Wednesday, February 12, 2014



review by AARON ALLEN

Directed by Stephen Sommers

Starring Anton Yelchin, Willem Dafoe, Addison Timlin

Sometimes the most surprising films come from the oddest sources. 

I never in a million years would have thought that Stephen Sommers, the director of such bloated and boresome big-budget CGI adventure movies like The Mummy, GI JOE, and Van Helsing, could also direct something as incredibly entertaining as Odd Thomas.

Based on the novel series of the same name by Dean R. Koontz, Odd Thomas follows our titular hero, a short-order cook in Pico Mundo, California (played by Anton Yelchin), whose name is by far the least strangest thing about him. Odd Thomas is a clairvoyant and plugged in something fierce to the spiritual realm. Ghosts don't speak to Odd, but he can see and feel them. He's also able to see Bodachs, invisible creatures that are drawn to evil and catastrophe. Using these gifts, Odd Thomas volunteers as a kind of private investigator for the dead with the help of his soulmate Stormy Llewellyn (Addison Timlin) and police chief Wyatt Porter (Willem Dafoe), both of whom know his secret. When Odd begins to have strange dreams that coincide with a disturbingly high number of Bodachs gathering in town, Odd begins a race against time to discover and prevent a terrible evil that's about to devastate the small desert community.

Odd Thomas is an unpretentiously thrilling jam of detective noir with supernatural action-adventure. Grounded in a solid performance by Anton Yelchin (who was criminally underused in Star Trek Into Darkness), Odd Thomas will entertain genre fans of all stripes. From the snappy noir-esque dialogue between Odd and Stormy to the creepy imagery of a serial killer's shack stocked with caged birds and severed heads, Odd Thomas is a supremely satisfying yet eclectic balance of horror, humour, romance, and mystery. Odd Thomas recalls the Saturday Matinee movies of yesteryear with their honorable and noble heroes, beautiful and dedicated love interests, and thrilling whodunit plots.

Due in part to the intense romance between Odd and Stormy, the film's also a surprisingly touching film that shoots for the heart and takes some chances along the way that would put off the suits at most major studios. In more ways than one, Odd Thomas rides that perfectly fine line between not too smart/not too dumb, not too serious/not too ironic, and not too scary/not too wimpy while being more than the sum of its generic parts. I risk making Odd Thomas sound mediocre by saying this when in fact its one of the most satisfying slices of escapist entertainment I've seen this year. Are you looking for scares, action, romance, heroism, jokes, mystery, titillation, twists and turns? Then Odd Thomas is a perfect night at the movies from beginning to end. It's got everything you want, and then some.

ODD THOMAS screens Thursday, February 13th in Cineplex theatres across Canada as part of Raven Banners's SINISTER CINEMA screening series. 

Join Horror in the Hammer for the 7:30pm screening at the SilverCity Hamilton Mountain Cinemas where we'll be appearing in person to introduce the film and give away some awesome prizes! 

Tickets are now available at

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