A straight-to-DVD release, especially for the horror genre, is not always a bad thing. In fact, some times the lower the budget, the more genuine the final artifact. Unfortunately, this was not the case in the adaptation of the beloved first book in the Dean Koontz paranormal series, Odd Thomas. A decent cast, some okay special effects, and a fun third act cannot completely save an otherwise wasted attempt at what should have been a no-brainer easy franchise for teens and even die hard Koontz fans.
Director Stephen (The Mummy, Deep Rising) Sommers handles this film almost as if it is not his own, even though he also wrote the screenplay. The first hour-or-so flip-flops between being simultaneously too condensed and not enough in the story department. It is almost as if he could not decide whether or not to make it a miniseries (which it was probably better suited for in retrospect) or a one-and-done movie. There are too many boring parts that seem unnecessary to the finale, but there are also many parts left out of the book that will have Koontz fans scratching their heads. The one saving grace for the plot is that it is, at is core, very clever. The twists and turns are all explained and the shock at the ending (although seemingly out of place in a supposed "comedy" such as this) is altogether effective.
Anton (Charlie Bartlett, Alpha Dog) Yelchin leads the cast as the title hero and does an adequate job being immediately likable and giving the narrative foundation for what should have been a fun and original movie. Addison (Stand Up Guys, Best Man Down) Timlin plays the love interest and Willem (Shadow of the Vampire, Platoon) Dafoe plays the buddy cop. Both are okay in their roles, but appear to be simply reading their lines at several crucial points in the film. It was sad to see such potential squandered on an apparently bored set of moviemakers and stars. Perhaps a remake will save this franchise, but it seems highly doubtful at this point in time. Which is a shame, because the action-packed third act really does deliver promise of some truly unique potential storylines. Only time will tell if the viewers care enough to warrant a sequel.