Director – Alex Proyas
Cast – Nicholas Cage, Chandler Canterbury, Rose Byrne, Lara Robinson, Ben Mendelsohn, D. G. Maloney
Release Year – 2009
Reviewed by John of the Dead
I know some would say this really isn’t a “horror” movie, and it is not. However, I did decide to review this film because it does have some horror aspects in the film, I tend to call films like this “pseudo-horror”(for future reference). This film follows Nicolas Cage as MIT professor John Koestler, who attends an event at his son’s elementary school for the opening of a time capsule that was placed there by students 50 years earlier. Each student gets a piece of paper including drawings of what the students 50 years ago thought the world would be like 50 years later. Most students get pictures of rocket ships and other typical space age ideas. John’s son however gets a piece of paper with nothing but a random(not so random afterall) set of numbers written all over the front and the back of the paper by a disturbed little girl who wrote it 50 years prior. A small “accident” then forces John to notice a specific set of numbers in the document, which he investigates and then learns that the set of numbers are really a prediction of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with happened 42 years after the girl wrote them! Upon further research John then realizes that this document is completely full of predictions of horrific events that occurred in history AFTER the little girl wrote the numbers. With only a few sets of numbers left, John gains the help of Diana Wayland(Rose Byrne, who starred in the epic horror flick “28 Weeks Later“), who is the daughter of the girl wrote the numbers 50 years earlier. They both must now figure out how the final sets will happen, how they will stop them from happening, and what exactly their two overly smart children have to do with the disasters.
I was really surprised with the end product of this film. I was somewhat expecting a typical “A-list movie star has to save the world in this year’s annual disaster flick”, but I was proved wrong with an interesting story, not something way too simple like “Armageddon” or “Deep Impact”. Alex Proyas, who directed the sweet film “Dark City” as well as “The Crow” did a really good job in directing this film. He managed to bring out some pretty good creepiness in a type of film that normally would not be all that creepy, and managed to keep this film going at a good pace to keep the viewer’s interest without rushing or bombarding things. Great timing in plot development is always a great way to ensure that a movie is going to be great, given that there is good acting and a decent script of course!
Hands down, this film has quite possibly the best special effects I have ever seen. The apocalyptic scenes at the end, as well as every other disaster was created perfectly with the slightest chance of anyone even knowing it was fake other than the fact that you are in a movie theater and not viewing the events in real life. Maybe we’ve finally caught up to the Japanese when it comes to great special effects?(even if we did, they got there at least 7 years ago)
Overall, this is one of the better “end of the world” disaster type movies, I suggest you check this out if you want to see a big budget Hollywood flick actually do things right for once.