Monday, February 23, 2015

Movie Review: Phantoms

Starring: Peter O'Toole, Rose McGowan, Joanna Going, Liev Schreiber, Ben Affleck, Nicky Katt, Clifton Powell, Rick Otto, Valerie Chow, Adam Nelson, John Hammil, John Scott Clough, Michael DeLorenzo, William Hahn, Robert Himber, Bo Hopkins, Robert Kneppe, Paul Schmidt, Dean Hallo, Clive Rosengren, Edmund Wyson, Lucas Elliot Eberl, Rich Beall, Judith Drake, Yvette Nipar, Larry Odien 
Director: Joe Chappelle
Miramax, Dimension Films, Fuji Creative, NEO Motion Pictures, Raven House, USA, Japan, 1998.
Based on book Phantoms by Dean Koontz. 

Dr. Jennifer Pailey, M.D. (Joanna Going) takes her sister Lisa (Rose McGowan) to a small and peaceful mountain village Snowfield for a holiday. Jennifer works there as a doctor. Peaceful, yeah right. When they arrive they find their housekeeper dead. Most villagers are missing and other villagers are dead. Sheriff Bryce Hammond (Ben Affleck) appears with his deputies Stu (Liev Schreiber) and Steve (Nicky Katt). 
Rose McGowan and Joanna Going
Lisa and Jennifer Pailey
Ben Affleck
Sheriff Bryce Hammond
Supernatural monster with a sadistic sense of humour is eating the villagers. A strange message urges to contact Dr. Flyte. Bryce calls for more troops. Stu is going crazy and telephone makes scary noises. There is also a flying Facehugger.
Liev Schreiber
Deputy Stu
Nicky Katt
Deputy Steve
Flying facehugger-thing
Dr. Flyte (Peter O'Toole) writes articles for paranormal tabloid magazines. He also knows about "the Ancient Enemy." The FBI wants him to help with the mystery. He is sent to Snowfield with a Hazmat-team, more snack for the monster. Then the plot goes silly, as the monster wants to be a religious figure. Well, everyone has dreams.
Peter O'Toole
Dr. Flyte
Investigative journalism
Shotgun isn't effective
The beginning of the movie has a good ghost town atmosphere, bit like "X-Files" and "Silent Hill." This part has a lot of jump scares. Then it starts to loan heavily from "The Thing", "Alien", "The Blob" and various other scifi horror movies. It goes downhill from there. Positively the monster effects seem to be mostly handmade and not only CGI. The film has some tense moments so it is good to watch on Halloween watching, but could have been a lot better. Those who have read the book say that the book is much better. 
Undead Hazmat-team
Movie was made just before Ben Affleck became a big star. The female leads are okay, but not much character development is happening. Most memorable characters were Liev Schreiber as a creepy cop and Peter O'Toole who is either a hack scientist or a genius. 

Rating: Average

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