PHANTOMS (1998)

Most people hate this movie. And I mean seriously HATE it. It’s got a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and to call the reviews scathing would be kind. But I honestly don’t get it. I’m not going to defend the movie, but it certainly isn’t as bad as they say. As a matter of fact I kind of enjoyed it.


For one, the plot is rather unique: Two sisters arrive in an isolated mountain town to find it completely empty other than some mutilated corpses peppered about. The Local sheriff and a few men arrive not much later and they all find themselves trapped. Apparently there is an amorphous entity that has been feeding off the Earth for millennia (human’s included) and absorbing all their knowledge and it has set its sights on this town as a hub to get the word out that it’s back. With no discrimination between what is real or fiction or any understanding of religion, the creature has decided that it’s an invincible God and this hubris leads to its undoing. That’s rather cool in my book.
 
The movie also has a decent cast. Our leading man is a (pre-Batman) Ben Affleck joined by Peter O’Toole, Joanna Going, Rose McGowan and a very unhinged Liev Schreiber. The movie takes itself seriously and has a spooky tone. There is also a great sense of mystery followed by a palpable sense of dread.


The film was watchable; I don’t know what more to say. It wasn’t perfect and there are some missteps as well as some clunky dialogue, but it’s not bad, and it’s certainly not dreadfully unwatchable, as the 13% would have you believe. It’s nowhere near a MUST WATCH, but it’s not a waste of a brisk 96 min. either.

SEPTEMBER 18, 2013