October 28, 2010
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Directors: Danny Pang Fat/Oxide Pang Chun
Writers: Stuart Beattie/Todd Farmer/Mark Wheaton
Producers: Sam Raimi/William Sherak/Jason Shuman/Robert G. Tapert
Starring: Kristen Stewart/Dylan McDermott/Penelope Ann Miller/John Corbett
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 90 minutes
Before being known as the moody and lip-biting Bella Swan from The Twilight Saga, Kristen Stewart starred in a few movies and while a couple were rather good (Panic Room springs to mind), there were also some bad movies. The Messengers is definitely one of them. So The Messengers is about Jess, who moves with her family from Chicago onto a run-down sunflower farm where she, along with her baby brother, starts to notice spirits in her house and suspects that it’s haunted. So before I start to review The Messengers, I am going to start the review by saying that it was nice to see Kristen Stewart actually smile a couple of times. There were also a couple of scenes when Kristen Stewart was very good as her character but through most of the movie, she was mediocre as her character. I just couldn’t believe her performance and I couldn’t relate to her character and unfortunately, I didn’t care what happened to her. The rest of the cast in The Messengers was mediocre going onto bad. Just like most modern horror movies, the problem that The Messengers has is that you just could not care about any of the characters in the movie and you weren’t bothered what happened to them. You just about cared to know about the spirits in the house. None of the characters were even properly introduced and even after watching the movie, I still don’t know any of their stories or even who they are, all I know is their role. It felt like they were randomly chucked into the movie. The worst thing about The Messengers, for me, was the story. While the story isn’t terrible, it offers nothing fresh or new as there are quite a few noticeable similarities in this movie, the main one being The Grudge and other ‘paranormal’ horror movies.
Although there is one thing that I liked about The Messengers that I can not fault and that is some of the scenery in the movie and the use of its locations. They were really nice to look at when the camera wasn’t focusing on Kristen Stewart and the haunted house. Unfortunately, the bad outweighs the good and there’s a whole lot of bad in this movie. There are so many horror clichés that the entire movie became predictable within five minutes. Troubled teen who can’t be trusted finds out spirits haunts her house, she cries to everybody and tells them and nobody believes her until they see it with their own eyes, blah blah blah, we all know what’s about to happen. There were other clichés such as jump-scares but they weren’t ordinary jump-scares, it was ones that made you jump through sound. As soon as Jess turned a corner, the music suddenly became loud out of nowhere and then went back to normal volume again. This probably would have made me jump if I wasn’t already expecting it. However, The Messengers tries to be different from the other horror movies by having a twist that was supposed to shock you. Unfortunately, this didn’t work as I suspect most of the people who have watched this movie were expecting it since the start. Damn you, clichés!
In the end, The Messengers offers nothing new and is quite the waste of time. Apart from everything being predictable, there’s too many similarities from other movies such as The Grudge and The Others and results in making the movie not only disappointing but also pointless. Is this a movie that you should watch in the dark that’d terrify you? No, definitely not. You see the cheap scares and jumps from a mile away and everything is too predictable. What’s even more annoying is that there’s potential in the movie and if you slightly changed the story, this could have been so much better. If you’re interested in watching this movie, just watch The Grudge instead as The Messenger is almost like a bad parody of it.