The Mothman PropheciesJanuary 25, 2002
A reporter is drawn to a small West Virginia town to investigate a series of strange events, including psychic visions and the appearance of bizarre entities.
Release Year: 2002
Rating: 6.4/10 (35,569 voted)
Critic's Score: 52/100
Stars: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, David Eigenberg
John Klein is involved in a car accident with his wife, but while he is unharmed, his wife mentions a moth shaped creature appearing. After her death, John begins to investigate the secrets behind this mentioned Mothman. It takes him to a small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, where he discovers a connection with the same problem. Here he meets Connie Mills, whilst he continues to unravel the mystery of what the Mothman really is.
Writers: Richard Hatem, John A. Keel
Washington Post Reporter
Real Estate Agent
(as Billy Mott)
What do you see?
Release Date: 25 January 2002
Filming Locations: Bentleyville, Pennsylvania, USA
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $11,208,851
(27 January 2002)
(17 March 2002)
Did You Know?
The Mothman from the years 1966 and 1967 was originally named after the title of the
Batman TV series.
John says that Mary had surgery to remove the tumor. However, the next time we see her, her head is not shaved like it should be if she had brain surgery.
John Klein (Richard Gere), a Washington Post reporter, finds himself
drawn to a small town in West Virginia. In fact, his car dies, along with
his cell phone and watch. He knocks on a nearby house to call for help, and
the man who answers the door attacks him, saying Klein's been around three
days in a row. But has he?
Two years earlier, John's wife died from injuries sustained in a car wreck,
and before she died, in an apparent delirium, she had been etching weird
drawings. Could her drawings have some connection with this
Based on true events, The Mothman Prophecies follows John through his
for the truth. People in the town report seeing a strange being – are they
lying, or are they misinterpreting? Are they simply seeing UFOs, or is
more to the story? Intrepid reporter that he is, John wants to know more –
although of course his thirst for knowledge is accompanied by a need to
what happened to his wife (why did the car crash?).
Thrillers such as this one are hard to come by. It's not exactly a horror
movie, but there are more than enough creepy moments to send a few chills
reverberating through your body. It's a film that relies less on special
effects than on such quaint ideals as character motivation and development
and atmosphere. In fact, this movie's just brimming with atmosphere. We've
all seen those cheesy movies in which a car runs out of gas along a
country road, and then BAM – some serial killers make dinner or belts out
the hapless occupants. But in this case, the monster is hardly ever seen,
thereby heightening the scares.
At the centerpiece is Gere as Klein. I've never, ever been a Gere fan; it
seems to me he has one expression. He's never been terribly emotive and has
been known in recent years more for the age disparity with his female
costars than for anything else (they get younger, he stays the same old
dude). Call him ruggedly handsome if you will, but vacuity is never really
But this is not your typical Gere at all. He definitely turns in the best
work of his career. Sure, he was appealing in Pretty Woman, but it was
Roberts' movie. Officer and a Gentleman? Ok, but that was Lou Gosset Jr.'s
movie. Primal Fear? Red Corner? Runaway Bride? No, no, no. This is acting
a ledge for Gere. It's a true departure from the romantic comedies and the
sly psuedo-mystery/dramas. Ordinarily, I would think such a movie would
expose Gere for the terrible actor he is. But I would be wrong. This movie
was so well written and directed that Gere rose to its level, rather than
sinking it. That's a huge credit to him as an actor.
Now, I need to differentiate between good acting and appeal. An actor can
look good or be charming in a role and still be a bad actor; by contrast,
actor can look uncharming and turn in a great performance. But what's key
how the actor draws the audience in – do they sympathize with his plight?
Are they on his side? How good of an actor he is will answer that
Gere's Klein starts out as an average joe, and then we get to see him
descend into madness – we even descend a little with him. That vaunted
atmosphere is so vibrant and realistic that we turn when he turns and feel
things he feels. This is an absolute hallmark of excellent filmmaking (by
Mark Pellington, whose only other big film was 1999's Arlington Road). The
writing is crisp and eminently believable, and the acting in addition to
Gere (including Laura Linney, Debra Messing, and Will Patton) is simply
superb. And don't forget the prophecies part of the title, either; this
"Mothman" entity issues warnings to whomever it deems worthy. Which sounds
good, as long as one can interpret them correctly. Apparently, many have
The story is based on actual events that took place in Point Pleasant, West
Virginia, but this is no Amityville Horror story. With Amityville, one
distance oneself from the experiences of the family involved; we could say
that it would never happen to us, it was only a movie. This is a little
trickier with The Mothman Prophecies. It's a creepy, tingly movie that gets
under your skin and crawls all over your heart.