Darke Reviews – Odd Thomas (2014)


This is another requested review for the daily reviews in October. It also happens to be a personal favorite of mine that I really do not know how I came across. I don’t remember any trailers for it. I don’t remember well anything about it. I just saw it on Netflix one night and saw Anton Yelchin on the cover and really that was enough. It still remains on Netflix and can often be found in the $7.88 blu ray bin at Wal-Mart. Because of my love for the film it’s hard not to spoil some parts of it, but I am going to do my best.

The trailer isn’t all that great.

Should you see it though?

This one gets another “Based on a Book” hashtag, as it is based on Dean R. Koontz novel. It may come as a surprise but I have never actually read a single Koontz book. No idea why I haven’t just haven’t. The screenplay and director is one of the ones who has done a better job of entertaining me than most, Stephen Sommers. Best known for The Mummy and Van Helsing yet equally lamented for GI Joe and Scorpion King. No one will ever accuse Sommers of making high cinema, but he does a good job overall of mixing moods and tones in a very fun, cotton candy way. It’s light, it’s fluffy, it’s rarely to be taken seriously; but if he needs to shift between story types he can rather well, as shown in Odd Thomas and Deep Rising. Here Sommers successfully crafts romance, horror, and comedy into a single film. Granted when I say comedy it mostly means light quips and general situations which bring a smile to your face as he did in the Mummy.

Part of that goes to the chemistry of the cast. Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Fright Night) and Addison Timlin (The Town That Dreaded Sundown); the two of them have what to me is an almost fairy tale level relationship. It is so damn earnest and sweet and makes me love them both all the more. What makes things more interesting is unlike other movies such as the 6th Sense, the most important people to Odd believe in his gifts. Most notably his girlfriend Stormy (Timlin) and the chief of police (Willem frikkin Dafoe); not only using his gifts but helping him to use them. It creates an interesting breath of fresh air for a movie like this and allows it to continue at its rather brisk pace from beat to beat and scene to scene.  There is some honest chemistry between the protagonists in the cast. Yelchin has one of the most adorable every man acting abilities and helps make Odd a believable and likeable character. Timlin, well her interactions with Yelchin, character, and attitude make her a strong add to the cast rather than just an accessory to Odd. I want to see more of her than we get.

From a technical standpoint the movie does hit a few good points. The ghosts, as seen in the trailer, while not creepy are at least an original design. Make up effects are also pretty solid and at times pleasantly unsettling. What really helps is the pacing. The movie takes as long as it needs and never longer. The blocking, lighting, and editing work amazingly well. Though this kind of pace is common to Sommers films, I appreciate it as there is no extra fat. I don’t feel like I am missing anything and I don’t feel like I needed more of something. There’s even some amazing continuity through the film that brings revelations to light and doesn’t trip my annoyance levels. It sets up rules and doesn’t violate them. More movies need to do this.

TL;DR?

I really like this movie. I watch it every month or so. It has a lot of charm to it. I bought it on BluRay when I found it.

It does so much right and even after multiple viewings the connections I have with the characters, their deliveries, makes me feel for them. There are so many many movies out these days where I don’t care in the slightest what happens. Here I do.

Best part? Odd Thomas is an all ages show, teens and up. Also *not* scary so even if you aren’t a fan of horror movies you will be able to watch this one and I think really like it (I’ve tested this theory with people…it’s true).

Odd Thomas better than it has any right to be.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Darke Reviews – Odd Thomas (2014)

  1. Pingback: Darke Reviews – Phantoms (1998) | Amused in the Dark

  2. Stumbled across Odd Thomas on Netflix one night and watched it. Loved it. Found it completely unique and definitely loved the characters. I even remember seeing trailers before it came out and thinking that looks good.

    And I love the clips included in the reviews!

    Like

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