Trends of Terror 2019: 64 Psychological Thrillers

Psychological thrillers depict the unstable or delusional psychological states of its characters. They focus on the complex and often tortured relationships between obsessive and pathological characters. In this edition of Trends of Terror, film critic Steve Hutchison reviews 64 psychological thrillers sorted from best to worst. How many have you seen?

The Mothman Prophecies

A reporter is drawn to a small town to investigate a series of strange events.

 

United States
2002
Feature Film
Realism: 
Supernatural
Insects: 
Moth
Catastrophes: 
Collapse
Crash
Legend: 
Myth
Urban Legend
6
The moth. The legend.
6
6
7.04
7.04
2
2
2
Performances
Pace
Editing
You might have heard about this myth. It has been puzzling lovers and investigators of the paranormal for years. Just who is the Mothman and does he warrant a two-hour high-budget film? Contrary to most supernatural stories, we get a sense that strangers and people outside the protagonist’s circle know more than meets the eye, and that some are already in on the mystery.
I kept thinking that writer Richard Hatem was trying to remain faithful to the West Virginia folkloric tale, and more so to John Keel’s novel by the same name. It’s fair to say that this film is based on a story based on a another one. Richard Gere makes all this more accessible than it sounds. This is the kind of procedural better enjoyed with a bit of research, though. It’s scarier that way...
Mark Pellington can direct, but the compositing and the special effects are underwhelming. This one is all about dialogue. It’s a good thing the actors are talented. They make the impossible sound plausible. The main problem with this film is that it’s basically comprised of two scary moments with a slow, ominous, reminiscing, highly emotional but interminable act in between.
Alternate Titles: 
Mothman
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