Odd Thomas (2013)
Small-town fry cook Odd Thomas is an ordinary guy with a paranormal secret: he sees dead people, everywhere. When a creepy stranger shows-up with an entourage of ghostly bodachs – predators who feed on pain and portend mass destruction – Odd knows that his town is in serious trouble. Teaming up with his sweetheart Stormy and the local sheriff , Odd plunges into an epic battle of good vs evil to try to stop a disaster of apocalyptic proportions.
Genre : Mystery / Thriller
Country : USA
Anton Yelchin : Odd Thomas
Willem Dafoe : Wyatt Porter
Nico Tortorella : Simon Varner
Addison Timlin : Stormy
“I may see dead people, but then, by God, I do something about it .”
I am a big fan of Koontz’s books. However, I can’t really remember myself reading “Odd Thomas“. The fact that I devour a lot of books has something to do with that I guess. The qualities Koontz has and excels in, are the cadence of his stories, the quick storyline which sucks you as it were into the story and haunts you. The masterful dialogues which are built up with short sentences, provided with subtle humor and packed with witty quips, is a feature Koontz uses and which I’ve always appreciated.
And all of this you’ll find in this movie. It’s a mixture of crime, thriller and horror (there’s one scary moment after which my wife almost jumped against the ceiling). The solving of a crime case by using the supernatural. The fact that there are relatives who are aware of his gift, gives it a different turn than most films. The minimal special effects that were used for the Bodach’s, aren’t groundbreaking, but they fit perfectly with the whole.
Odd (Anton Yelchin) seemingly is a dead normal boy (despite his unusual name) who has lived all his life in this unsightly small dusty town called Pico Mundo. His name was the result of an error during the registration at the town hall and his name should normally be Todd, claims his mother. His father on the other hand claims that he got that name on purpose because he really was weird already since his childhood. Odd is a master in baking hamburgers and has a sweet-looking girlfriend Stormy (Addison Timlin). So he’s actually an ordinary teenager, were it not that Odd also has a gift. He can see deceased people. “I see dead people” immediately comes to your mind. The classic movie quote. This gift has become as obvious to Odd as making sure the burgers are nicely brown fried on both sides. He makes use of this gift to solve certain crimes and at the same time he also gets a little bit of help from police officer Wyatt (Willem Dafoe). Wyatt and Stormy are also the only one who know about his gift. Suddenly Odd sees an awful lot of Bodach’s, which feed from the suffering and pain of a future victim, and he realizes that his little town is in big trouble. The whole story then degenerates into an epic battle between good and evil.
Just as Cole Sear in “The Sixth Sense“, Odd helps the restless souls of the deceased to the other side by clearing up unresolved issues for them. The way he does that looks a bit more violent and action-packed as in “The Sixth Sense“. Anton Yelchin is perfect as Odd and knows how to charm you with his sarcastic humor. Addison Timlin, who recently played in the less successful (to me) comedy “That awkward moment“, is a cute appearance who fits perfectly with the absurd character of Odd. She’s that type of girlfriend who has the flair to handle a weirdo like Odd and feels that all-encompassing love for him. And also she looks stunning in that pink lingerie … Together they form an endearing couple who, despite their limited experience, manage to support the complete film.
“Odd Thomas” is an entertaining film. The special effects aren’t exactly overwhelming and groundbreaking, but the film on its own makes you feel as if you’re riding a roller coaster. A series of action-packed scenes interspersed with fairly humorous dialogues. Like many other film versions of a book, it will be criticized by fans of the original book. This is what I’ve read on the internet about it (since I haven’t read the book). The film doesn’t differ that much from the book, but it goes forward in such a rapid pace that most profundity is lost. Apparently, some interesting side figures who appear in the book, are omitted. And the bond between Odd and Stormy is worked out broader in book form and rather superficial in the film. However, it doesn’t matter for those who haven’t read the book. The film guarantees a relaxing hour filled with supernatural action, supported by an impressive sound. The end was even for me moving and emotionally portrayed.
Final conclusion: I really should read that book. And for those who like a “Hardy Boys”-like story interwoven with a bit of “Ghost”, this movie is highly recommended. Yet there was the predominant feeling as if it was just a pilot episode of a new television series.