Everyone's a critic: 'The Messengers'

Friday, February 9, 2007

One and a half stars (out of four)

In general, "The Messengers" has your basic ghost story/haunted house plot. Lost souls seeking peace, yadda, yadda, yadda. Some of the visual effects are good, and a few are creepy. I really liked the storyline of Ben being the only one who could see the spirits. In the end, you understand the basic gist of the movie, but you are left wondering a few things. I had to ask myself several questions: Just what is the message here or what are the crows the messengers of? Who is the guy from the bank and what is his role in the plot? It brought to mind a poor cross between "The Amityville Horror and "The Birds." Overall, I think the movie would have fared better without the crows and more emphasis on the history of the house.

-- Brenda Euler

Three stars (out of four)

The movie started out as your typical haunted house movie: noises, shadows and the occasional feeling that you were not alone. Young Ben was the only one who could see the ghosts that were haunting the old farmhouse. The special effects were great. You were kept intrigued and wanted to see what would happen next. I liked the movie. It did seem to follow familiar story lines at times ("The Birds" and "Amityville Horror"), but had its own tale to tell at the end. The only thing that I was left wondering was exactly who or what "The Messengers" were. The crows (they were everywhere at times), or maybe the banker who wanted to purchase the farm for more than the family had actually bought it. Overall I would say that if you like haunted house movies, then watch it.

-- Tiana Hughes

Three stars (out of four)

Scary movie fans will like this Stephen King-like movie by the Pang Brothers. Set in North Dakota, it is a ghost story written from the perspective of a young teen and her toddler brother. The family tries to move on from some trouble they had in Chicago to a more simple farming life in North Dakota, but they discover that maybe they shouldn't have moved into that old, decrepit, creepy house after all. The film's director, Sam Raimi ("The Evil Dead," "The Grudge"), uses his typical techniques to get the audience to jump out of their seats. With only a bit of cliche, this movie has several moments that raise the hair on the back of your neck.

-- Josh LaMar

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