The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

4.0 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 5/10

Decent acting

Story is flat and visuals underwhelm

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Mothman Prophecies

Studio:  Lakeshore Entertainment

Genre(s):  Mystery/Suspense/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Drama

Release Date(s):  January 25, 2002

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Boy, my wife did some really crappy drawings

John Klein (Richard Gere) is a journalist who loses his wife Mary (Debra Messing) to a rapid and aggressive cancer.  Before she dies, Mary tells John about seeing a creature and spoke of visions.  When John “wakes up” in the town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia with no knowledge of how he got there and claims by Gordon Smallwood (Will Patton) that he had already been there, John learns from officer Connie Mills (Laura Linney) that the local authorities have been receiving odd complaints.  Smallwood begins receiving predictions from a stranger named Indrid Cold , and John learns of other appearances of the prophecy based Mothman figure from Alexander Leek (Alan Bates).  Now, John must uncover the meaning of the Mothman’s warning before it is too late.


Don’t get excited…this is about as “mothman” as it gets

Directed by Mark Pellington, The Mothman Prophecies is a supernatural thriller which is partially based on the 1975 book by John Keel and reports of the mysterious cryptozoology figure Mothman and the collapse of the 1967 Silver Bridge collapse which linked the cities of Point Pleasant, West Virginia and Gallipolis, Ohio.  The movie received moderate reviews from critics but was small box-office success.

I had actually heard of Mothman before this film came out.  I was a big fan of mysterious creatures (especially the less common ones) like Mothman, the Dover Demon, and the Jersey Devil…I had hoped when this movie came out that the creature and not some phenomenon was going to be explored…instead, I ended up with half-baked drama with very little bite.


I’m bored….are you?

The movie feels like a so-so X-Files episode.  This is ironic since there was an episode of The X-Files (“Detour” Season 5) and The X-Files episode was creepier.  Here you have a half-baked drama about a man getting over the death of his wife and a weird sci-fi story that isn’t scary, surprising, or interesting.

The acting is ok, but the actors don’t have much to work with.  Richard Gere plays a rather generic reporter and mourning husband, but Laura Linney is rather strong as the sheriff who is starting to believe him.  I also liked the local Smallwood played by Alan Bates who finds himself caught up in the strange occurrences.


I’m determining that this car isn’t very waterproof

Visually, the movie could have done a lot more.  Quick flashes of “the mothman” are due to the idea that there isn’t an actual creature but more of an event.  The bridge collapse is ok, but doesn’t seem like a big enough conclusion to the movie which needs a bigger hook.

The Mothman Prophecies is a letdown of a movie in that you expected something different than what you got.  It claims to be based on true events (which a stretch at most, yeah, the bridge collapsed) and even if it had been more “real”, it still would have been dull.  I had been hoping for something like The X-Files, but worthy of the big screen.  Instead I found a soft, underdeveloped story that underwhelms.

[easyazon-block align=”center” asin=”B0000648X0″ locale=”us”]

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @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.

Leave A Response