The Mothman Curse (2014):
Synopsis: A supernatural thriller based on he terrifying legend of The Mothman. Rachel and Katy work together in a large, empty museum. But lately, Katy notices slight, disturbing changes in her friend, while a menacing, dark shadow appears to be watching them night after night, drawing them both further and further into fear and madness. As they investigate deeper, the legend becomes a very real, living nightmare.
So before I get into this critique/review, let me run down a quick history lesson on The Mothman; because I'm sure that's what you want to sit through when you sit down to read a review. Their were numerous reports of a man/moth-like creature in the 1960's in Point Pleasant, WV. The sightings lasted for just over a year until the Silver Bridge collapsed, killing 46 people. Some have claimed to see The Mothman after the bridge collapse but none of those reports were made official. This leads most people to speculate that he was there as a warning that something bad was going to happen. If anyone has seen the movie Mothman Prophecies, it actually stayed relatively true to the legend.
Okay, so back to the movie. Rachel and Katy are hired to do some work in a cinematic museum in London. After meeting their boss Stephen, they are left alone to work as he heads off to another site for more work. They start work in a filing room. Rachel fills Katy in on some of the spooky occurrences that have reportedly happened in the museum. Katy takes a break to go get some coffee leaving Rachel alone in the room. She hears a few noises and than sees a shadowy figure crawl around the corner. She screams and runs the other way, turns and sees the shadow is gone. So of course, she would walk back to investigate where she sees nothing. Shes runs out and bumps into Katy, and tells her nothing of what she saw. They work for a little bit longer and leave for the night. Camera jumps back and forth between Rachel and Katy. Rachel is sleeping and Katy is holding an impromptu seance. Apparently, you can create a Quija board out of a coffee table by writing letters on scraps of paper, placing them in a circle on the table, and using a shot glass as the planchette. The remainder of the movie basically jumps back and forth between them at work or them at home. Both times they experience nightmares and visions as they are hunted by this shadowy figure. One day, Katy actually sees the Mothman so she runs out of the museum. Rachel is left in there by herself where she is confronted by the Mothman and falls down a flight of stairs. Stephen shows back up, find Rachel lying unconscious on the ground. He calls 9-1-1 just as the Mothman comes through the door and the movie ends.
There are a lot of things about this movie that made it real difficult for me to get into. For starters, the movie really branched off from the legend itself. I get that just because the legend happened in West Virginia, there is nothing saying it couldn't travel to London so I will ignore the change in venue. Some other aspects of this version, I can't ignore. The only thing they really stayed true to as far as the appearance of the Mothman was the glowing eyes. Most theories describe him as a moth-like creature, thus the name Mothman. Others have said he looked like a man, and sometimes that man had wings. They all report it to be nothing more than a shadow. Going by the shadow of the creature in this movie, The Mothman is actually Batman. That is, until he starts crawling around and than he resembles a demon above anything else. Also, there have never been any reports that The Mothman was hostile. In fact, one lady who has claimed to see the Mothman hundreds of times has claimed that he didn't show any signs of wanting to harm anyone. Yet the Mothman in this movie is clearly hostile and apparently does cause some kind of harm during..... whatever it was that happened at the end. Lastly, the whole theory behind the Mothman is that he appears almost as a warning that something catastrophic is going to happen. In this case, there is really nothing going on. Nothing that he could be warning against. Hell, the cast is only 4 characters so worst case scenario, they all die in an accident. I don't think 4 victims would be considered a catastrophic on the level of his “last appearance” that claimed 10 times as many people. However, this is just me being picky in thinking that if you are going to base a movie off of something, you should stick to it. This story would have been a lot more successful, plot wise, had it left the Mothman curse out of it and just made it some kind of haunting movie.
My biggest issue with this movie is the way it was filmed. I am admittedly not a fan of found footage movies. So one thing I will clearly hate even more is a movie that is meant to be in the third person perspective but looks like found footage. The movie looks like it was shot on an old school, fun of the mill, over the shoulder JVC camcorder. Majority of the film is out of focus so you really have no clue what is going happening. In quite a few instances, the camera freezes and zooms in on something, much like the way the reenactments on Unsolved Mysteries did when they were trying to show a space shit or something. Problem is, with as out of focus as the movie was, even with the zoom, I couldn't make out what I was suppose to be focusing on. The night sequences were just as bad. The camera apparently had the mounted light on it so at night you saw a bright circular lit area, while everything out side of the lit area is dark and impossible to see. I probably would have preferred straight night vision over that. Again, there are times where it seemed like there were images in the 'darkness' that we were meant to see, just couldn't.
Now I do like to look for some kind of positive in any movie I review, or even watch for that matter. This movie is no different. While majority of my review may be negative, I did find two positive things in here. For one, while I may not have been thrilled about the way they took the legend, there were a few instances where we saw the Mothman up close enough to see how he looked behind the shadow. Daniel Mansfield played the Mothman and was also in charge of designing it and he did a pretty bad ass job. It had kind of a weird burnt wood look to it. It was essentially Groot from Hell. The other upside would be the acting. While the script itself was kind of weak and at times, seemed almost ad-libbed. We were left with what seemed like conversation only made to put an end to awkward silence. But, given what they had to work with as far as the script was concerned, actresses Rachel Dale (Rachel) and Katy Vans (Katy) did a very good job and were pretty convincing in their roles.
Unfortunately, those 2 bright spots were not enough to save the movie. It was really just enough to make it almost watchable... almost. It's not a movie I would recommend. And definitely not one I would sit through again.
reviewed by Bobby