Mothman Sheldon Wilson

Mothman Sheldon Wilson
Much like most low-budget, independent horror films, Mothman seemingly comes from forced conception, wherein someone that likes watching movies decides they want to make one of their own despite having nothing interesting or unique to say. Maybe it's the visceral nature of the genre: attracting the broadest of base emotions and human response for those uninterested in, or incapable of, nuance. Yet there have been horror filmmakers that serve a cultural purpose, creating a work from the inside out to ensure dimension and intrigue. Of course, these ones usually take the time to learn about the craft, educating themselves on the art of telling a story and pulling from different mediums, genres and theories to create a work that moves beyond,"wouldn't it be cool if…" Mothman is as clumsy and amateurish as they come, featuring cinematography that never manages to capture the focus of a scene, occasionally lingering on random torsos, along with embarrassing metaphors, hilarious character decisions and the subtle nuance of conflict through raised voices. Worse, it was seemingly inspired by I Know What You Did Last Summer, opening with a group of friends agreeing to hide a dead body (taking turns smashing its head in with a rock for no apparent reason), only to have a villain force them to confront their guilt years later when they return home from college, or whatever. But instead of featuring Jennifer Love Hewitt doing her best pouty face and cleavage shuffle, we have Firefly's Jewel Staite degrading herself as a successful reporter reluctantly coming home to write a story about the myth of the Mothman. And since this is a character story about guilt, which is admittedly conceptually more admirable than most horror films, where breasts and gore take precedent, the Mothman appears in mirrors before making his kill, harnessing that tiresome metaphor of forced introspection that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs mastered back in the 1800s. Sadly, this laughable subtext is the best thing about a film where the protagonist responds to the immediate, bizarre deaths of her friends not by fleeing town, but by engaging in a series of yelling matches with people that respond to grief by running through the streets screaming, arms waving. Fortunately, there are some unintentionally hilarious sequences, such as glasses girl's melodramatic Mothman freak out, clutching a pool table and tripping over a car seemingly because her constant head shaking impeded her vision. There's also the ridiculous supernatural curse and ritual element implicit in these films, wherein chanting words or dropping blood on a burial ground do wonders for battling glow-y eyed monsters. It's a shame that no supplements come with the DVD, since it would be great to hear everyone involved talk about their "characters" or "themes." (Alliance)