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The Messengers is an atmospheric but derivative rip-off of countless other horror movies. Read critic reviews
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Jul 12, 2016Dumb and stupid and dumb. My quality of life is poorer for having watched it. No that's probably not entirely fair. It's far from the worst movie I've ever seen. But it truly was a disappointment, and I'd advise against watching it.
Feb 17, 2012* out of **** "The Messengers" is a derivative and boring horror film so utterly desperate to find a style that it feels the need to have a dull black-and-white opening sequence. In the context of the story, this is a flashback; but why did it have to be black-and-white? I believe there is a purpose for the stylistic selection of those two colors - to convey stylistic themes, to convey emotions, to make drama more affective and possibly even moving - but in the case of the film, I don't know what the hell its makers were thinking when they chose to open the movie in this way. It doesn't give the film a style; it doesn't even make it the slightest bit entertaining. And if you present the audience with a black-and-white opening sequence - something we don't exactly get often - and yet you're still unable to intrigue them, you've got a problem in need of some serious analysis. The said scene depicts an old, wooden farmhouse. It also depicts the death of a mother and a child; attacked by some unseen force, perhaps a spirit of some sorts. No matter, it's like I said, this is a flashback; so that was then, and this is now. In the present time, a new family has moved into the same house; the Solomons. Members of the family are mom (Penelope Ann Miller) and dad (Dylan McDermott), teen daughter Jess (Kristin Stewart), and young child Ben. They have rather enthusiastically made the move; not knowing of what they now covet. Jess is adventurous; or at least, she wants to be. She spends most of her days going to town with dad (and meeting a handsome young man about her age in the process), exploring her new home, and babysitting her kid brother while the parents are out and about. Ben is a lively kid; but he seems to be seeing things that nobody else can, or does. Take for instance the little boy who scampers across the ceiling. If one could see or hear this being; they would certainly take notice, but only Ben does so in the scene that involves such a thing. So if you haven't got the gist already; the house has a particularly spooky ghost infestation. Soon, Jess is seeing what her little brother has been within the past few days that they've been in the house; ghost, ghouls, and spirits speaking from beyond the grave. And these spirits are restless. Sometimes, they just cause basic mischief; such as an un-cleanable stain on the wall. Other times, they are violent and hell-bent on destruction and deteriorating the family's relationship. This is when "The Messengers" clearly intends to be a horror film with alternative, deeper themes of family, relationships, and of course, the adolescent troubles of Jess. Because I'm such a nice guy, and I'd rather get what little "good" there is about this film; I'll just say up front that I liked some of the cinematography. Indeed, a few shots are sensational and creepy; while others are boring and rather bland. There's a cool dutch angle in which a friendly neighbor (and crow-hunter) with a shotgun is shown for the first time in the frame. Yeah, I liked that. Now, let's return to the rest of the film, which is, if I might add, absolutely unbearable. As I said before, the film wants to be more than a mere horror flick; but where it ends up failing the most is in both the dramatic and horrific aspects. It isn't scary because it relies too much on special effects and cheap, ineffective jump scares instead of the stuff that matters: suspense and scares that are fun and enjoyable. It also isn't dramatically engaging; because the acting is forgettable, the reactions silly, and the situation not very well thought out. The source(s) of this fine mess are the Pang Brothers, who also directed the original film version of "The Eye", which now has a Hollywood remake starring Jessica Alba. It should also be known that the screenplay was penned by Todd Farmer ("My Bloody Valentine 3D", "Drive Angry"). You've got some promising names, and a premise that had at least some potential, but then you've also got dirt-cheap, lazy execution. And a whole lot of crows.
Jul 18, 2011A great movie with some very creepy and scary imagery\scenes. It's up there with "One Missed Call" and "The Grudge."Jacob P Super Reviewer
Apr 26, 2011Cliched and shamelessly ripped of from countless other (and better) horror films, 'The Messengers' is time better spent doing almost anything else.Dillon L Super Reviewer