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Invisible Evil, Mediocre Film
The Messengers (DVD)
Member Name: cazkins
The Messengers (DVD)
Advantages: Atmosphere built up fairly well with lighting & sound
Disadvantages: A bit too average, didn't get under my skin enough
I watched this film when it was recently on TV and was quite looking forward to it, being the horror fan I am. There aren't many films in this genre, in my opinion, that can cut it these days; beautiful people, gore or CGI dominate over the tricks that actually work to create a good scary flick. Luckily, this film isn't too over the top, in fact, it's fairly understated, but the plot lets it down somewhat.
The Messengers was released in 2007 and is rated certificate 15. It was directed by Danny Pang & Oxide Pang (whom, I believe, worked on The Eye'), so I expected a fairly good quality film by people that know their genre.
The film introduces us to the Soloman family: Roy (Dylan McDermott) and his wife Denise (Penelope Miller), their teenage daughter Jess(Kristen Stewart) and their baby Ben. Following some unruly behaviour from Jess, which resulted in a drunken car accident and left baby Ben hospitalised and mute from possibly post-traumatic shock, they up and leave to start a new life.
They drive up to their new house. Yes, you guessed it, a huge house on a farm in the middle of no where. Surprise surprise. I wonder how much these sorts of houses cost in America, considering the husband starts complaining later in the film that they had used up all of their money and had chosen this new farm so as to make a return on the harvest.
Anyway, slight annoyances aside, Roy bumps into Burwell (played by John Corbett), a stranger who quickly turns into a friend as the new family struggle to settle in. Roy hires Burwell to help with the farm, and all seems well, except for Jess. Jess begins seeing and hearing things other-wordly, and despite talking with her parents, her warnings go unheard.
As the film develops, the strange events continue, with only Jess and baby Ben being able to notice them. Again, this is nothing new where children pick up ghostly goings on and adults are blind to them, but things come to a head in the end when the family are drawn into the dark side of the farm house.
What seems like an evil haunted house, isn't all it seems. There is a slight twist at the end, but it's not one that couldn't necessarily have been guessed early on in the film.
The effects in the film are of good quality and not over played. We see some scuttling creates, ghostly beings, which do actually look a bit creepy. This is emphasised with a good use of lighting and sound to build up a fairly good atmosphere. I personally didn't find it very scary or chilling, but I'm sure some would. It made me keep watching, but I wouldn't say I was totally engrossed in this film.
The acting was reasonably good, especially little baby Ben whose face was adorable throughout. Again, there was nothing extra special about the cast or script that really stuck out or drew me in to the film. It seems like the film was a little lack lustre, as it was okay and average rather than anything special.
I think there's a Messengers 2 out this year, though I'm not sure where the storyline would go from this film. The ending answers the questions you have, and almost has a 'boy who cried wolf' moral to it in terms of Jess' pleas to her parents, and it was quite a fast-paced blow-out at the end.
Overall, whilst it's not a film that I would want to watch again or buy for anyone this Christmas, it's worth a watch if it's on tele again. Horror fans, and those who want something slightly chilling, may like this, but it was just a little too average for me.
2007 RRP £15.99 Amazon £4.98
Rated certificate 15
Summary: Average, but worth a watch if it's on tele again.