Odd Thomas (film)
Theatrical film poster
|Directed by||Stephen Sommers|
|Written by||Stephen Sommers|
by Dean Koontz
|Music by||John Swihart|
|Edited by||David Checel|
The Sommers Company
|Box office||US$1.1 million|
Odd Thomas is a 2013 American supernatural mystery thriller film based on Dean Koontz's novel of the same name. It is directed, written, and co-produced by Stephen Sommers and stars Anton Yelchin as Odd Thomas, with Willem Dafoe as Wyatt Porter, and Addison Timlin as Stormy Llewellyn.
Odd Thomas (Yelchin) is a psychic who lives in a small town in California. He describes his ability as, "I see dead people, but then, by God, I do something about it." One morning the ghost of a teenage girl, Penny Kallisto, silently leads him to Harlo Landerson. Odd accuses Harlo of raping and murdering Penny. Harlo flees. Odd chases him to a pool party and into a child's bedroom in a stranger's house. Harlo and Odd fight and Harlo is knocked unconscious. Odd's friend, police chief Wyatt Porter (Dafoe), is aware of Odd's psychic gifts and promises to spin the story to keep public attention away from him.
Odd has a vision of faceless people wearing bowling shirts who cry out to him to save them. A faceless gunman shoots them all, including Odd. Recovering from the disturbing dream, he goes to his job as a short-order cook. He serves lunch to a strange man named Hensley, whose hair resembles some kind of mold. Hensley is surrounded by dozens of bodachs, who were initially interested in his girlfriend, coworker/friend and Porter, invisible creatures that feed on evil and carnage that only Odd can see. Odd's co-worker, Viola Peabody (Mbatha-Raw), recounts a strange dream in which she saw herself shot dead with another man. The man's clothing is identical to that worn by the faceless people in Odd's vision.
Odd uses his psychic magnetism to find Hensley; the trail leads to the mall where Odd's girlfriend Stormy (Timlin) is manager at an ice cream shop. Odd borrows Stormy's scooter to follow Hensley home. When Hensley leaves again, Odd breaks into his house. He finds an ashtray with several brands of cigarette butts in it, indicating that Hensley had visitors. Odd learns that the man's real name is Bob Robertson; he and Stormy refer to him as "Fungus Bob". Odd finds a file containing newspaper clippings of mass murderers, arranged by name. There is also a blank calendar page for the next day; Odd realizes that Robertson is planning something bad on that date. Odd reports this to Chief Porter, at his house where he also encounters Officer Eckles and Lysette, who once dated Harlo, being set up by Chief Porter and his wife. Porter assigns two deputies to follow Fungus Bob.
Odd meets Stormy for dinner in the belfry of a church. He sees Fungus Bob approaching and they flee to the sacristy. As they escape the church, Robertson destroys the sacristy. Stormy calls Chief Porter, who finds the church vandalized but no evidence to link it to Robertson.
Odd's psychic magnetism leads him and Stormy to a bowling alley, where the bowling shirts from his vision have just become the new uniform. Chief Porter sends Officer Simon Varner (Tortorella) to watch the place on Odd's advice. Varner asks Odd about Robertson and is surprised to learn that Odd had encountered him only a few hours ago. He presses Odd for more information. Stormy interrupts by asking about Varner's visible tattoo, the letters "POD". Varner dismisses it as an embarrassment from his youth, an abbreviated obscenity that he won't discuss.
Viola remembers more details of her dream; she tells Odd that she and the man in the bowling shirt were not the only victims of the shooting, and a large group of people were killed. Odd sees bodachs hovering over Vi's daughters, and he advises her to leave town with her daughters immediately.
While driving home, Stormy is overcome with fear for Odd's safety and he tries to comfort her. They hear a woman screaming. Odd finds Lysette, a friend of Chief Porter and his wife, who has been mauled to death by dogs resembling those at Robertson's home. Another man was said to have tried to rescue the woman by shooting the dogs, but was too late. Returning to Stormy's apartment, Odd sees what he assumes to be a police van watching the building, he returns to his apartment.
He finds Fungus Bob shot to death in his bathtub, with evidence framing Odd for the murder. Odd surmises that if he goes to the police, Porter will be required to arrest him based on the evidence, preventing him from preventing the next day's disaster. He discovers that Bob has been dead for quite some time and deduces that the encounter at the church was with the dead man's restless spirit. Wrapping the body in sheets, Odd dumps the corpse in the execution chamber of an abandoned prison. As he drives back through town, the magnitude of the coming disaster is indicated by the swarming of hundreds of bodachs.
Chief Porter is shot in a home invasion. Odd rushes to the hospital and learns that Porter is alive thanks to a metal trinket Odd had given him, but in serious condition. Returning to Bob's home, Odd finds a receipt for a moving van and improvised explosives, and browser bookmarks for Satanic websites. He searches the fridge and freezer and discovers various human body parts as well. Robertson's poltergeist destroys the house as Odd escapes, though he lost his cell phone in the process.
Odd investigates Bob's fatal bullet wound, and finds a tattoo matching Varner's. He realizes that "POD" is an abbreviation for "Prince of Darkness". Odd realizes that Robertson was eliminated by his co-conspirators because Odd had begun to look into him.
Odd's psychic magnetism leads him back to the mall. He finds Officer Eckles has murdered the mall security staff. Odd disables him with a baseball bat. He takes Eckles's pistol and seeks out Varner. Hearing screams from the end of the mall where Stormy works, he hurries to the site. He spots another gunman firing off an automatic weapon. Odd fires at him with Eckles's weapon as the gunman has emptied his magazine. Odd continues to shoot at him while being surrounded with bodachs. When the gunman inserts another magazine and is about to kill Odd, Odd shoots and kills him instead. The lingering spirit of Lysette appears to direct him to the loading dock. Odd removes the gunman's mask and recognizes him as the man who they thought tried to rescue Lysette. Odd rushes to the loading dock where he discovers Bob's moving van packed with explosives on a timer, apparently part of a plan to kill the shoppers in the mall and possibly any arriving first responders. Varner, possessed by a larger and more savvy bodach, returns and shoots Odd as Odd manages to start the van and drive it away from the mall. Varner clings to the outside of the van, attempting to kill Odd. Odd jumps from the van as Varner enters the cab, and the van crashes into a man-made canal and explodes, incinerating Varner but killing no one else. A black, shrieking spirit escapes from the flames.
Odd wakes in the hospital. Stormy is attending him. Viola greets him and tells him that Porter has been released from intensive care. Odd is a local hero. He retreats to Stormy's apartment to enjoy uninterrupted time with her. Porter, his wife, and Viola arrive and reveal what he already knows: Stormy was killed in the mall shooting and he has been spending time with her lingering spirit. Porter, realizing that Stormy is staying in this world only for Odd, advises him to let her go. Odd bids her a tearful farewell, promising her that they'll be reunited one day.
Odd travels to Las Vegas to continue his crusade to help the living and the lingering dead, believing that he is not yet worthy of an afterlife with Stormy.
- Anton Yelchin as Odd Thomas, the clairvoyant cook with supernatural powers to see the dead. He must destroy the threat to Pico Mundo. Jack Justice plays young Odd Thomas.
- Addison Timlin as Bronwyn "Stormy" Llewellyn, Odd's love interest. She knows about Odd's powers and tries to help him out any way she can. Robin Lanning plays young Stormy.
- Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Viola, a waitress at the restaurant.
- Shuler Hensley as Fungus Bob, a mysterious suspect with mold as hair.
- Leonor Varela as Odd's Mother; seen in only flashbacks who too has the gift of clairvoyance and is committed to a mental hospital by Odd's father.
- Willem Dafoe as Wyatt Porter, the town's police chief who also knows about Odd's powers and helps out Odd in many ways.
- Melissa Ordway as Lysette, a blonde teenager.
- Nico Tortorella as Simon Varner, a suspicious police officer who dislikes Odd.
- Kyle McKeever as Bern Eckles, another police officer who works for Wyatt.
Anton Yelchin was attached to star in the film early on. Summers said that Yelchin was his only choice to play Odd Thomas. Early casting announcements included 50 Cent as Shamus Cocobolo as well as Lily Collins and Tim Robbins none of whom ultimately ended up appearing in the film. Production began in May 2011 in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Albuquerque.
Dean Koontz himself enjoyed the film saying "It is so wonderful that I am whacked flat by happiness."
The film wrapped in 2011 but was delayed. In July 2013, it was reported that the release of the film had been delayed because of legal action by Two Out of Ten Productions against Outsource Media Group and others for breach of contract. The suit alleges that $25 million should have been spent on prints and advertising to support a release of Odd Thomas in the U.S., and another $10 million to partially refinance certain loans.
Odd Thomas received mixed reviews from film critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives it a rating of 34% rating based on reviews from 41 critics, with an average score of 5.2/10. The site's critical consensus states: "Anton Yelchin is the right man for the title role, but Odd Thomas suffers from a jumbled tone." Metacritic gives it a score of 45/100, based on reviews from 11 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Brian Tallerico for RogerEbert.com gave it one and a half stars calling it "a film that's going through the motions with too little character, style, or atmosphere to keep it engaging." Dennis Harvey for Variety said the film "is neither witty nor macabre enough to pull off Koontz’s balance of elements in cinematic terms. So it winds up coming off as just another CGI-laden ride that’s at once overstuffed and undernourished." John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter found the script felt rushed and while the cast was enjoyable "Odd Thomas just doesn't leave us with much desire to return there."
The movie was a box office bomb. It began its theatrical roll-out in the Philippines on July 17, 2013. It debuted at #6 taking in $52,623 from 35 screens. The film ended its two-week run with $118,835. The film opened in Finland where it took in $6,309 from 31 screens for a 14th-place finish.
The film was released on DVD in the UK in February 2014. A German dubbed version was released in December 2013. As of October 2015[update], Odd Thomas is available to watch on Netflix's streaming service in some areas.
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