The Messengers (2007)

the messengers poster 2007 movie
4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 6/10

Potentially good ghost story

Dull story lets down the actors

 
Movie Info

Movie Name: The Messengers

Studio: Screen Gems

Genre(s): Horror

Release Date(s): February 2, 2007

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

the messengers kristen stewart ghosts

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!

Roy Solomon (Dylan McDermott), his wife Denise (Penelope Ann Miller), their daughter Jess (Kristen Stewart), and son Ben (Evan and Theodore Turner) are trying to start a new life on a farm in North Dakota.  With a new farmhand in John Burwell (John Corbett), Roy hopes to start a sunflower farm like his father.  Unfortunately, Jess and Ben sense something is wrong with the house.  Jess begins to see and hear things and only Ben seems to see them as well.  With her past troubles, no one will believe Jess’s stories…and the danger is getting closer.

Directed by the Pang Brothers, The Messengers is a horror-suspense thriller.  The film was released to mostly negative reviews and a modest box office return.  Dark Horse Comics adapted the story for a comic book series.

the messenger ghost boy

I’m here to spice up the picture!

The Messengers came out with a new wave of post-The Sixth Sense and The Ring psychic kid and spirits type movies.  The picture looked very generic in its origins and seemed pretty forgettable.  I finally checked out The Messengers…and I wasn’t that far off.  A ******spoiler alert****** exists for the rest of the review.

The movie is built on clichés.  It is a troubled daughter who knows the truth, a little boy who can see what is happening, and a very generic and predictable twist.  The “nice guy” who just seems to want to help is actually the killer…and once this is revealed and he is pulled into the basement floor by the spirits, the family seems ok with that…because hey…sunflowers!  It is a weak bowtie to an average movie.

The cast is treated poorly in this film.  I’m not the biggest Kristen Stewart fan, but even she has done better with better scripts.  Dylan McDermott, Penelope Ann Miller, and John Corbett all feel like they have flimsily characters that never full develop.  William B. Davis shows up as a possible foil or red herring, but he barely serves any purpose.

the messengers john corbett ending ghosts

The family is amazingly cool with the murderer swallowing floor in their basement…most people pay extra for that

The visuals could also be better.  The ghosts seem genuinely creepy, but the style of the movie and how it is shot doesn’t really seem to benefit from it.  There are a couple scary reveals (like the ghost in the barn), but it feels like you’ve seen it all before and with more intensity (plus, the movie is loaded with massive ravens that they all call crows that are poorly rendered at points).

The Messengers is a dull, lifeless movie which ironically is about lifeless spirits.  The movie tries a bit of a Shining genre blend, but largely, it is unsuccessful.  I like ghost stories, and I like atmospheric tales, but The Messengers misses the opportunities it is handed.  The Messengers was followed by a direct-to-video prequel Messengers 2:  The Scarecrow.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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