Movie Review: Phantoms (1998)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1998 thriller starring Rose McGowan and Ben Affleck.

Synopsis: Sisters Lisa and Jennifer arrive in the small town of Snowfield, Colorado, where Jennifer works as a doctor, and discover the entire population is either dead or missing. At first, it looks like they are up against something supernatural. But, with the help of a local sheriff and a discredited academic, they soon learn they are facing an ancient life form that likely wiped out the dinosaurs and previous civilizations.


I am fairly certain I saw this movie when it first came out. However, when I came across it on Netflix the other night, I realized I didn't remember anything about it. And, after seeing it was only available until June 1, decided to watch it with my wife.

The movie, as it turns out, wasn't as good as I hoped it would be. However, it still proved to be somewhat entertaining.

I think the thing I liked most about this film was the mystery. Jennifer (Going) and Lisa (McGowan) obviously have walked into something after coming back to Snowfield. But, up until toward the final part of the movie, what they were up against was unclear as theories ranged from ghosts to some sort of biological outbreak.

In addition, even as the culprit began to become a little more clear, its motives were still very vague. Why Snowfield? And, once it was done with Snowfield, was it going to move on somewhere else?

I also liked how this movie kept the viewer on the edge of their seat by having the various Snowfield survivors facing everything from giant mosquito-like bugs (with a taste for brains) to the creature's previous victims. This did make the movie a little more suspenseful because you never knew what was going to come around the corner.

I think my biggest problem with this movie is the ending. The film is actually pretty decent up until the time they figure out what they are facing and how to stop it. After that point, the movie really started to lack something. I think part of the reason for this is the final confrontation was dragged out more than it needed to be. The other part of it was, once they figured out the secret, the creature was a little too easy to defeat. That was pretty disappointing because, had they nailed the ending, this would have been a much more memorable film.

Final Opinion

As I mentioned, the ending is a bit weak and, because of that, the movie isn't quite as good as it could have been. However, it still proved to be a decent thriller and one I would recommend.

My Grade: B

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Updated: 06/01/2016, StevenHelmer
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