The Mothman Prophecies (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Mothman Prophecies (2002)



Critic Consensus: A creepy thriller that poses more questions than it answers.

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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
Bob Tracey
as Cyrus Bills
Ann McDonough
as Lucy Griffin
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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Critic Reviews for The Mothman Prophecies

All Critics (138) | Top Critics (34)

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.

Full Review… | September 29, 2008
Top Critic

This is the scariest movie I've ever seen.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 11, 2008
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.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | November 6, 2002
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

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?

July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Mothman Prophecies

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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