Mothman's Omen of Doom for Richard; MOVIES WITH JOE RILEY

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), March 1, 2002 | Go to article overview
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Mothman's Omen of Doom for Richard; MOVIES WITH JOE RILEY


Rating 6/10: Flight of fantasy IN December 1967, the town of Point Pleasance, West Virginia, made headlines around the world when a tragedy claimed the lives of dozens of its residents.

Mark Pellington's psychological thriller portrays these events through the eyes of Washington Post reporter John Klein (Richard Gere), on a quest to explain the death of his beloved wife Mary (Debra Messing).

John's journey takes him to Point Pleasance, where he uncovers sightings of a so-called mothman, whose visitations are reportedly a portent of impending doom.

Town cop Connie Parker (Laura Linney) struggles to believe the existence of this deathly omen, until she too experiences nightmarish visions of tragedy. Together, John and Connie race to unravel the meaning of the mothman, and to avert a terrifying disaster.

The Mothman Prophecies is definitely a case for Mulder and Scully.

Sadly, in the absence of the FBI's finest, we're left with Gere's bemused journalist, who has little in the way of charisma, and even less emotional depth.

His performance doesn't reflect the character's inner turmoil, and there's barely a smoulder of sexual tension with Linney's backwater cop.

The screenplay seems to take forever arriving at the inevitable catastrophe, but when it comes, Pellington demonstrates great flair, delivering a jaw-dropping spectacle that leaves your heart in your mouth.

The film's depiction of the eponymous mothman is equally impressive. Sparing use of computer generated special effects, and atmospheric lighting, shroud the apparition in mystery, so we are never entirely sure whether the creature exists, or whether it is the product of mass delusion.

When the end credits roll, however, you can't help but think that facts of this fascinating case are far more tantalising and chilling than big screen fiction.

THE SHIPPING NEWS (15) Rating 5/10: Bad forecast DEATH hits us all in different ways. In The Shipping News, a middle-aged father wrestles with a recent bereavement, while struggling to raise his young daughter.

Kevin Spacey plays Quoyle, a simple soul devastated by the recent death of his wife Petal (Cate Blanchett) in a car accident.

At the insistence of his domineering Aunt Agnis (Judi Dench), Quoyle returns home to a small fishing village in Newfoundland to start afresh.

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