The Mothman Prophecies


The Mothman Prophecies

Critics Consensus

A creepy thriller that poses more questions than it answers.



Reviews Counted: 138

liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 53,152


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3/5

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Movie Info

When John Klein, a respected Washington Post journalist, and his wife Mary find the dream house they have been hunting for, life could hardly get better. Then on their joyful ride home the dream is shattered when Mary crashes the car and is killed. While removing Mary's possessions from the hospital, John discovers a sketchpad covered with odd drawings, variations of the same eerie apparition. John is haunted by the unsettling images. One night, while driving from Washington, John loses his way and ends up on a deserted country highway in Point Pleasant, West Virginia -- four hundred miles from where he thought he was. When John decides to stay in Point Pleasant to explore the reports of unexplained phenomena in the town, he soon realizes that they may all be related - not just to each other, but also to the strange sketches Mary had been obsessively drawing just hours before her death.

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Richard Gere
as John Klein
Laura Linney
as Connie Parker
Debra Messing
as Mary Klein
Will Patton
as Gordon Smallwood
Lucinda Jenney
as Denise Smallwood
Alan Bates
as Alexander Leek
David Eigenberg
as Ed Fleischman
Ann McDonough
as Lucy Griffin
Bob Tracey
as Cyrus Bills
Ron Emanuel
as Washington Post Reporter
Tom Stoviak
as Brian, Real Estate Agent
Yvonne Erickson
as Dr. McElory
Nesbitt Blaisdell
as Chief Josh Jerrett
Clay Bunting
as Kevin Mills (age 7)
Josh Braun
as Aide #3
Eric Cazencave
as Travel Lodge Clerk
Murphy Dunne
as Governor Rob McCallum
Nick Keeley
as Spectator No. 1
Doug Korstanje
as News Anchor
Susan Korstanje
as Newsperson
Bill Laing
as Indrid Cold
Jennifer Martin
as Coffee Shop Cashier
Matt Miller
as Aide No. 2
Sam Nicotero
as Man on Bridge
Mark Pellington
as Bartender
David Press
as Woodrow
Bettina Rousos
as Spectator No. 4
Jason Billy Simmons
as Spectator No. 3
Rohn Thomas
as Dr. Williams
Tom Tully
as Motel Manager
Betsy Zajko
as Tory Pherris
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News & Interviews for The Mothman Prophecies

Critic Reviews for The Mothman Prophecies

All Critics (138) | Top Critics (36)

  • Pellington knows, as did the 1940s master of horror Val Lewton, that what you don't see can raise far more goose bumps than what you do.

    Sep 29, 2008 | Full Review…

    David Ansen

    Top Critic
  • This is the scariest movie I've ever seen.

    Jan 11, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Director Mark Pellington hardly lets a moment pass without suggesting some bad vibes creeping onto the edges of the screen, but he's let down by Richard Hatem's script.

    Jan 11, 2008

    Robert Koehler

    Top Critic
  • There are certainly strong moments and efficient set pieces here, too, but for all the claims that the film, adapted from a 1975 book by John Keel, is based on real events, Pellington fails to sustain credibility.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Wally Hammond

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Despite hints that it aspires to be more, The Mothman Prophecies is a by-the-numbers sci-fi thriller.

    Nov 6, 2002 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • A gaudy yet grim science-fiction horror movie of such surpassing silliness, humorless intensity and stylistic overkill that watching it may actually put you in a state of paranoia. Why are these moviemakers persecuting us?

    Jul 20, 2002 | Rating: 1.5/4

Audience Reviews for The Mothman Prophecies

Richard Gere tends a hit or miss actor due to his limited range, but I actually really liked him in this underrated psychological horror-thriller. Gere brings a compelling vulnerability to John Klein, a recently widowed reporter investigating the strange sightings of the Mothman in a lonely West Virginian town. It's pretty slow-burn at the beginning, but once Klein arrives in Point Pleasant, the film never lets up with delivering smart scares and a super chilling atmosphere. The sequence where Klein is in his hotel room talking to Indrid Cold on the phone is literally one of the freakiest horror movie scenes ever!! I also really liked how the script manages to take it's real-life source material and seamlessly weave an examination of Klein's journey through grief and eventually acceptance. This film could have so easily been a X-Files knock-off but thankfully avoids those trappings, for the most part. I probably would rate this movie higher if 10 or 20 minutes have been trimmed. I also thought the ending was technically great but seemed to abandon the great atmosphere the filmmakers did such a good job of setting up before. Overall, this is a very high quality modern horror film.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

I distinctly remember this film because of the bridge sequence. Mediocre to be sure, but maybe worth a late night watch when there's nothing else to do.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer


This incredibly drawn out film is not without potential, whilst it's weird, dark and unique, it somehow loses itself, which I feel is in the storytelling and just when you feel it's a little too dull the ending offers a little consolation for sticking with the film

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer


As soon as I see Richard Gere's name in the credits of a film, I'm instantly put off. The man has made an absolute fortune without having any real ability and in this, he yet again proves he has a very limited range. Thankfully though, there is more to this film than Gere and his usual dull repetitive approach. He plays John Klein a Washington journalist, who after the death of his wife in a car accident, is somehow drawn to Point Pleasant, a small town in West Virginia, where strange and unusual events are happening to the locals. They are all living in fear, having premonitions and reporting sightings of a large black winged figure around the area. This is also the same dark figure that Klein's late wife claimed to have seen before her death, causing further obvious interest from the journalist and also putting his own life in danger. Supposedly based on actual events, this is a surprisingly tight and engaging little super-natural thriller. As mentioned earlier, Richard Gere is a plank of wood but the support from the always excellent Laura Linney and the wild eyed Will Patton are very welcome indeed. There is brilliant use of atmosphere and low-key music that raise this film above a particular standard and has many genuinely creepy moments. It doesn't try to be too fancy, wisely and effectively leaves a lot to the imagination and just gets on with telling an unsettling story. Which it does, to good and chilling effect.

Mark Walker
Mark Walker

Super Reviewer

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