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The Mothman Prophecies
Directed by Mark Pellington
Written by Richard Hatem, from the novel by John A. Keel
The Mothman Prophecies
Principal Cast
Richard Gere -- John Klein
Laura Linney -- Sgt. Connie Parker
Will Patton -- Gordon Smallwood
Debra Messing -- Mary Klein
Shane Callahan -- Nat Griffin
Alan Bates -- Alexander Leek
Nesbitt Blaisdell -- Chief Josh Jarrett
Lucinda Jenney -- Denise Smallwood

The Mothman Prophecies is a cerebral and creepy tale of the paranormal that, like the book it's based on, claims to be based on actual events that allegedly transpired in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, between November 1966 and December 1967. Richard Hatem's script has updated and condensed the time frame of the original occurrences; the story now happens over the course of a few weeks during the present. Hatem's also changed the names of the principal characters, some of whom are based on actual people.

The protagonist is Washington Post political reporter John Klein (Richard Gere), an up-and-coming journalist who interacts with fat cats on Capitol Hill and is being eyed for a job at CNN. He has a beautiful wife named Mary and life seems to be going his way. What follows shouldn't be considered a spoiler since the industry trades already let this cat out of the bag. A Christmas-time car accident befalls the Kleins, which leads to an X-ray of Mary's skull that reveals a heretofore-undiagnosed brain tumor. It's terminal.

Mary's hospitalized and begins immediate cancer treatments. One day while she is resting, John discovers a bizarre drawing of a bug-like man that Mary had inexplicably sketched. The grotesque image is burned into John's memory. Mary passes away shortly thereafter. John is devastated by her loss and his promising career flounders.

One year later. Still lonely and pained by Mary's death, John has forsaken dating and thrown himself into his work. While driving all night to Alexandria in order to interview the governor, John's car breaks down during a storm. He approaches a rural home for assistance and is dismayed when its inhabitant, Gordon Smallwood, pulls a gun on him and calls the police.

Gordon explains to John and Sgt. Connie Parker (Laura Linney) that John has come to his door the past three nights at exactly the same time asking for help. Naturally, John declines the accusation but this won't be his first brush here with weirdness. It turns out that John's not where he should be. He's actually in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, having somehow traveled four hundred miles out of his way in less time than was possible.

Curiosity gets the better of John and he soon learns of all the other odd goings-on that have been happening lately in Point Pleasant. It seems a number of locals, including many "normal" and well regarded folks, have seen strange lights over the Ohio River while others have had visions of a strange bug or bird-like man. A drawing of this creature rocks John when he realizes this is the exact same image Mary drew before she died. As they dig deeper into the meaning behind all these bizarre events, John and Connie develop romantic feelings for one another.

Visit The Mothman Prophecies web site. There, you'll find an extended version of this synopsis and other film information.

Copyright © 2001 The Stax Report

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