Phantoms (1998) - Joe Chappelle

In the 90's most of the horror movies that were made were  this kind of family friendly crap. It was an incredibly weird time; horror movies couldn't be overtly scary or gory and they were contractually obligated to have some sort of dark horribly CGI'ed monster. The cast of all of these films were usually "hot" Hollywood actors that either made a few romantic comedies or stared in a WB prime time drama. Well, this movie has a huge CGI monster, and it stars Liev Schreiber (Scream 1, 2, and 3), Rose McGowan (Jawbreaker and Charmed), and Ben Whofleck (Kevin Smith Movies, Reindeer Games, and Gigli). 

So a doctor discovers that there is some sort of ancient evil in the world that wipes out entire civilizations. It has wiped out Mayan tribes, It killed the dinosaurs, It destroyed the Romans, and now it has settled down in some small town who-knows-where, USA. This ancient evil takes over peoples bodies and turns them into some weird walking dead alien things. The movie is like a terrible mash up of The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

I will have to give Ben Affleck credit here though and he had it right in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back when he is quoted saying "... but Ben Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms." He is the only saving grace here, he is like a breath of fresh air in a room full of milk farts, and that is saying a lot for his career. The scares in the movie start about 5 minuets in and they keep coming, but gore-wise there is literally nothing that stands out. If you are a blood fan or you are really into slasher movies keep away from this one. 

I am going to go ahead and give this movie a 4 out of 10. Ben Affleck's performance cannot save the movie from failing in its attempt to scare you. Maybe if you have a NEED to watch a crap 90's horror marathon you can shove this in between I Know What You Did Last Summer and Valentines Day. 

"Affleck, you da bomb in Phantoms, yo!" - Jay 

  • Based on a novel by Dean Koontz
  • There aren't really any Phantoms in the movie
  • Released by Dimension Pictures, which is part of Miramax.