Unearthed: Stream Screams and Bad Dreams
Hey there, creeps! It’s your resident fang-girl Stephanie with your monthly streaming scream. Being a little weird never hurt anybody, right?
Available On: Netflix
Based on the novel by Dean Koontz, “Odd Thomas” stars Anton Yelchin as the title character who is a short-order cook with psychic powers. His unique ability is that he can see ghosts and other paranormal beings, and he uses this power to help or defend against them.
When Odd sees dead people, by god he does something about them. Often this causes quite a mess, as it is proven by the opening scene where he chases down a murderer through the quiet, suburban neighborhood he lives in, ultimately breaking a mirror and lamp, which is minor to what his pursuant created. For times like that, there is police chief Wyatt Porter, Willem Defoe, who helps explain away the carnage Odd’s exploits wreck. Although Odd drives him nuts, he does bag many criminals for the local police department and Porter does his best of cleaning up the mess that is left and protecting Odd’s privacy.
Other than bringing the bad guys to justice, Odd spends his time as a short-order cook in his sleepy California town and awkwardly wooing girlfriend Stormy Llewellynn, (Addison Timlin.) Unfortunately, duty calls in a big way one afternoon as Odd is working his shift when a peculiar man walks in and sits at the counter. The man, later known as “Fungus Bob,” in acknowledgment of his hair which strangely resembles mold, is surrounded by a flock of evil spirits known as Bodachs, which feed on destruction and pain. Odd and Stormy are obligated to investigate, uncovering a horrible event that may be preventable should they thwart Fungus Bob and the Bodachs first.
Due to legal troubles with the production, “Odd Thomas” ended up being mainly a direct-to-DVD release where it once was slated for a more worldwide public release. Be that as it may, the movie at least got to see the light of day in 2014 via UK and US sales and streaming and is rapidly gaining steam. Even though the “Odds” are against them, (See what I did there?) the movie is well-received by the public where it is otherwise critically panned by critics. As of this article it’s rating on RottenTomatoes.com is at a whopping 33%, which is nowhere close to where most people feel it should be.
It’s definitely a shame not for the movie, but for the series itself and what could have been. I’m sure the producers saw the original novel, it’s 6 sequels and 3 prequels hoping to turn it into a successful franchise. But due to the problems it faced, along with its less-than-stellar reception, those hopes were sadly dashed. It is easy to think about what could have been with this film, but there’s at least the books to visit and continue the story with.
What I find the most appealing to this movie is that there is a little something for everyone out there, whether you are a fan of horror movies or not. There is a little gore, but not much, so those that are squeamish should keep the eye-shielding to a minimum. If you are a fan of paranormal stories, I think it goes without saying that given the protagonist sees ghost and other entities, they’ve got you covered there. There’s also a dry, dark humor that will keep people who enjoy comedies will be able to appreciate, and for the adrenaline junkies in your group you have a healthy dose of action and ass-kicking. For once, you won’t have to fight with a whole household on what to watch.
NAILS IN THE COFFIN: 8/10
Although the storytelling tends to hover a bit in the same note for a little too long from time to time, overall this is an entertaining and engaging movie. The star power of Yelchin and Defoe carry it well, and with strong performances by Timlin and “Fungus Bob,” aka Shuler Hensley, the story is told competently and with the aforementioned dry, dark humor. Although I have not had the pleasure of reading the original Koontz work, this movie gives me a renewed interest in reading him, namely this novel, so I can really take a look at the narrative and see if the flaws are a constant or simply a problem with the film itself. Honestly though, it is a good time and something I would highly recommend to you, my freakish readers, for a cozy night in with everyone you love. Or those that you at least tolerate.