starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Will Patton, Debra Messing
screenplay by Richard Hatem, based on the novel by John A. Keel
directed by Mark Pellington
by Walter Chaw Inviting comparisons to "The X-Files" (comparisons the series made inevitable by setting several of its episodes in rural West Virginia and making mention of the "mothman" in an excellent fifth season episode called "Detour"), Mark Pellington's The Mothman Prophecies has a peculiarly muted quality to it that suggests the entire piece is best seen as shrouded in a caul. Allied with that idea, The Mothman Prophecies is about knowing certain things of the future and exorcising the past, about accepting that there are things in life that can't be prevented. It's got heady messages for a film based on a cultish bit of crypto-zoology reportage by John Keel (documenting eerie events in Point Pleasant, WV that stretched thirteen months from November 15, 1966 to December 15, 1967), and ultimately the relatively lightweight genre bedrock of the piece is not strong enough to support its broad philosophizing.