Posts Tagged ‘Ghosts’

MOVIE: The Messengers (2007)

July 9, 2007

You know that horror-spoof flick Scary Movie? You know how the creators of that flick took elements from all the most popular horror movies, smooshed them together, threw in a few jokes, and poof: satire?

This movie is exactly like Scary Movie, but without the jokes. It doesn’t have a single moment that isn’t completely ripped off from some other horror movie — not a single one. And what amazes me about it is that it not only got made, but it clearly got made with a fairly decent budget. It’s got real actors (granted, not A-list actors, but still), it’s got gorgeous visuals, it’s even got fairly decent dialogue. But every single “scary” moment in this film is an exact replica of a scary moment from another movie. Honestly, I cannot fathom how a writer or director could make this movie without feeling like they’d just sold out every last bit of integrity they had. The mind boggles.

The Messengers opens with your stereotypical city family stereotypically moving to a farm in the stereotypical country, in the stereotypical hopes that a stereotypically slower lifestyle will save their family from stereotypical dysfunction and ruin. Their brilliant plan, both to hold the family together and save themselves from bankruptcy, begins with the purchase of a farmhouse that practically screams “I AM HAUNTED!” right down to the sickly vines growing up its side, its desperate need of a coat of paint, the super-creaky porch, and the gazillions of black crows hanging around on the roof gables looking ominous.

The second part of their plan to escape financial and familial ruin involves investing every last dime they have in the incredibly dubious venture of raising several acres of sunflowers. Because, as we all know, farming is relatively risk-free — all you need to succeed as a farmer is for NOT A SINGLE TINY THING TO GO WRONG, and, really, how hard can that be? Especially for rookies from the city?

Still not convinced that Dad (Dylan McDermott) is a genius? Well, then let’s throw this into the mix: a few days after beginning work on his new farm, Dad is in the process of unloading several huge bags of seed when all the crows begin to attack him (hello, 362nd plot element ripped off from a famous movie!). A moment before they have scratched his eyes out, a scruffy looking hobo (John Corbett, what the hell were you thinking?) fires off two rounds from his shotgun, scaring the birds away. Dad’s response? “Hey, want to move in and work for me, my gorgeous wife, and my two young children, Mr. Crazy-Eyed Armed Hobo Man?”

In any case, believe it or not, it actually gets worse from there. Turns out a family died a horrible death in that farmhouse, and they want revenge. Gee, that’s original. Even better, it looks like the set of The Grudge was having a sale on ghosts, because the dead family in this movie essentially looks, moves, and sounds exactly like the dead family in that movie. There’s even a black oozing spot of goo on the bedroom wall that the mother spends several scenes trying to scrub off, only to have it come back! There’s an evil basement! There’s a freaky kid who no longer speaks and laughs inappropriately at dead things! I mean, seriously, this movie could not have ripped off more elements from more movies had it tried to on purpose. I literally could not believe my eyes. I was just absolutely, utterly, completely astonished by every single moment of this ridiculous piece of crap.

You know what would’ve been more fun than watching this movie? Dusting the living room.

The End.

Genre: Utter Crap
Stars: Dylan McDermott, John Corbett, Penelope Ann Miller, Kristen Stewart