Simply put Odd Thomas is a fantastic film. Combining horror, action, comedy and romance all in one cracking story it was by far one of the best films of FrightFest 2013. And now it’s finally released on DVD its time everyone embraced this brilliant movie.
Some may have never heard of Odd Thomas but he is in fact the creation of massively popular thriller author Dean Koontz who has penned six novels including two graphic novels so far in the Odd Thomas series with more hopefully to come.
Prior knowledge of the character is luckily not needed as the impressive intro fills the audience in with all it needs to know about our wise cracking unlikely hero.
Played by the talented Anton Yelchin Odd Thomas, as that is his actual name, lives in Pico Mundo and leads a relatively normal life except for the fact that he can see dead people.
In Odd’s own words “I see dead people, but then, by God, I do something about it” and his gift comes with the deep felt need to avenge their unjust passing leading to him spending his spare time hunting down those responsible for taking lives and preventing evil doers doing evil helped along the way by his friend police chief Wyatt Porter (Willem Dafoe) and the love of his life Stormy Llewellyn (Addison Timlin).
However, the appearance in his small town of a massive amount of dark spirits called Bodak’s which gather around events and people that cause huge amounts of pain and suffering convinces Odd that a major disaster is about to befall his hometown and only he has the power to stop it.
One of the best films of the year Odd Thomas proves that given the right source material entertainment doesn’t have to be clichéd, cold or unintelligent and that when all the elements are aligned true cinematic joy can be achieved.
Although comparable in its tone and some of its ideas to sublime TV series Dead Like Me and Peter Jackson’s excellent The Frighteners Odd Thomas is equally as entertaining and original as both and director and writer Stephen Sommers, who has made a career churning out popcorn Hollywood fodder such as Deep Rising, Catch Me If You Can and The Mummy series, confidently crafts a fast paced film that never lets up.
Sommers’ commercial sensibilities are counterbalanced by the original story from Koontz which contains some complex and opaque motifs of death and mature musings of those who inflict it. This injects some nasty, more scary scenes giving the film a well handled edge and overall much more impact.
As Odd, Anton Yelchin infuses the character with pathos and passion plus a small hint of Michael J Fox at his prime, giving the film the feel of a lost 80’s classic except with far superior special effects of which there are many.
The script sizzles, evoking vintage Hollywood with fast banter, especially between Odd and Stormy which never comes across as cheesy or incongruous. Instead it enhances the already brilliant relationship and performances from Yelchin and Addison Timlin supported by the always watchable Willem Dafoe and the rest of the cast.
Working on absolutely every level Odd Thomas is thrilling, exciting, amazingly enjoyable and at the end extremely emotionally effective, making you fall in love with the character and want to see much more of him even as the credits roll.
Hopefully this will be the start of many adventures from Sommers, Yelchin and Koontz. However, if like me you can’t wait at least you can head to a book shop where Odd Thomas is very much alive and helping the dead.