The Messengers (2007) Kristen Stewart, Dylan McDermott, Penelope Ann Miller, John Corbett Movie Review

The Messengers (2007)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Kristen Stewartin The Messengers (2007)

Another Creepy Farmhouse

Jess Solomon (Kristen Stewart) is not overly happy when her parents, Roy (Dylan McDermott) and Denise (Penelope Ann Miller), decide to move the family out of Chicago to the middle of nowhere and an abandoned farm. But she can't complain as it was her drink driving incident which saw her baby brother end up in hospital which was part of their reason for wanting to move. But straight away each member of the family has strange experiences in the creepy, remote farm house and the question of whether the previous family abandoned the building comes in to play.

One of the major things you can come to understand when it comes to horror movies is that they are generational with every few years someone making a movie which uses the same ideas as an earlier one but with a more current cast and employing newer technology and techniques to deliver frights. That explains why "The Messengers" exist as this story of a troubled family moving in to an abandoned building and ending up having a horror nightmare because of what inhabits their home is simply old hat.

Penelope Ann Miller and Dylan McDermott in The Messengers (2007)

Sadly it is for that reason why for me "The Messengers" felt less like a horror movie built around a story but a story used for various horror special effects. Those effects range from a bird suddenly flying in to a glass window to something creepy crawling across the roof of a room. None of it is new and neither is the creepiness of this old farm building which once again seems to have a lot more rooms than its exterior seems capable of having. It is why "The Messengers" is a generational horror movie as these sorts of visual tricks are more likely going to appeal to a younger audience who hasn't encountered them many times before. To put it bluntly there is only so many times that a locked door suddenly opening can be effective.

This sense of generational horror extends to the acting because not one performance in "The Messengers" is anything special just solid. In fairness a pre-"Twilight" Kristen Stewart is not bad and certainly not as emotionless as she was in those pesky vampire movies but as I said her character is nothing special.

What this all boils down to is that maybe for a younger, less horror experienced audience "The Messengers" will end up an entertaining experience. But for me it was one of those horror movies which not only felt like I had seen it before but also one which felt like it was trading more on the visual tricks than the actual story to work.