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The Mothman prophecies

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

What do you see?

When is life truly at its best? John Klein (Richard Gere), a respected Washington Post journalist at the top of his game, recognises that moment. It comes the day he and his wife Mary (Debra Messing) are house hunting and find the place of their dreams. It's a little too big, possibly a little more than he wanted to spend, but one look from Mary tells him this is it.

Then on their joyful ride home, with a gust of wind and a passing shadow, the dream is shattered. The accident should have been avoidable. When Mary slammed on the brakes... there was nothing there. For Mary, the incident was a premonition. John puts everything on hold to be with her, but his love isn't enough to keep her alive. While removing Mary's possessions from the hospital, John remembers her last words: "You didn't see it, did you?" Then he discovers a sketchpad covered with odd drawings, variations of the same eerie apparition. John can't understand the significance of the drawings but is haunted by the unsettling images.

A couple of years later, John's grief has settled somewhat but he is clearly a man altered by tragedy. He lives his life and performs his job in a fog, an unexplainable presence always with him. While driving one night from Washington to Richmond for an assignment, he loses his way and ends up on a deserted country highway. When his car inexplicably breaks down, he walks to a nearby farmhouse. The homeowner not only threatens John but tells him he has been waiting for him. John is baffled.

Sergeant Connie Parker (Laura Linney) arrives on the scene and apologises for the rude reception, but divulges that the entire county is on edge due to a recent series of odd disturbances. It is only now that John realises that he is in Point Pleasant, West Virginia - 670 km from where he thought he was. It is not logically possible. Hut here he is. How?

His curiosity piqued, John decides to stay in Point Pleasant to explore the reports of unexplained phenomena in the town. He soon realises that they may all be related - not just to each other, but also to the strange sketches Mary had been obsessively drawing just hours before her death. But what exactly is the connection? The events defy simple explanation and, even more disturbing, seem to predict impending disasters. Plane crashes, earthquakes... surely it must be a gruesome coincidence? The more he unravels, the more John begins to question his own sanity. Are there unknown forces behind the strange sightings? What terrible thing awaits the people of Point Pleasant? For John, it's a race against time to figure it out - and try to prevent something terrible from happening.

Persons of interest

  • Richard Gere .... John Klein
  • Debra Messing .... Mary Klein
  • Laura Linney .... Sergeant Connie Parker
  • Will Patton .... Gordon
  • Shane Callahan .... Nat Griffin
  • Alan Bates .... Alexander Leek
  • Nesbitt Blaisdell .... Chief Josh Jarrett
  • Clay Bunting .... Kevin
  • Dan Callahan .... CJ
  • David Eigenberg .... Ed Fleischman
  • Christin Frame .... Holly
  • Lucinda Jenney .... Denise Smallwood
  • Ann McDonough .... Lucy Griffin
  • Betsy Zajko .... Tory Paris
  • John A Keel .... Author
  • Richard Hatem .... Screenwriter
  • Mark Pellington .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

  • The Mothman prophecies official movie site
  • The Mothman prophecies movie trailers:
    • QuickTime
  • Studios and distributors:

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

I saw dead people.

And a feature length episode of The X-Files.

Every moviemaker should realise that a story about some guy and some chick investigating spooky stuff is going to be considered an offshoot of The X-Files. It's a millennial thing.

Richard Gere does an acceptable stand-in for David Duchovny although he gets a lot more subjective than even Agent Mulder. Having your wife die of cancer does that. Laura Linney fills in for Gillian Anderson with less pizazz (she's only a blonde, not a redhead) but more romance with her leading man. There's even a laboratory with no name where unnamed people do strange experiments with advanced equipment and give assistance to heroes in need. Hmmm.

Don't worry, though, The Mothman prophecies is still a good spooky film; not quite thrilling enough to be a thriller but not so horrible as to be a horror. It's spooky.

Come in number 37, your time is up.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Disc:
    • 1: Single side, dual layer
    • 2: Single side, single layer
  • Languages: English
  • Picture disc
  • Picture: Widescreen (2.35:1/16:9 enhanced)
  • Special features:
    • Disc 1:
      • Biographies: Talent profiles
      • Commentary: Mark Pellington
      • Deleted scenes: 5
      • Trailers: Theatrical, Bonus
    • Disc 2
      • Behind-the-scenes:
        • Day by day - A director's journey: The road in
        • Day by day - A director's journey: The road home
        • Search for the Mothman
      • Music video: Half light by Low
  • Subtitles: English, English captions

Security censorship classification

M (Supernatural theme, low level coarse language)

Surveillance time

114 minutes (1:54 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 23 May 2002
DVD rental: 11 December 2002
VHS rental: 11 December 2002

Cinema surveillance images

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