Chernobyl before the nuclear accident, and in Mexico City before the large earthquake. While some may call this notion nonsense, there were 47 people who lost their lives in Point Pleasant shortly after the Mothman was reported there, only to vanish following a tragedy.

Whether it is fact or fantasy one thing is clear, “The Mothman Prophecies” is an entertaining and chilling film that will make you question what you believe about myths and the supernatural.

4 out of 5

Gareth Von Kallenbach

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