Odd Thomas (2013) Review – Oddly Cool



Directed by Stephen Sommers Written by Stephen Sommers, Dean Koontz
Starring Anton Yelchin, Addison Timlin, Willem Defoe

96 mins - Horror | Comedy - Release date: 28 February 2014

Here’s a movie that largly flew under the radar. Odd Thomas is a fun save-the-girl (in this case, save-the-town) type of horror/action comedy. Although it’s based on the best-selling novel by acclaimed horror writer Dean Koontz, I don’t imagine he had such a light-hearted approach to his work in mind when he signed over the rights.

As I said, Odd Thomas flew under the radar, so much so that I didn’t even know it existed prior to its delivery in our mailbox. This could be because of Outsource Media Group and others allegedly not spending the $25 million dollars allocated to the movie’s promotion. In fact, the legal battle behind the movie almost cost its release, entirely. And that would have been a shame since it is such a feel good supernatural movie.

Odd Thomas definitely has a feel that’s a decade or more old, think The Frighteners or even Men in Black. It also has that quirky element that’s often seen in a lot of Stephen King adaptations. The style makes sense when you consider the other works of Odd Thomasdirector, Stephen Sommers, which includes The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, and Van Helsing.

The premise of Odd Thomas is pretty simple: Odd (yes, that’s his name) is a short order cook who has the ability to see the dead, and demons (in ths case, these demons are called Bodachs) as well. When the Bodachs come to his town in unprecedented numbers, Odd knows that a whole lot of trouble is coming and it’s up to him to stop it.

Small spoiler ahead:

With a fun a simple supernatural plot aimed at a teen audience (or at least I’m guessing by the 14A rating), you can’t expect too much metaphor, but if you stretch your imagination you’ll find one. In this case, I think Sommers tore a page from George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead and made a statement abotu consumerism. What else could it mean that the final showdown happens at the mall?

The Verdict:

Odd Thomas is a great popcorn movie and an excellent choice for stressing out or for a date at home. The pacing is perfect and formulaic and there's nothing on offer that can't be caught on television. It's a charming film that owes a lot to its cast, which includes Anton Yelchin (Star Trek), Willem Defoe (Platoon, Spider-Man, Shadow of the Vampire), and Addison Timlin (Derailed, Californication).

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