Wednesday, October 28, 2015

31 Horror Movies in 31 Days: Phantoms

by Dan Moore

I love horror movies, so I'm watching one a day in October.  There's no rhyme or reason to the flicks I'm watching. Some I've never seen, some I have. Join the discussion on Twitter with #31Movies31Days

Day 28: Phantoms (1998)

Director: Joe Chappelle
Starring: Peter O'Toole, Rose McGowan, Joanna Going, Liev Schreiber, Ben Affleck, Nicky Katt, Clifton Powell

For years I've been hearing "Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms, yo."

From these two noted film critics
And they're right. He's the bomb, Rose McGowan is the bomb, the plot is the bomb, the special effects is the bomb, the whole friggin' movie is a bomb. This is legitimately one of the worst horror movies I've ever seen. The plot is simple enough: two sisters go on a vacation to a quiet Colorado resort town. When they arrive, everyone's gone, under sinister circumstances.

I'll save you the time. Don't watch this movie. The plot makes zero sense. The scares are nowhere to be found. And everyone is miscast in this. EVERYONE. Affleck is supposed to be the authoritarian town Sheriff. But this is Good Will Hunting era Affleck.  He's a kid in this and cannot pull it off. Schreiber is cast as his deputy, but he plays it with some clipped, nasally, overworked nerdy voice. I don't understand the choices he made in this role at all. Rose McGowan has been useless in everything I've seen her in with the exception of the original Scream. She continues being useless in this.

And the monster threat in this movie? No fucking clue. Is it a supernatural phantom, stealing people's lives? An earth bound, parasitic amoeba? Both? I have no idea. It could be either, as both alternatives are spoken about but neither is really confirmed.  They make it seem like it's an ancient, Egyptian-type myth creature but also hit it with a possible science angle. And in either case, I didn't give a damn.

THE GOOD: Colorado looked nice.

THE BAD: EVERYTHING. The acting is simply atrocious. The sets look cheap, as do the monsters.  And what the hell is Peter O'Toole doing slumming in this flick?  Nominated for 8 Best Actor Oscars, and he's running away from pretend ghosts. For shame, Pete. For shame.

THE DUMB: Take a gander at Affleck's hat

Did he borrow that from his dad?

SHIT OR HIT: Shit. This looks like the winner of the Worst Movie of 31 Days. At least Drive-Thru (add link) had a cool-looking baddie and a solid lead actress.  This has nothing. It's total garbage.

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