31 in 31: Odd Thomas

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31 in 31 odd thomasStory: Why not let Odd tell you himself? “I may see dead people, but then by God I do something about it.”  He’ll come to rue the day he decided on that tag line when high-octane otherworldly killers infest his quaint little town.  What’s a lone clairvoyant to do when all hell is about to literally rain down?

Scares: So-so.  The evil spirits, called bodachs, are truly frightening.  Think of a ghostly version of 1981’s The Thing in it’s ability to warp and woof.  Lots of arms, legs and big big big teeth.

Splat factor: Hmm. Not too much, but when there’s a body it’s on darlin’. Especially when it comes to Fungus Man, a guy I’d bet dollars to donuts is related to Men In Black‘s Edgar the bug guy.  For the most part though blood spilled here is Red On Clothes.

Closing scene “shocker”?: No “gotcha”, but it’s not exactly tied up with a bow either. Spoiler: there are currently novels, graphic novel prequels, and a short story in the Odd series.

Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: First film made from the “Odd Thomas” series by Dean Koontz.

Trick or Treat?: An actually interesting and fun horror mystery with a few cool twists.  A little The Sixth Sense (seeing dead people), a little The Frighteners (Big Bad is coming to a nice guy who sees ghosts). 

The dialogue has some seriously clunky bits, like a warped guitar twang that quickly snapped me out of the feels. But letting myself sail over those bumps wasn’t difficult, just bothersome.  And Stormy the girlfriend was a bit too cool. Practically walking into Mary Sue territory.

The good?  I don’t often say this, but that’s some Grade A car-stunt work & onscreen FX at the climax.  Well done.

Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, the new franchise) plays Odd, and he’s just quirky/cute enough to carry off the character.  Willem Dafoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle) jump in as Odd’s surrogate dad/police chief, and best-friend at the diner where Odd works.  Both deliver the goods in their supporting roles.  Director Stephen Sommers has a stable full of crazy blockbusters, including Van Helsing, The Mummy and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.  So you can probably guess that this film is more hoot than horror.  Still, if you had fun watching The Frighteners or The Mummy and their mix of camp, mystery and horror, you’ll have fun with this one.  Extra pumpkiness for the prominent placement of a scooter. Apparently this film was stuck in turnaround for years while studios hashed it out, leaving it to direct-to-stream territory.  Pity.  Seek this one out.

Score: wpid-pumpkin9.jpg wpid-pumpkin9.jpg wpid-pumpkin9.jpg wpid-pumpkin9.jpg  
4 out of 5 pumpkins.

About Denise

Professional nerd. Lover of licorice.
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