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The Mothman Prophecies (2001)
Director: Mark Pellington

review by Michael Lohr

Raised in the mid-Ohio Valley (I was born in West Virginia and grew up just outside of Pittsburgh, my grandmother was born and raised in Point Pleasant, where all the sightings first occurred), I was always familiar with the legend of the 'mothman' and all the strange UFO sightings and such. Tales of red-eyed creatures sitting on tree stumps alongside rural dirt roads, bronze coloured UFOs sailing the blue skies and falling stars giving off a vibrant rainbow-hue, all made it into the local folklore. Though I lived over an hour and a half away from this area, gossip, rumours, and fear travel fast.
   The Mothman Prophecies stars Richard Gere as John Klein, a Washington Post reporter who, after suffering through a great loss in his own life, becomes caught up in the very extraordinary events that surround Point Pleasant, West Virginia for 13 months during November 1966 through December 1967. Gere's character soon discovers something intangible is haunting him and Point Pleasant. It's something that he can't quite believe exists, something that his logical deductive reasoning says is only imagination, and yet... Gere's character wrestles with the question of whether something supernatural or metaphysical actually does exist in the West Virginia hills and if so, what then? The struggle to maintain sanity begins.
   Before Mark Pellington directed The Mothman Prophecies he had his independent film directorial debut in Going All The Way which did well at the Sundance Film Festival and was released by Gramercy Pictures. He followed that with Destination Anywhere, a short film he created for MTV starring Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Bon Jovi and Kevin Bacon. He later directed James Earl Jones in an episode of the dramatic TV series Homicide. Screen Gems released his second feature, Arlington Road, a dark political thriller starring Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins.
   Tom Rosenberg produced The Mothman Prophecies. Rosenberg's most recent production credits include feature film projects The Gift, starring Cate Blanchett and Keanu Reeves, and Autumn In New York, starring Richard Gere and Winona Ryder. The Mothman Prophecies was shot in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania regional area, and is based upon the best selling book by author John A. Keel. Richard Hatem also did a wonderful job of translating the book into screenplay format. The movie is a good watch and Keel's book is a must have for all Fortean fans. Mothman-mania continues to grow. Recently the Fox-owned FX channel aired a special 'Search for the Mothman.' Sightings of the mothman have occurred around the world in just the last few months and I even heard that a set of songs about the mothman and The Mothman Prophecies movie would debut at a popular British Filk festival this spring.
   Like crop circles, the mothman just refuses to go quietly into the night.
The Mothman Prophecies
book by John A. Keel
originally titled:
Visitors From Space,
published in 1976

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