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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 13, 2024


March 6, 2002 – A good scare — no matter how far-fetched or just plain silly — almost always finds it way to some enterprising Hollywood producer or director. "The Mothman Prophecies" filled the bill for director Mark Pellington.
What's it about? Well, there are no "prophecies" as such. There are drawings of a moth-like being that the wife (Debra Messing) of Washington Post journalist John Klein was obsessively working on just hours before her death in a car crash (she was already dying of cancer).
Klein (Richard Gere) discovers the unsettling images as he is removing wife Mary's belongings from the hospital, and the apparitions in the drawings haunt him. One night, while driving on an interview assignment from Washington, Klein finds himself in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, 400 miles from his intended destination, with no idea how he got there.
He decides to blow off the interview and stay in Point Pleasant, without explaining anything to his editors. According to Chicago Tribune movie critic Michael Wilmington, "Even less believable than the movie's horror story is its portrayal of the curious leniency of the Post editors to their star reporter's truancy."
Soon, Wilmington says, Klein is "swapping stories with Police Sgt. Connie Parker (Laura Linney), getting nuisance calls from strange beings, and watching local resident Gordon Smallwood (Will Patton) grow more unshaven and crazy." But it seems that Point Pleasant is rife with rumors of paranormal activity, if little else.
While there are no little men with blue ears busy making lampshades out of frozen pizzas, the movie from all reports tests one's credulity. It gets weirder and weirder but with no redeeming entertainment value, according to Wilmington.
"The Mothman Prophecies" looks like a rock-video episode of "Twilight Zone" or "The X-Files" under ether, he comments, calling it a "grim science-fiction horror movie … of humorless intensity and stylistic overkill."
Perhaps Hollywood should have meshed it with "The Queen of the Damned," the vampire-turns-rock-star horror story that also arrived at the territory's theaters this week. They could have called it "Those Damned Moths."
The two-hour long "Mothman" is rated PG-13 for terror, some sexuality and language.
It is playing at Market Square East.

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