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Messengers (2004)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Philip Farha

Starring:
Michele Hicks/Sarah
Erik Jensen/David
Annie Golden/Alice
6 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Upon her MD father’s death; Sarah (Hicks) who also happens to be a doctor goes back to her home town and soon finds out that good old pops was involved in some shady business when it came to his patients. A business that might rhyme with aliens; actually; it is aliens…or is it?
THE LOWDOWN
Messengers was an odd watch for me where there was so much to groove to within the film but at the same time, it acted like an aloof when it comes to sex housewife. She promised this, promised that and then never really came through in the sack cause she was too busy thinking of her grocery list as we were doing the hump dance. What the f*ck am I rambling about? YOU TELL ME!

On the upside; I was swiftly sucked into this one’s vortex via its tantalizing Sci-Fi premise, its infectious mystery, its smooth unraveling of events and its grim/oppressive atmopshere which I lapped up fervently. You like bleak? You’ll be well served here! Having Michele Hicks as the lead was also a big plus for the picture. The script gave her lots to play with, she ran with it and gave a low key, poignant & depth filled performance. When ever the narrative would fail me; I’d just focus on her and she’d keep me the loop. The same can be spat out when yapping about the hypnotizing creepy setting the tale took place in. Nothing like a snow laced, wooded and rural area to give a genre party the proper chilling coating it needs to bang the Prom Queen at teh end of the night. Like they always say “location, location, location”! A quirky sense of humor was at play as well via the sly execution of the circumstances, endearing secondary characters and well oiled dialogue. The underlying cheekiness within the proceedings made the ride enjoyable even when next to nothing was happening on the screen.

Which drags me to my beefs with the film; it was all tease and minimum to zero payoffs. The film stretched its “mystery” for way too long while not giving me enough concrete answers, scares, or severe enough bumps in its narrative to bowl me over. Then there was the lagging within the middle section which felt like a game of “pad the clock” because we’re out of juice to me. There are just so many times I can see our heroine, sit by herself, looking out in the distance, vacuous stare in tow before I say “Enough dicking around! Let’s move forward already!” Furthermore, the relationships were rarely taken far enough for my liking  with the David/Sarah tie in particular still eluding me as to its point within the whole. Lastly; the film had an obvious existential underlying theme to it: -what it is to be human-. Unfortunately; that angle didn’t affect me enough throughout hence by the time the flick injected its cute little “love” thing at the end; it was totally lost on me and was not the finale I was looking for, like at all!.

Messengers was an anti Sci-Fi flick; one that put out a tantalizing "aliens at play" chess game and then ran in the opposite direction with it. Although I still found the film to be a pleasant sit down, this was still one of those rare cases for me where I thought that the movie was about one thing; when it was about something else all along. Our agendas just didn’t match! Get the message?
GORE
We get gutted fish and Erik Jensen’s zany beard. That was pretty much that on that.
ACTING
Michele Hicks (Sarah) was the center of the film and kept me watching via her gloomy, heartfelt yet likeable show. Erik Jensen (David) did okay with what he was given but he was often upstaged by that crazy hair/beard. Annie Golden (Alice) aced her offbeat whacked out role.
T & A
Do Michele Hicks' legs hanging out of a bath tub count? THEY DO FOR ME!
DIRECTING
Philip Farha directed with a firm hand with an axis on well dosed mood, eerie flashbacks and polished yet grounded style. He was well backed by gorgeous cinematography at that. Liked the man's vibe!
SOUNDTRACK
The often eerie and tone varied score by John Roome fit the film’s bill perfectly.
BOTTOM LINE
Messengers wound up being a decent watch due to its compelling initial basis; solid characters/dialogue/acting, chilling settings, potent directing and its for the most part easy pace. Unfortunately for me, instead of running with its promising Sci-Fi plot line; it buried it under the rug by teasing, stalling, not delivering and overplaying its existential card. I’m all for existential but I dig my shite balanced out within a Sci Fi/Horror flick which wasn’t the case here. The aliens needed some love too! I got flashbacks of watching CONTACT with Jodie Foster over here! A good ride that promised aliens throughout, but in the end, gave me David Morse cashing a check instead.
BULL'S EYE
Annie Golden played Cliff Claven’s girlfriend Maggie on CHEERS in four episodes. So that’s where I knew her from!

The script (by fellow Canuck Charles Hall) picked up the top screenplay award at the International Horror & Sci-Fi Film Festival

Michelle Hicks played Nicki in Mulholland Drive

VISIT THE MESSENGERS WEBSITE HERE

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