By: Heather Seebach
Chances are, you have never heard of Odd Thomas, or perhaps you know the books and are now thinking, "They made a movie?!" This film came and went quietly, most likely because of its touchy subject matter that hits too close to home for Americans. It's a shame too because this movie, despite its CGI-laden trailer that nearly scared me away, is actually a fun and surprisingly dark supernatural thriller.
Based on Dean Koontz's book series of the same name, Odd Thomas is about a short order cook who can communicate with the unrestful dead, and who takes it upon himself to bring their killers to justice. When Odd (Anton Yelchin) gets wind of a devastating evil at threatens his town, he is the only one who can stop it, but he gets some help from his beloved girlfriend, Stormy (Addison Timlin) and the police chief (Willem Dafoe).
To elaborate further on the "touchy subject" I mentioned earlier would give too much away but know that Odd Thomas portrays a type of violence that is all too recent in our memories, and in doing so, the film controversially weighs in on the gun control debate (though it's possibly unintentional).
The film is directed by Stephen Sommers, whose last couple films have been just awful (G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra; Van Helsing) but surprisingly, this is the most I've liked one of his movies since 1999's The Mummy. Sommers' self-indgulgent visual style is still there, with an excess of slow-mo, cheap jump scares, and some questional CGI, but Odd Thomas is a fun - and curiously dark - movie. In both story and tone, it reminds me of Peter Jackson's The Frighteners. Yelchin and Timlin are very likeable leads with a lot of chemistry, too, which is important considering how prominent the love story is here.
I have not read the books so I cannot speak for the the loyalty of this adaptation to the source material, but the film is definitely worth a shot. I had pretty low expectations going in but I was pleasantly surprised by the cast, the humor, and the occasional bleakness of it. Odd Thomas may be supernatural adventure, but it often deals with very real (sometimes too real) horrors, which surprised me. There is bound to be some controversy surrounding this flick. Personally, I was entertained and it's not too PG which is refreshing. The film still falls in the realm of bigger-budget blockbusters, but it's nice when one toes the line into edgier genre territory like this.
Odd Thomas is now available on DVD/Blu-ray Combo Pack from Image Entertainment. Pick up a copy here!