Right, I did it the wrong way round. I watched Messengers 2 first. But, let’s face it, if I hadn’t have quite liked it, I probably wouldn’t have wanted to watch part one.
Like the second, it’s set on a farm (the same house even?), there are loads of really irritating crows, and there is also something a bit evil lurking in the darkness.
Leaving Chicago for a new life, the Soloman family are hoping to leave behind some bad memories. The teen daughter had been a bit wayward at one point in her life and ended up drink driving with her little brother in the car. An accident followed, and the little toddler was left unable to talk.
Struggling to forget this and trust their daughter again, Mom and Dad feel that a farm would be a good direction to move in, growing sunflowers of all things (the new get rich quick scheme? I don’t think so).
After getting settled, employing a labourer named John, and having lots of talks about how ‘ life his different here’ and ‘we all have to pull together and make this work’ things seem okay. Oh, other than the weird grey monster-like ghosts that crawl about the ceiling with classic ‘asian horror’ style super speed.
It turns out that before the Solomans moved in, another family lived her and vanished. Some evil being had chased them about, grabbed them and dragged them into the cellar. And it seems that it wants to do the same with the new inhabitants.
As with the second, the film looks great. Well shot, and providing the sort of quality that you would expect from any high end horror film.
Okay, they did use the (over-used) speedy-uppy ghost effect, but we can’t be too harsh on the producers for falling under the spell of Ringu and Ju-On.
The cast are solid, the family members convincingly playing a unit with ‘issues’, and Kristen Stewart great at playing the troubled and often ignored typical teenage girl, Jess.
Best of all is the performance put on by the toddler, who was an integral part of the most chilling scenes throughout the film. Being the only person who can see the ghosts, he becomes a psychic sniffer dog for seeking out the horrific apparitions, although he obviously can’t tell anyone about it (Jess soon regrets her drink driving incident EVEN more).
It’s chilling, and has jumpy moments and is a decent all round horror flick. However, It does tail off a little towards the end, as many modern ghost movies do.
The main problem being that inevitably in movies, ghosts want justice for something, and if the lead character can help them to get revenge, things will be okay.
I would personally prefer it if the ghosts were just bad ass and trying to freak people out for fun. Who needs reason when you’re talking about grey monsters crawling up the walls at 60 miles per hour?
The Messengers doesn’t break any ground, or offer anything particularly astonishing, but it’s solid. And if you’re hard up for a horror movie it definitely has enough to keep you entertained for an hour or so.