Making the Grades
THE MOTHMAN PROPHECIES is based on paranormal events recorded in the small town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia during the late 1960's. Chronicled in the book by John A. Keel, residents reported seeing huge red-eyed images with moth-like wings that haunted their town for several months prior to a devastating catastrophe that crippled the community.
The movie updated to the here and now, stars Richard Gere as a successful Washington Post reporter, happily married and planning to buy a home until a tragic and odd automobile accident puts his wife (Debra Messing) in the hospital. Following her death, he discovers a series of bizarre and hideous creatures scribbled in one of her notebooks. Months later, he comes across the same aberrant drawings when he inexplicably turns up in the West Virginia township.
With the help of Sgt. Connie Parker (Laura Linney), Klein unearths accounts from a growing number of the populace who've encountered the manifestations. Piqued by the sightings that seem tied to his wife's death, he settles into a hotel and tries to make sense of the ominous visitations, screeching moans, and unexplained phone calls. The journalist begins to worry about the safety of his friend, Gordon Smallwood (Will Patton), when the local factory worker starts hearing strange messages from someone named Ingrid Cold. The cryptic premonitions foretell impending deaths and disaster. In an attempt to explain the phenomenon, the bewildered journalist seeks help from Alexander Leek (Alan Bates), author of a book on the metaphysical, who warns Klein to get out of town before tragedy strikes.
Director Mark Pellington unfolds his adult-oriented thriller with quick flashes of light, eerie camera pans and the unsettling feeling of breath on your back. The often abrupt and abrasive musical score, written by Jeff Rona, also adds to the feverish pace of the film. While most of the movie's content issues revolve around startling terror and language, at least one scene depicts a teenage couple engaged in sex (with some nudity).
Although the mystery of the Mothman remains unexplained, partisans of the paranormal may enjoy this film while parents may opt for less suspenseful entertainment.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Mothman Prophecies.
Some people believe that the disasters that plague Pleasant Point, West Virginia are the result of a 200-year curse pronounced by a great Shawnee chieftain. For more information on the history of this story, go to http://members.aol.com/mothmanwww/unusual.html
Why do you think that Klein’s wife began reappearing in Pleasant Point? What do you think she meant by saying, “I just want you to be happy”? Do you think there is a correlation between her appearances and her statement?