Fans of fantasy writer Dean Koontz have been waiting awhile for the film version of "Odd Thomas," the first in what could be a fruitful franchise. But legal wrangling put the movie on the shelf and now it's seeing a limited, rushed release before coming out on DVD in March.
That's too bad, as "Odd Thomas" is an engagingly lightweight and occasionally visually inventive film that should appeal to Koontz fans and anyone else open to his whimsical approach to horror.
Anton Yelchin (Chekov in "Star Trek Into Darkness") is Odd Thomas (his given name), a rather ordinary small-town short-order cook with the extraordinary power to have visions of the future and communicate with the dead. When these souls have died at the hands of another, they come to Odd and, with the help of local police chief Wyatt Porter (Willem Dafoe), he tracks down the wrongdoer.
But he's soon overwhelmed when hundreds of the evil bodachs - monsters from the underworld who feed on fear and can only be seen by Odd - start slithering all over town. He knows this means that some major bloodletting is going to take place - and that there's an equally evil human behind the diabolical plot. Along with girlfriend Stormy (Addison Timlin) and Wyatt, Odd takes it upon himself to stop this impending disaster.
"Odd Thomas" doesn't go to any unexpected places and it's not particularly frightening, but it's helped along by the winning likability of Yelchin and Timlin and director Stephen Sommers' kinetic style. For Koontz followers, though, the scariest thing is that the prospect of any more "Odd Thomas" films is dim.
3 stars (out of 5)
Unrated (violence); 100 min.