Most people have probably heard of the idea that babies and young children can see and hear things that older people can’t, or have lost the ability to. The father is attacked by crows and befriends a drifter who becomes a hired hand. Soon, the teen daughter begins to see ghosts, and the house’s original occupants make their displeasure known. That’s about it. What qualifies this film to be listed on my site is it is directed by the Pang Brothers. These guys are great directors and stylistically speaking, it gets everything right. The moments encased in darkness are effectively tense, first by building on and then confirming what we think is going to happen. I definitely liked the film’s look, and the ghastly makeup effects were effective. But the way a film looks isn’t enough for it to be satisfying; this might have been achieved had the filmmakers opted for an original idea.
This horror flick did what it was supposed to do; it creeped me out. I wasn’t certain just how it was going to end, but liked how they decided to twist it. This movie doesn’t have a typical randomly motivated slasher character, nor does it have completely irrationally angry spirits. That being said, this film definitely delivers something that American “horror” has been lacking. And that is a believable family dynamic and no pointless soundtrack by Linkin Park. In the end, The Messengers proves to be an enjoyable romp into the twin worlds of departed spirits and living souls.
I like Kristen Stewart too. She was ugly in Panic Room, and underage for that matter, and I hate Twilight so it is nice to see her in something I can watch. The casting of John Corbett against type was also a refreshing surprise. The Pang brothers bring a smart and decidedly creepy sensibility to the film and it’s what we don’t see that’s truly terrifying. The Messengers is a surprisingly original overall, fun, chilling, and even thoughtful film that has a nice mystery to it that it resolves rather unexpectedly but believably.
My biggest complaint about this movie was the packaging. There is a scene on the back of the case that isn’t even in the movie, but nonetheless gives away the whole plot! I won’t spoil it for everyone, but best avert your eyes from the scenes on the back of the case until the movie is over, and then take a look and you’ll see what I mean. A lot of the scares here are cliched, but the Pangs film it in a way that feels fresh and new and actually make it fairly frightening, but watching this movie you need to remember it is the standard, family moves into a haunted house film. In the end, this prevents it from being truely great but lands in the safe zone to where I can reccomend this to my readers guilt free.