The Mothman Prophecies

Richard Gere, Laura Linney

Directed by Mark Pellington
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
January 25, 2002

Get this: Richard Gere, playing Washington Post reporter John Klein, is in a car with his wife, Mary (Debra Messing), at the wheel. She swerves, the car crashes, and in the hospital her last words — that's right, call Will, they kill off Grace — are, "John, you didn't see it, did you?" See what? The Mothman, dude — look at the title. John's search for answers leads him to Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where Sgt. Connie Parker (lovely Laura Linney in dowdy Fargo garb) tells John that the locals have been spotting a six-foot flying creature with huge red eyes. Then there are those weird phone calls from alien voices warning of impending catastrophes.

Where does Hollywood find this stuff? In this case, screenwriter Richard Hatem based the film on the best seller by John A. Keel that detailed the strange occurrences in Point Pleasant from 1966 to December 15th, 1967, when the town's Silver Bridge collapsed, drowning forty-six people, after which the sightings and messages stopped.

How do you make a movie of that? Director Mark Pellington, who juiced the suspense so effectively in 1999's Arlington Road, essentially decided not to. He sets the film in the present and refuses to let us see the mothman, in the name of plumbing psychological depths that you just don't get in creature features. Too bad. Until the bridge collapse, which is scarily staged, this mumbo-jumbo plays like The X Files on Prozac. No wonder the actors look narcotized.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    • Child of God
      star rating
      Well Go USA Entertainment
    • lucy
      star rating
      Universal Pictures
    • star rating
      IFC Films
    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Madame George”

    Van Morrison | 1968

    One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

    More Song Stories entries »