Platform: Netflix on Roku
Starring: Anton Yelchin, Willem Dafoe
I was a bit hesitant to give this one a shot, for several reasons. First, it's based on a series of books written by Dean Koontz. I'm not a fan. Second, it's directed by Stephen Sommers, of Van Helsing, The Mummy and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra fame. Again...not a fan. Third, I couldn't really tell from the summary if it's really a horror film or some mash-up of mystery, thriller and/or comedy. I'm fearing the worst.
But I'm tired and it's only an hour and a half long. I know...most horror films are around that length. Shut it. I needed SOME excuse.
Odd Thomas (Yelchin), actual name, is a gifted psychic living in a small town in California. And like that creepy kid that hung around with Bruce Willis in that movie that one time, he sees dead people. They come to him and hunts down whomever wronged them when they were living. He may see dead people, but then, by God, he does something about it. That's the tagline for the film, by the way. I would have tried to be more clever. Without succeeding, mind you. But I would have tried.
Odd tries to live a fairly quiet life. He most likely inherited his gifts from his mother, and she was institutionalized as a crazy person. Wanting to avoid that, he keeps a low profile, working as a short-order cook at the local diner. But he has help in his true calling in the form of the local police chief, Porter (Dafoe). Porter knows of Odd's abilities, and they work together to right the wrongs of their idyllic community. Working just alongside the merry fringes of the law.
Besides dead people, Odd can also see supernatural creatures called Bodachs. They are crappy CGI wraiths who flock to evil the way I flock to bourbon. And he soon encounters more Bodachs than he's ever seen before. Portending an evil event of apocalyptic proportions. You know what? This film is feeling an awful lot like Peter Jackson's The Frighteners. In both tone and it's frantic pacing and directing.
I think those reservations that I had were spot-on. It's not a good movie, but it's not really a bad movie either. And it's certainly not a good bad movie. That would have been sweet. No, it's just a kinda crappy, kinda decent diversion. My biggest problem is that it's definitely not the kind of horror film that I was looking for this month.
It does feature a woman with pleasantly large breasts running for an extended period around the 50-minute mark. If you are into that kind of thing.
Verdant Dude Rating: 2 out of 5 pumpkin ales