"Just Another Rehashed Supernatural Thriller"
THE MESSENGERS is another ghost story about malevolent spirits haunting a family that just moved into a mysterious farmhouse. Everything feels rehashed in THE MESSENGERS, which contains some foul language and occult elements.
If you take a family moving into an old, abandoned farm house in a small farming town, add some vengeful ghosts, mix in a toddler with extra-sensory perception, toss in demonic black crows, blend it with a misunderstood teenager whose parents do not believe her and sprinkle it with some creaking floors and a creepy basement, and you have a text book supernatural horror, thriller. In this way, THE MESSENGERS is no different than any other standard Hollywood horror movies.
When Roy and Denise Solomon, played by Dylan McDermott and Penelope Ann Miller, respectively, move to a small sunflower farm in North Dakota, they hope to find peace for their family, especially their troubled teenage daughter, Jess, played by Kristen Stewart. Within moments of walking into the old farm house, though, Jess and her little brother Ben begin to notice some eerie things about their new home – strange noises, ominous black crows, and things that go bump in the night. In no time whatsoever, Jess and Ben see ghosts as the house is haunted by several vindictive spirits bent on revenge.
While trying to protect her little brother and convince her parents that she is not crazy, Jess starts to unravel the mystery surrounding the mysterious disappearances of the family who previously lived there. And, when a farm-hand becomes possessed by the former owner who killed his family, Jess and her parents must fight not only against a homicidal maniac but also against the angry spirits who are trying to kill them all.
THE MESSENGERS is nothing new. Utilizing the same story-telling devices that most Hollywood horror movies have used time and again, everything about this movie feels rehashed. To its credit, the movie does not rely too heavily on gory imagery and the excessively bloody nonsense that defines most horror movies nowadays. In that sense, it hearkens back to more classic scare-fare. Relying more on what is not seen, this supernatural movie succeeds in creating some tension but fails in truly original fright.
Also, THE MESSENGERS relies too heavily on pagan elements in which the dark side of the supernatural is always stronger and more appealing than the light. In that sense, this movie fails to truly represent supernatural elements. By not utilizing prayer and the Holy Spirit to stand against spiritual enemies, this movie misses the point. It would be refreshing for once to see a horror movie in which the heroes call upon the name of the Lord to protect them. However, since nothing else in this movie is refreshing and original, it could hardly be expected for THE MESSENGERS to blaze a new trail there. With all the violence and the supernatural elements, this movie is excessive and media-wise viewers will probably not go anywhere near this one.
(PaPa, OO, B, LL, VV, A) Strong mixed pagan and occult worldview with supernatural elements including ghosts, demonic birds, man is possessed by vindictive spirit, poltergeists, haunted house where family was brutally murdered, with some very light moral elements as family learns to trust each other and forgive each other; 11 obscenities and five light profanities; some strong violence includes woman is thrown down stairs, multiple scenes of birds attacking people, ghostly images of deformed creatures, poltergeist moments of objects flying through the air, ghosts attack girl by trying to pull her in the basement, man strikes a woman, knocks out a teenage boy and stabs man with a pitchfork, and man killed by vengeful spirits; married kissing and married couple flirts with each other; no nudity but female cleavage in nightgown; no alcohol use depicted but one plot device revolves around girl who was caught in the past in underage drinking and driving; and, nothing else objectionable.
THE MESSENGERS opens with Roy and Denise Solomon moving their family to a small sunflower farm in North Dakota. They hope to find peace for their family, especially their troubled teenage daughter, Jess. Jess and her little brother Ben begin to notice some eerie things about their new home – strange noises, ominous black crows, and things that go bump in the night. Soon, Jess and Ben find out that the house is haunted by several vindictive spirits bent on revenge. While trying to protect her little brother and convince her parents she is not crazy, Jess unravels the mystery surrounding the mysterious disappearances of the family who previously lived there. Then, the former owner who killed his family possesses their farm hand, and Jess and her parents must fight not only against a homicidal maniac but also against the angry spirits trying to kill them.
THE MESSENGERS is nothing new. Everything feels rehashed. To its credit, the movie does not rely on gory imagery. Even so, THE MESSENGERS relies too heavily on pagan elements in which the dark side of the supernatural is always stronger and more appealing than the light.