31 Days of Horror - Phantoms (1998)

In this sci-fi horror based on a book by Dean Koontz, Jennifer (Joanna Going) and Lisa Pailey (Rose McGowan) arrive in Snowfield, Colorado to find the town is mostly deserted save a few gnarly dead bodies here and there. When their car won't start for them to escape, they must band together with the town sheriff (Ben Affleck) and his deputies (Liev Schreiber, Nicky Katt) to find out just what has happened to the town's inhabitants and who or what is taking them.

Well, who hasn't heard about the disaster that Phantoms supposedly is and was? It holds a damn 13% on Rotten Tomatoes which would, like, be a nega-F if this were school and Phantoms was a math test. So, I went into this thinking it would be awful, so maybe this is a case of expectations being blown away again, but I really liked this movie.

The mystery of what-the-fuck this thing killing people and disappearing their bodies is fuels most of the film. The mystery is garnished with some wonderful gore and effects that hold up surprisingly well. For instance, there's a scene with a face-eating moth in this film that was put together with some masterful CGI and great production design, so that it looks just as fresh as an effect in a film made today. I mean, I just don't get how Roger Ebert panned this film, because it's a lot of fun.

The fact that the film employs Rose McGowan, Ben Affleck, and Peter O'Toole -- who are all brilliant at their jobs -- also takes this film to above average for me. I just don't get it. To me, the film is stunted only by a sort of convoluted resolution, but it's an effective film nonetheless. I suggest not buying the hate, and giving Phantoms a chance.

7/10 stars.