With a B movie like “Mothman,” you can only laugh it off. What keeps the film from really taking off as an effective horror entry is that it’s so painfully derivative of “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Jewel Staite stars as Katharine, a young girl a part of a small group that goes camping. One night during a swim with her friends, they decide to pull a prank on the youngest in the group resulting in an accidental drowning. So frightened are they by this that they decide to cover it up, and pretend it was one big accident. Why?
Terrified of being arrested or having their futures ruined (huh?), they all get together to ensure the solidity of their story. They do this by gathering to bash his head in with a rock one by one. So the coroner takes one look at the head and declares “The boy dove head first in to the rocks five times with varying degrees of impact before he died. It all makes so much sense!” Obviously these aren’t the smartest people in the world, and considering the sheer absurdity of the situation, “Mothman” starts off very rocky. In fact, I was about ready to end the movie in that instance.
Years later, Katharine is now a reporter for a Washington newspaper, and is asked to go back to her home town of West Virginia for the annual Mothman festival. Obviously Katharine’s friends are worse off now than they were when the crime happened and are all alcoholics or damaged trailer dwellers. Inexplicably the Mothman returns in his demonic form, gradually offing the conspirators behind the murder, now Katharine and ex-boyfriend Derek look to stop the monster once and for all. We’re told the monster can live through reflections, can’t manifest in light, and needs to have eye contact with its victims before manifesting. So if the eyes are naturally reflective, wouldn’t it be coming out whenever it wanted? And where does the mothman come from? Why does it need reflections?
Does it need reflections of mirrors only or do any reflections count? Are televisions, phone screens, spoons, pools of water, or ice generally dangerous? And once the mothman is generally out of his lair and roaming around, wouldn’t gouging ones eyes out be useless? Did the mothman cause the bridge collapse in the sixties, or did he merely attack criminals on the bridge during the collapse? What significance does the bridge even have, if the latter? I’m not sure how you ruin a movie about the Mothman, but Sheldon Wilson’s horror entry pulls it off quite well. The Mothman is teeming with mystery and unanswered questions, while “Mothman” is just a B movie about revenge and really dumb people getting their comeuppance.