The Asian-horror-movie moment feels long since passed, both here and abroad. Let our zombies walk or even sprint again! Give our creepy kids back their pupils!
Gregory Kirschling - Entertainment Weekly
With The Messengers, the Pang brothers devise scenes so scary that they stain the imagination and never scrub out.
Matt Zoller Seitz - New York Times
It's pretty ordinary genre stuff.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
The grown-ups fare worse: They speak . . . very . . . slowly . . . as if to pad the running time out. This may in fact be the most ridiculous performance John Corbett has ever given.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
The MessengersI/i> is textbook, and the course it's teaching is HSL: Horror as a Second Language.
Ty Burr - Dallas Morning News
Sadly, the movie just doesn't deliver chills.
Andrea Gronvall - Chicago Reader
[The film is] hampered by hauntingly lame performances by McDermott and Miller, who phone in their parts, and a screenplay that has the sophistication and complexity of a college dorm message board.
Tirdad Derakhshani - Philadelphia Inquirer
The most frightening aspect of the film is that it will soon be haunting the bargain bins of shoddy video stores.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
No one says, "Gimme the bat, Wendy," or, "Here's Johnny!" But they come close.
Christy Lemire - Arizona Republic
The Pangs painfully hew to a vision of an idealized Americana with the 'happy ending' coming off as especially egregious.
Ronnie Scheib - Variety
Nicely photographed but slow-moving, dull and utterly predictable.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
There isn't much of a script to work with, and for the occasional pull-out-the-stops moment, it never really builds towards its finish.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
If the ghosts were magnets and the Solomons were paperclips, the two parties couldn't be in a bigger rush to collide.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
The Messengers borrows so heavily from The Amityville Horror, The Birds, The Grudge, Poltergeist, and others that it has no room left for anything of its own.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
This first American horror effort by the Pang Bros. doesn't deliver.
Michael Rechtshaffen - Hollywood Reporter
It isn't until the end that things spin out of control. No one says 'Gimme the bat, Wendy' or 'Here's Johnny!' But they come close.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
The objective view gives the audience too much room to unravel its schematic plot, which is far less inspired than its creepy visuals.
Sam Adams - Los Angeles Times
Thai twin-brother directors Oxide and Danny Pang did primo horror work on 2002's Hong Kong cornea-transplant flick The Eye, but on their first American film their atmospheric efforts are usurped by a brain-dead script that seems written by a 12-year-old.
Steve Newton - Georgia Straight
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Justine Elias - Boston Phoenix
There are flashes of good imagery in The Messengers, but [they] work better in the trailer, unencumbered by the dreary plot.
Steve Biodrowski - ESplatter
Patchwork filmmaking designed by a corporate mentality devoted only to the defense of the lowest common denominator. The viewer is assumed to be stupid and easily duped.
Brian Holcomb - CinemaBlend.com
The only message worth relaying about The Messengers is: Avoid.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
Um filme falho (especialmente com relacao ao seu roteiro), mas que oferece belos exemplos do dom que os cineastas tem para criar planos e cenas perturbadores.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
A film so filled with cliches of the genre and plot points so dumb that even a novice would end up laughing.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Una mas de ninos que ven fantasmas, totalmente insignificante y olvidable y plagada de lugares comunes que ya no asustan ni sorprenden a nadie.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
The problem with The Messengers is that it simply doesn't offer up much of anything new.
Stax - IGN Movies
The scares have been booby-trapped brilliantly throughout it.
Clint Morris - Moviehole
...irredeemably uneventful and - ultimately - hopelessly derivative...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Yet not even the Pang brothers' sense of panache can redeem what is a lame script by Mark Wheaton.
Beth Accomando - KPBS.org
It's like a movie premonition - you've seen it all before.
Simon Crook - Empire Magazine
Derivative but enjoyable horror flick with stylish direction, an intriguing mystery and strong performances from its cast.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Many of the images feel over-familiar, and the shocks a mite too forced.
Nigel Floyd - Time Out
Gaping plot holes, a tacked-on ending and a twist that belongs in a different movie.
Jamie Russell - BBC
Though The Messengers stands above its ilk, the filmmakers work with too limited a tone, and restrained a sense of exploration, to bring it to life.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Families who see this film should talk about the importance of trust between parents and children.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Relies way too much on cheap, nerve-jangling sound effects and musical stings to juice up the film's tepid, PG-13 proceedings.
Bryant Frazer - Bryant Frazer's Deep Focus
the Pang brothers know how to set a mood and you can tell they can handle the camera from the way they set up the opening, so it's too bad they had to work without a script
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
Feels like a movie you've already seen before but don't quite recall clearly. Given its pedigree (Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are among the producers) an audience might hope for more.
Marrit Ingman - Austin Chronicle
Forgoes any more innovations, lazily borrowing from other people's horror movies.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
While [the Pangs] display some of the visual style that has distinguished their Asian films, nothing could compensate for the derivative, ill-plotted script.
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
...this movie exists in a universe where movies like this don't exist...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
maybe there's something positive about a horror film that doesn't go for the jugular, one a younger kid could see with a parent or older sibling. If only it weren't this bad.
Norm Schrager - Filmcritic.com
The well-amplified scares are so perfunctory as to be laughable. 'What's up with the crows?' bitches Kristen Stewart, clearly not up on her Hitchcock or any Asian thriller of the past ten years.
Melissa Anderson - Time Out New York
...just what is that Asian girl ghost doing in a Nebraska barn?
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Just another craptacular exercise in weak PG-13 horror involving resourceful-but-stupid teens, idiotic adults and ghostly apparitions with short pants, pale skin and stringy hair.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
The worst part of this film is its advertising; don't let the studio's lack of faith in their own ghost story ruin a clever little thriller for you.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
There might be less extravagant means of communicating than throwing an entire banister at someone or unceremoniously dragging them by their feet into the cellar.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Dave White - Movies.com
Much like a Hitchcock McGuffin, the smaller plot details are almost unnecessary. They're just there because they have to be.
Mark Bell - Film Threat
The real message to be learned from The Messengers is that audiences need something new to scare them, not the same old ghosts.
Brian Tallerico - UGO
Why do movies like this always have such unsatisfactory endings? Who pays to watch this stuff, anyway? You? Hope not.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
the running motif of crows run amok has too much of Hitchcock's THE BIRDS about it to stand on its own, even in the Pang's capable hands. Then again, any script that dared use that motif was setting itself up for a fall, and that's exactly what it got
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
It's awards season, so we'd like to nominate The Messengers for the yet-to-be-established Tippi Hedren Award for best use of malignant ravens in a motion picture.
John Anderson - Newsday
The plethora of horror movie cliches -- even those still residually effective -- weigh so heavily in The Messengers that whatever moments of terror that might have been had are left positively weightless.
Tim Cogshell - Boxoffice Magazine
The film's problems boil down to story. The Messengers has none, or nothing beyond the sketch of an idea: family with troubled past moves into spooky new home.
Mark Pfeiffer - Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
Even though The Messengers turns out to be deeply and irrevocably flawed, it's still the best movie Ghost House has released to date
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
Every movie has to have its own sense of logic, horror movies perhaps most of all, but as this story heads towards its climax it begins to contradict what it's told us to believe all along.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
The Messengers isn't a particularly frightening or gory horror movie, but directors Danny and Oxide Pang do have a special talent for torturing the reputations of their actors.
Peter Hartlaub - San Francisco Chronicle
Scary awful. It's a new genre I just made up.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
And what crop is Dylan growing, you ask? Sunflowers. Yes, sunflowers. Agriculture's baby-step from farming dandelions. Why not just harvest weeds?
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
The Messengers falls flat with its tedious plot, cliched storyline and unsurprising twist.
Michael Black - ReviewExpress.com
The script is so tired and derivative that even though there are tiny scares here and there, it's boring after a while.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
The Pangs might know how to knee-jerk shock an audience ad nauseam, but the remainder of The Messengers suffers from shamelessly thudding banality.
Rob Humanick - Slant Magazine
The Pangs are technically proficient enough to deliver the requisite jolts, but deja vu haunts the film as surely as its pasty-faced, hitch-stepped ghoulies, and it's hard to shake the impression that we've seen this movie before.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
Viewers who prefer to see blood splattering and internal organs being sliced and diced will be disappointed.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Dean Essner - Baltimore Sun
However, in their (The Pangs) first serving of an American-made boofest served with all the fixings of a horror-induced bunt cake the taste still remains strikingly superficial
Frank Ochieng - Movie Eye
The Pangs keep it moving and deliver the 'gotcha!' moments, but a steady diet of mechanical scares is thin stuff.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
The message of this creepy-ghost thriller is that no matter how talented the Hong Kong filmmakers may be, they'll invariably be forced to make their first American movie an unimpressive, generic creepy-ghost thriller.
Alex Markerson - E! Online
For every one moment of genuinely built suspense, the Pang Brothers chase it with at least three follow-up scenes of either out-loud stupidity or baffling tedium.
Brian Orndorf - OhmyNews.com
A stunningly inert, painfully derivative, shamelessly cheap and aggressively dull ghost story that delivers nothing you haven't seen before. About 43 times.
Scott Weinberg - Cinematical
Just dumb formula, and even the Pang brothers' technique can't raise it above the humdrum.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
If The Messengers means to say something about all this familial and social dysfunction, that point is lost among hackneyed, decidedly unscary gyrations.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
As I left the theater after seeing The Messenger I overheard a guy asking his date: "So, what was the message?" My thoughts exactly.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The first half is very well done, making it one of the best haunted house movies since The Grudge.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
The scare tactics are tried and just as tired as they always are.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Oh boy -- a shocker set against the terrifying backdrop of North Dakota sunflower farming!
Jim Ridley - L.A. Weekly
With a heaping helping of common sense, The Messengers could have been a very good movie.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
The Messengers is still worth seeing for the strength of its first half and for the consistently solid performances, but the sense of unrealized potential is tough to ignore.
Jim Hemphill - Reel.com
The Messengers does deliver on jump scares, compelling characters, top-notch acting from the entire cast, nice atmosphere and excellent cinematography augmented by a lush color palette.
Staci Layne Wilson - Sci-Fi Weekly
Apart from being completely derivative and lacking even one original idea, it's not a bad movie. 'Unnecessary' is more the word I would use.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Yet another supernatural thriller about ghostly apparitions and corpsy children, The Messengers doesn't deliver.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
May be worth watching simply for the sight of Dylan McDermott playing a downtrodden sunflower farmer who at one point -- so help me -- attempts to punch a crow in the face.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather