Phantoms (1998) Movie Review

Phantoms (1998) Poster

Phantoms (1998)

1998 | R | Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi
96 minutes / 1h 36min

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Phantoms Plot Synopsis:

Dr. Jennifer Pailey and her sister Lisa visit the a small town in the Rocky Mountains. The sisters find no one but a few corpses, then join Sheriff Bryce Hammond and his deputies, Flyte, a British academic, and the remains of an Army commando unit. Together they uncover a sub-terrainain life-form that absorbs its victims while gaining their knowledge. Making it extremely intelligent, and because of the victims perception of it, it believes itself to be the devil. Flyte suggests that the creature's body is almost identical chemically to crude oil, and could be killed by bacteria used to break down fossil fuels. Together they plan to use the Enemy's extreme arrogance and god complex against itself. Hammond finds it has assumed the form of the boy he accidentally killed during an drug raid. When the boy grabs the glass vial from him, he shoots it and exposes the creature to the oil eating bacteria.

Phantoms (1998) Review

Phantoms (1998) is a Japanese/American sci-fi thriller-horror film that is 96 minutes long and was shot in several locations in Colorado, USA. Director Joe Chappelle (Fringe (2009-2012), CSI: Miami (2002-2010), Chicago Fire (2012-2016), Chicago Med (2015)) did an average job executing this film that was an awesome watch but is not something I will see again. The movie contains gore, bad language, violence, suspense, jump scares and tension.

Phantoms begins with an epidemic in a small town, Snowfield, Colorado where there is a viral-based outbreak. Sisters Lisa Pailey (Rose McGowan - Charmed (2001-2006), Planet Terror (2007), Death Proof (2007), Grindhouse (2007)) and Jennifer Pailey, M.D. checked into their snow resort to notice something strange in the town. Lisa and Jennifer (Joanna Going - The Tree of Life (2011), Wyatt Earp (1994), Runaway Jury (2003)) thinks that something is infecting the residents/visitors, or something/someone is murdering them. There are signs of infections, but then they can also clearly see some of the people are decapitated.

The sisters found more bodies as they made their way investigating leading them to run into Sheriff Bryce Hammond (Ben Affleck - Argo (2012), Good Will Hunting (1997), Gone Girl (2014), The Town (2010)) and two deputies. His deputies Stu (Liev Schreiber - X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Spotlight (2015), Salt (2010), Scream 3 (2000)) and Steve (Nicky Katt - Sin City (2005), Insomnia (2002), The Brave One (2007)) are already investigating the case with him. The group came together trying to solve why there was a sudden transformation in the small town where was lively and full of excitement but now is like a ghost town. Stu began to change and is getting weirder by the minute, Lisa getting quick to be annoyed with everything and Bryce gets testy/edgy. What happens next to the group is a mystery until you see this film.

Phantoms has something missing that I cannot quite put my finger on but it feels empty at times. The characters were well developed and fun to watch leaving me to say all of the actors did a fantastic job with their roles. I was pleased with the visual effects which were pretty impressive as well as the sound and sets. Overall, I had a good time watching this movie but it is best enjoyed when watched with an open mind and if you do not read too much into the film because there are some loose ends, plot holes, and goofs.

  • Phantoms Rating Scores
  • Our Score: 5
  • Overall Score: 3.77
  • IMDB: 5.4
  • MetaCritic: 2.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 1.3

About Phantoms 1998

Title: Phantoms
Year: 1998
Runtime: 96 minutes
Type: Movie
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Sci-Fi
Score: 2.5 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 1.88/5 stars from 17,940 users.
Total Avg. Votes: 17,940
MPAA Rating: R
Phantoms Cast Starring: Liev Schreiber, Linnea Quigley, Nicky Katt, Judith Drake, Rose McGowan, Clifton Powell, Bo Hopkins, Adam Nelson, Ben Affleck, Peter O'Toole, Larry Odien, John Hammil, Paul Schmidt, Lucas Elliot Eberl, Paul Graham, Robert Knepper, John Scott Clough, Michael DeLorenzo, William Hahn, Robert Himber, Dean Hallo, Clive Rosengren, Valerie Chow, Edmund Wyson, Rich Beall, Lonny Chapman, Yvette Nipar, Rick Otto, Ruger, Joanna Going
Phantoms Writers: Dean R. Koontz
Phantoms Director: Joe Chappelle
Production: Miramax
Language: English
Country: USA, Japan