RLJ/Image Entertainment brings Dean Koontz's best-selling supernatural thriller "Odd Thomas" to life for the big-screen. Judging the movie on its own merits without having read any of the novels, the low-budget movie is an entertaining "who-dun-it" featuring ghostly and ghastly guest stars. It feels like it might be better suited to being a weekly television series.
Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) is a short-order cook in the seemingly lovely little town of Pico Mundo, California. However, both Pico Mundo and Odd Thomas harbor dark secrets. Odd has a "gift" for seeing dead people and sensing evil. The town is a haven for brutal murders, supernatural mayhem, and a feeding ground for the festering demonic specters known as bodachs. Odd teams up with his girlfriend Stormy Llewellyn (Addison Timlin) and Detective Wyatt Porter (Willem Dafoe) to solve a string of killings that somehow tie together.
While I was watching "Odd Thomas," I was jolted by my recollection that Stephen Sommers directed it. The SAME Stephen Sommers who produced and directed the blockbuster "The Mummy" movies and helmed "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra." You'd never know it from the independent atmosphere this carries.
You can tell "Odd Thomas" was a labor of love for Sommers and the proof is in the credits. Not only did he direct, but he produced and wrote it. There are rumors of a lot of drama in production, but the director saw it through to the end and worked with the budget put before him.
Although the budget might've been small in comparison to Stephen Sommers' other franchise films, the special effects of "Odd Thomas" are actually close to on par with those blockbusters. In comparison to the CGI seen today, they're a tiny bit aged but get the job done. The only noticeable digital creatures are the bodachs and they actually look a heck of a lot better than the Scorpion King did in "The Mummy Returns."
"Odd Thomas" isn't rated, but does include violence, gore, adult situations, and language. For all intents and purposes, it should hold a PG-13 rating at the most. There's nothing too graphic and no nudity is included.
I felt "Odd Thomas" reflected some Christian beliefs well. The character speaks about how he believes in Heaven. The bodachs are obviously demonic forces that are attracted to evil, much like the fallen angels read about in the Bible. Odd also tells the killer's victims they're going to a better place. They dissolve into either glittering dust or flowers and float off after they've made peace.
"Odd Thomas" might not be as good as it should've been had it been given more financial backing. For what it is, I found the movie charming, gleefully campy in places, and ripe for another entry in the series if this one can just pay back its budget. It's not often Dean Koontz has liked the movie adaptations of his books, but he actually likes this one.
"I'm just happy. You never know if anything's going to be a success or not, but I can watch this again. And the rest of them I couldn't watch again. Some [of my movies] I couldn't watch the first time," Koontz told website io9. If anyone knows if his book was adapted correctly, it would have to be the author that created the world and its characters. I still think it would work great as a weekly TV series, but I'll settle for a movie every year.
You can go here to see a list of theaters where "Odd Thomas" is playing.