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Film4 FrightFest: Odd Thomas review

A quirky sci-fi/fantasy with a strong performance from Anton Yelchin.

Odd Thomas
Credit: Metrodome

Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) is a young man who has the ability to see the dead and help bring justice for their murders. He can’t speak to them but he can communicate on some level allowing him to track down their killers and serve a bit of justice. With the ear of police Chief Wyatt Porter (Willem Dafoe) and girlfriend Stormy (Addison Timlin) by his side, Odd has a strong team around him. One day he sees the appearance of several Bodachs, creatures that appear when death is about to take place, and he soon discovers that a huge tragedy is going to happen to the town unless he can prevent it.

We’ll start by saying that Odd Thomas is indeed an odd choice for Film4 FrightFest. The film only just about qualifies as a horror (it’s really more of a sci-fi/fantasy thriller) but we’ll let it off. Based on the novel by Dean Koontz, the film is a funny and gripping mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. Directed by The Mummy’s Stephen Sommers, Odd Thomas is packed with plenty of action and some very cool visual effects. There’s also a brilliant cameo from Sommers’ regular Arnold Vosloo.

Odd Thomas affected us in many ways which we didn’t expect. The dark humour is very funny in places and there’s a real emotional punch during the third act that we just didn’t see coming at all. The plot ramps up nicely really building towards a strong third act that gives you the payoff you hope for from the start. As the clues about what’s going to happen mount up, the stakes get higher and we got more and more invested in the action.

The character of Odd is one that we hope to see again and Yelchin plays him with a nerdy loveability that makes you root for him throughout. It’s great to see Yelchin taking on a lead role and hitting a home run. He’s excellent in the movie and hopefully this is the start of his rise to even bigger roles.

The rest of the characters are perfectly cast too. Addison Timlin as Stormy is magnificent and she has a fantastic chemistry with Yelchin. Willem Dafoe takes a break from the serious roles for something a bit lighter and he proves to have great comedic timing. The other performance worthy of note is that of rising star Nico Torterella, best-known for Scream 4 and The Following. The striking actor is definitely one to keep your eye on in the future.

Odd Thomas takes in a variety of genres and is a unique cinematic offering. The story is creative, the characters well-written and the world of Odd brought to life impressively. Much of the credit belongs to the central performance of the fantastic Anton Yelchin. We really do hope that Odd gets a sequel as we’re itching to go on another adventure with him. Odd Thomas is truly a spectacular thrill-ride that will undoubtedly become a cult classic.

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