To say I am a huge Dean Koontz fan would be an understatement. Not only have I read all of his novels, but I own them all as well. Lots of ups and downs there, but one of his more recent novels, and one of three that have spawned a series, is Odd Thomas. So when I heard a film was being made, I was worried for a few reasons. Koontz’s novels never transition to film very well (Phantoms is a prime example). Not only that, but Odd Thomas is very, well, odd.
Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) is a fry cook at a local diner. He has the woman of his dreams, Stormy (Addison Timlin), who is just as off kilter as he is. They are destined to be together forever, so says a fortune telling machine, and are honestly the perfect match. But there’s a problem: Odd sees dead people and helps them pass on to the other world, so he’s constantly putting himself in danger. That isn’t the only thing he sees, though. Bodach are a mysterious sort of creature. Shadow-like in nature, and only appearing when something involving death is around the corner. The town is suddenly swarming with Bodach, and it’s now up to Odd to figure out what kind of major disaster is about to take place.
Stephen Sommers, known best for The Mummy (1999), directs, and I just love the style of the film. It’s very fast, almost at a hyper level at times, and creates this perfect sense of urgency. Quick edits and tightly shot scenes really keep my attention when normally I’d be playing on my phone. Even the special effects are handled nicely, and there’s just enough action going on that it never grows tedious as Odd hunts for clues.
To really pull Odd Thomas off, though, they needed good casting, and I can honestly say that I am very pleased with the choices. Anton Yelchin (Chekov from the new Star Trek films) plays Odd Thomas with just the right, simple attitude. The monologues just feel perfectly in tune with the way the character was originally written. Addison Timlin (That Awkward Moment, and the soon to be released Town That Dreaded Sundown remake) plays Stormy with so much spunk and energy that I believe their love from the first scene in the diner. Willem Dafoe also has a bite-sized role as the chief of police, and is as fun as usual.
I seriously love this film. It captures the energy and tone of the novel perfectly, and with a competent director and a perfect cast of actors, it’s a shame that it didn’t get a wider theatrical release. It’s too bad that we won’t see the other six books made into films, but really, they aren’t as solid as the first novel. With that said, Odd Thomas is currently available from Redbox, and on streaming services like Vudu and Amazon Instant Video for rent. It hits DVD and Blu-ray for purchase today: Tuesday, March 25th.
Chris was raised on horror films, which gave him a deep love for the genre, especially its most quirky and offbeat titles (like A Nightmare on Elm Street 2). This love quickly turned into an obsession for cinema in 1997, when he decided he needed to see every major theatrical release. Video games (JRPGs), reading (anything but fantasy), and reality television (Survivor) are just some of his other passions. He’s been with Cinefessions since 2013, and has been writing reviews all over the internet for the past twelve years.