The MessengersI/i> is textbook, and the course it's teaching is HSL: Horror as a Second Language.
| Original Score: C-
Many of the images feel over-familiar, and the shocks a mite too forced.
No one says, "Gimme the bat, Wendy," or, "Here's Johnny!" But they come close.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
The well-amplified scares are so perfunctory as to be laughable. 'What's up with the crows?' bitches Kristen Stewart, clearly not up on her Hitchcock or any Asian thriller of the past ten years.
| Original Score: 1/6
The Asian-horror-movie moment feels long since passed, both here and abroad. Let our zombies walk or even sprint again! Give our creepy kids back their pupils!
| Original Score: C
Sadly, the movie just doesn't deliver chills.
[The film is] hampered by hauntingly lame performances by McDermott and Miller, who phone in their parts, and a screenplay that has the sophistication and complexity of a college dorm message board.
Nicely photographed but slow-moving, dull and utterly predictable.
| Original Score: 1/4
If the ghosts were magnets and the Solomons were paperclips, the two parties couldn't be in a bigger rush to collide.
Every movie has to have its own sense of logic, horror movies perhaps most of all, but as this story heads towards its climax it begins to contradict what it's told us to believe all along.
| Original Score: 2/4
It's awards season, so we'd like to nominate The Messengers for the yet-to-be-established Tippi Hedren Award for best use of malignant ravens in a motion picture.
With The Messengers, the Pang brothers devise scenes so scary that they stain the imagination and never scrub out.
| Original Score: 3/5
The Messengers isn't a particularly frightening or gory horror movie, but directors Danny and Oxide Pang do have a special talent for torturing the reputations of their actors.
There isn't much of a script to work with, and for the occasional pull-out-the-stops moment, it never really builds towards its finish.
| Original Score: 2/5
The most frightening aspect of the film is that it will soon be haunting the bargain bins of shoddy video stores.
| Original Score: 2/4
The objective view gives the audience too much room to unravel its schematic plot, which is far less inspired than its creepy visuals.
Oh boy -- a shocker set against the terrifying backdrop of North Dakota sunflower farming!
This first American horror effort by the Pang Bros. doesn't deliver.
It isn't until the end that things spin out of control. No one says 'Gimme the bat, Wendy' or 'Here's Johnny!' But they come close.
The Pangs painfully hew to a vision of an idealized Americana with the 'happy ending' coming off as especially egregious.
The Messengers borrows so heavily from The Amityville Horror, The Birds, The Grudge, Poltergeist, and others that it has no room left for anything of its own.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
The grown-ups fare worse: They speak . . . very . . . slowly . . . as if to pad the running time out. This may in fact be the most ridiculous performance John Corbett has ever given.