PHANTOMS

HOME REVIEWS FEO'S STUFF FEO AMANTE THEATER SCIENCE MOMENT UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
FEO FEED BACK?
NEWS?
SUBMISSIONS?
Read:
SUBMISSION
GUIDELINES

MOVIES
FEO AMANTE THEATER
My Short Films
LAST CALL

THE NIGHT MY MONSTER DIED
SCIENCE MOMENT
TOP TEN SCARY MOVIES
UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT
RACIAL CLICHÉ RESPONSE
INTERVIEWS

STORY TIME

COMICS

CONS

HORRIBLE NEWS
Movies E.C. McMullen Jr. Review by
E.C.McMullen Jr.
Phantoms
Bookmark and Share
IT HELPS
TIP JAR
Dean R. Koontz: PHANTOMS - 1998
Fuji Creative Corporation / Raven House / Dimension Films / Miramax Films / Neo Motion Pictures.
Ratings: Australia: MA / Finland: K 16 / Germany, Singapore: 16 / Portugal: M/16 / USA: R

Written by Dean Koontz (DEMON SEED, WATCHERS), there is an awful lot to like about this movie. I like the fact that it builds up slow, letting the creepiness seep into you.

There is also an awful lot to dislike about the movie: like how everybody's character is written so thin (for the movie). Not that these folks are two dimensional. In fact, with the exception of Peter O'Toole (HIGH SPIRITS), who plays Peter O'Toole as a disenchanted British ex-Professor (huh! Imagine that!), everybody else at least appears to have some depth. As if the actors were capable of it, but the script (also by Koontz) and director didn't give them the opportunity. The director of PHANTOMS is Joe Chappelle. A name you'll recognize if you were unfortunate enough to see HALLOWEEN 4: The Curse Of Michael Myers, or if you saw HELLRAISER IV: Bloodline (he succeeded in having his name removed and turning it into an Alan Smithee film). Believe me when I say that PHANTOMS is Joe's best movie yet. Go Joe!

Joe Chappelle did such a superior job on this movie, compared to his previous efforts, that he might very well be the one to watch as the next Cronenberg or Raimi.

The movie starts out with two women driving through the mountains to get to a small town far from the city. Joanna Going (DARK SHADOWS [TV], HEAVEN) plays Dr. Jennifer Pailey. She is taking over the child raising duties that her Mother can't handle. This means getting her kid sister Lisa, played by Rose McGowan (SCREAM) the hell out of the big city and out to a place where folks are real people. They enter the quiet town of Snowfield, Colorado (just what is the problem over there in Colorado anyway?) which turns out to be just a little bit too damn quiet! They go into Jennifer's house and Merry Mishaps ensue.

Before long they are Damsels in Distress and who should come up but the dashing Sheriff Bryce Hammond, as played by Ben Affleck (BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, DOGMA. Also director of 1993's: I KILLED MY LESBIAN WIFE, HUNG HER ON A MEAT HOOK, AND NOW I HAVE A THREE-PICTURE DEAL AT DISNEY), and his two Deputies Steve Shanning (Nicky Kat: GREMLINS, THE BABYSITTER, [TV] THE KINDRED: The Embraced 1.3, STRANGE DAYS), and Stu Wargle (Liev Schrieber: SCREAM, SCREAM 2, SPHERE).

Something mighty creepy about that Stu . . .

Anyway,

The picture brings up some wonderful elements, great spooky atmosphere, and the kind of explosively original creature/monster that we've come to expect from Koontz. This is the kind of movie, with its gradual start and ever faster pace, that THE X-FILES has made us learn to appreciate all over again. In fact, this movie has all the feel of an episode of the X-FILES and is far and away better than the X-FILES movie. So how can you go wrong? Well, for starters gang:

!!!UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT!!!:
While only having three non-white actors in this movie, Clifton Powell (DEEP RISING - he dies in that one too.) as General LeLand Copperfield, Valerie Chow as Scientist Yamaguchi, and Micael DeLorenzo as Soldier Velasquez (remember Marine Velasquez in ALIENS?) they are all of course, slaughtered in the time honored Horror movie cliché of Kill The Black People/non-whites.

This is not to say that the movie doesn't have its share of white characters getting killed too. It does. The UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT is to let you know that, no matter how many victims or how many people from different races in the movie, the whites and ONLY the whites will survive.

For the ever growing list of movies that crash into this category, go to the !!!UNFAIR RACIAL CLICHÉ ALERT!!!

When we first meet Peter O'Toole we see him as Timothy Flyte, a disillusioned sot working at a two bit Rumor Rag. As usual, O'Toole zips through his character's life story with hambone excess and rapid head jerking ("Let us get this wretched exposition out of my God! Damn! Way and I'll gladly waltz with you to bleeding China, you foul odour of a man!" - Peter never says this, its just the impression I always get.).

The story is interesting and it has some nicely unique turns. The growing atmosphere of horror and desperation gives this movie a genuine "Twilight Zone" creepiness.

Yes, everything builds in all of the right ways and goes hurtling to a great, satisfying end. Then after all that has come before, the monster when we finally confront it, is a bit of a disappointment.

The whole thing quickly unravels until, by the end, the only person I found myself still interested in was Deputy Stu Wargle.

All the same, I enjoyed PHANTOMS enough to give it 3 Shriekgirls.

Shriek GirlsShriek GirlsShriek Girls
This review copyright 1998 E.C.McMullen Jr.

Phantoms (1998) on IMDb Bookmark and Share

Return to Movies

FEO AMANTE'S HORROR THRILLER Created by:
E.C.MULLEN JR.
COME FOLLOW ME -
AMAZON
BLOG
DEVIANT ART
ECMJR - PORTFOLIO
FACEBOOK
IMDB
PANDORA
ROTTEN TOMATOES
STAGE32
TWITTER
YOUTUBE

 

DVD


BOOK

 

FROM
E.C. McMullen Jr.
WILLOW BLUE
KINDLE

"'Willow Blue' will burrow under your skin and stay there long after you've put the book down."
- Jeffrey Reddick, Creator of FINAL DESTINATION

PERPETUAL BULLET
PAPERBACK

"'Some People' ... may be the standout story in the book."
- John Grant, 2 time Hugo Winner and creator of Infinityplus

ALSO

E.C. McMullen Jr.'s
short story
CEDO LOOKED LIKE PEOPLE
in the anthology
FEAR THE REAPER
PAPERBACK
"This Ray Bradbury-esque is one of the most memorable and one of the more original stories I've read in a long time."
- Reviewer, Amazon
I will take you home...Feo Amante's Horror Home Page, Feo Amante's Horror Thriller, and feoamante.com are owned and
Copyright 1997 - 2016 by E.C.McMullen Jr.
FAIR USE - PRIVACY POLICY - OWNERSHIP - CONTACT
All images and text belong to E.C.McMullen Jr. unless otherwise noted.
All fiction stories belong to their individual authors.