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The Messengers November 2, 2009

Posted by Rusty in the messengers.

Obviously, I try to stick to Lifetime movies here. It’s such a sinking feeling to watch two hours of shlock on the Lifetime Movie Network only to discover that the movie not only had a theatrical release, but it actually debuted at number one in the box office. And all that happened less than three years ago.

So, yeah. The Messengers. A movie that made no impression on me until it was aired on Halloween weekend on Lifetime. And I watched it, so now I get to write about it. No, I don’t care if it’s a “real” movie and therefore throws off the entire “Hey! It’s That Guy!” scale.

And it’s not like this movie is good or makes sense or anything.

The movie starts in black and white. Some shadowy menace is killing the shit out of a family (including a distractingly ugly six-year-old) in their North Dakota farmhouse. Cut to the credits and we’re back in full color as the Solomon family is moving into that same house. They’re moving from the big city to start over as sunflower farmers.

The relevant Solomon here is Jess. Jess is a teenager and she misses her friends! Also, she is angsty and already has a DUI on her record. A DUI caused after an accident that left her three-year-old brother mute! That is the worst kind of DUI you can get! The DUI accident with the sibling in the car…it’s like Rachel just got married. I am glad that reference wasn’t strained.

Uh, Rachel Getting Married spoiler alert?

Oh, and because this horror movie rips off every other horror movie, the mute toddler can see all the ghosts but no one else can. And they’re everywhere! Mom is tucking in her sheets and you see some ghost legs in the bed. Ghosts be up on the ceilings all the time. The ghosts even haunt the stains on the wall.

So, we have the ghosts from The Grudge haunting the kid from The Sixth Sense inside the house from The Amityville Horror.

Dad Solomon is out trying to learn how to farm when he gets attacked by some vicious crows. A guy shoots at them and they fly off. This lonely drifter with a shotgun is giving a farming assistant job on the spot. And he gets to live on the property. Epic bad parenting job. That is worse than handing the keys to your drunk daughter.

Eventually the ghosts attack the kids and Jess can see them now but no one believes her. Jess first takes the wise approach and acts like the ghosts are looking for help. She approaches the child ghost and it is all sweet on it and then it attacks her and tries to eat her face. This makes less sense when the big plot twist is revealed.

Creepy drifter is also attacked by crows. At the same time, Mom finally starts seeing ghosts coming from the stains on the wall and an attempt is made to flee. At the same time, across town, Jess realizes that the Creepy Drifter is actually the patriarch of the murdered family that is haunting people. Creepy Drifter remembers this after the crows leave him alone and he goes into kill mode. Now we’re ripping off The Shining.

Creepy Drifter manages to stab Dad with a pitchfork but the ghosts turn the basement floor into water somehow and drag Creepy Drifter to his doom.

So the ghosts were after Creepy Drifter. Then why were the crows attacking Dad? Why did the Child Ghost scratch up Jess’s face? Why did Creepy Drifter remember how murderous he was at the exact moment Jess was all, like, “this guy is murderous.”

Oh, and in the flashback where Creepy Drifter remembers how evil he is, it flashes back to someone trying to buy the house from him. Presumably with the same offer made to the Solomons to get them to move out. Who was this mysterious land baron!?

AWESOMENESS: 10 (out of 20)

I have never seen anything this derivative before. Or this ridiculous. But it is fun to watch crows attack that guy from The Practice.


This is a real movie with a real budget so of course there are famous people in it. Jess is played Kristen Stewart from Adventureland, Panic Room, and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE WORTH MENTIONING. The bad guy is played that lovable fellow from Northern Exposure and Sex in the City. Even the Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files gets in on the action.

LIFETIMENESS: 0 (out of 10)

For obvious reasons. This movie was startlingly low in women’s intuition.

GRAND TOTAL :10 (out of 30)

A ten on a reduced scale is pretty bad. Know what’s worse? This movie grossed more than Hot Fuzz and Zodiac at the box office.


1. Rebeccah - November 2, 2009

for your viewing pleasure, there is a sequel to this travesty, and it's available in fine video rental stores everywhere.just thought you might like to know.

2. Molly - November 3, 2009

I expected this movie to be a piece of shit, but even I was annoyed with just how terrible it was. I also still don't understand why that Michael kid was played by a girl. (Or why Jodelle Ferland sunk to something like that – for a little girl, she's shockingly badass, having played Jeliza-Rose in the film adaptation of Tideland, and Alessa in the admittedly shitty Silent Hill film, which sucked but was still Silent goddamn Hill.)

3. Sadako - November 4, 2009

"Jess is played Kristen Stewart from Adventureland, Panic Room, and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE WORTH MENTIONING. "Heh. But she was in something you're forgetting, something awesome, wonderful, where she plays a beautiful girl with a low self image who…Yeah, I'm actually talking about Speak. I really liked her in that. Though I refuse to mention or see THAT one.And wow, John Corbett was in this? I so can't see HIM playing a baddie.

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