Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Surreal and Spot-on
The production for Dean Koontz’s book-made-movie version of Odd Thomas has been currently going through quite a bit of confusing troubles lately. The movie itself has been done for what seems like years, but getting it out there has been a thing of nightmares for the filmmakers. It was first released in my hometown, be it as it may, South Bend, IN, at our very own film fest, River Bend Film Festival. So for those of you that are a die-hard fan of the Odd Thomas series, and so happen to live in South Bend, you may have been one of the luckiest people out there, because you may have been one of the groups to see it before anyone else. Also, if you are indeed a die-hard fan, you would be pleased to see how perfect the film really was in regards to providing homage to the source material, and offering something of value to a whole new audience.
Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) is a peculiar young lad that has the impeccable ability to see the dead. The dead cannot speak verbally, but they do so by other means, and Odd feels the compulsion to act, to fix whatever happened in these ghosts’ pasts. In some way, Odd can be seen as a superhero, in other ways, he can be seen as something completely unique on its own. When a man that resembles fungus shows up to town with a horde of shadowy creatures, Odd knows that something bad, impossibly bad, is about to hit the town of Pico Mundo. Odd must face his fears and investigate the history and intentions of the fungus man to stop the event from ultimately happening.
This movie stays true to the book in almost every single facet. Stephen Sommers was somehow able to take the book and bring to life what we visualize while reading the book. Making sure certain facts are in a movie is one thing, reading your mind on how you visualized the scenery and architecture, and even camera angles is another thing completely. It started to become eerily surreal as to how much life was shot into this story. If you think about it, the Odd Thomas stories are all similar in a way. They all have the same tone, and there’s always a really dark, strange, and intriguing mystery that he has to solve. They could have done anything and still paid homage to the source material, but they decided to base it all off of the original book, Odd Thomas. They don’t miss a beat, everything is in place here.
Anton Yelchin could not have been a better choice for the role. He really outdoes himself in this role. The same can be said for any of the players here, including Willem Dafoe as Wyatt Porter, Addison Timlin as Stormy, and even Shuler Hensley as none other than Fungas Bob. His character specifically looks and feels like it was physically taken straight out of the novel. These people bring life to this film, they give it the soul it needs to succeed, and I just don’t understand how they are still having problems producing this thing.
The style of the film is quite obvious that the writer knew exactly what he was doing. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Sommers loved the book. What you might notice while watching is that he didn’t fall victim to just putting in certain facts into the movie, he wrote it pretty laid back – he respected the story and didn’t stress too much into making it perfect, and in doing so, he made it perfect.
They deal with ghosts in this film, like in the book, matter-of-factly. It’s not a horror film, he sees ghosts, but it’s always in a way where it’s like…so what? Let’s not scream our heads off, let’s actually act and do something about it. I love that. If I had to complain about anything it would be that they needed more attention and focus on Ozzie Boon (Patton Oswalt), as Ozzie is Odd’s mentor and oldest friend. He’s important to the series. Other than that, I got nothing bad to say.
Whenever you get the chance to check out this film, please do. I plan to purchase it the day it is released onto Blu-Ray. Peace out!