‘The Messengers’ movie review: promising start fails to deliver

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The Pang Bros. first English-language film starts off promisingly, but soon enough degenerates into little more than a series of jump scares and patchwork ghost story clichés.

Chicago family headed by father Dylan McDermott, mother Penelope Ann Miller, and teenage daughter Kristen Stewart move to an isolated farmhouse in North Dakota for reasons that are never fully explained.

Soon the crows attack and the ghosts come out to play, and for awhile the movie is creepily effective, but scare scene after scare scene leaves the plot and characters completely undeveloped.

With half an hour to go, we´re layered with pointless exposition, as everything is explained in full and the film disappointingly falls in the overused ghost-with-a-grudge subgenre.

You know, like The Ring or The Grudge or the countless number of sequels, remakes, and ripoffs, the kind of film where the ghost wasn´t all that bad despite attacking our characters throughout the film, they just want revenge on their killers so they can rest in peace.

Adept on a technical level, and the Pangs have an excellent visual style; cast, however, is entirely dull and story is nothing new.

The Messengers

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Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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