If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’ve heard about the tragic passing of actor Anton Yelchin. He’s well known as Chekov from the new Star Trek films. As far as horror movies go, he’s been in a few – Fright Night (2011) and Green Room (2016). I particularly enjoyed his 2013 film, Odd Thomas. I first watched it a couple of years ago with my fiancée who has read the books. I decided to check it out again a day after I read about his death. After watching it again, I felt like giving it a review.
Anton Yelchin stars as the title character in Odd Thomas. His first name is indeed Odd. He is a clairvoyant short-order cook who can see the dead. As he says in the film, “I may see dead people. But then by God, I do somethin’ about it.” He keeps his secret mostly to himself due to the fact that his mother, whom he inherited his gift from, was committed for being crazy. The two people that do know his secret are his sweet and playful girlfriend, Stormy (Addison Timlin), and town sheriff Wyatt (Willem Dafoe). After a vision of multiple people being shot and seeing several Bodachs (small, Cloverfield-like demons) following a weird stranger, Odd knows something devastating is going to happen and starts investigating.
I remember enjoying Odd Thomas the first time I watched it, but it gets better with each viewing. While the film itself is decent, it’s Yelchin’s performance that I find wonderful. His ability to portray sadness is fantastic. One scene, in particular, gets pretty close to making me teary-eyed. Without Yelchin, Odd Thomas wouldn’t be quite the fun movie it sets out to be. Willem Dafoe, also, is perfectly cast as Sheriff Porter. Does his contract call for him to be in bed with a woman in every movie after Boondock Saints (1999) or is he just lucky?
As far as the rest of Odd Thomas, it’s… okay. Not a great film, but not deserving of a 32% Rotten Tomato rating. I dig the soundtrack. A hip, upbeat, folk-country style that matches well with Odd’s demeanor during the lighter scenes. Odd Thomas doesn’t hit the mark as far as technical issues go. It’s easy to overlook, though, with Yelchin’s performance. He brings heart to the role of Odd. I’ll say it again, there is no Odd Thomas without Anton Yelchin.
At the end of the day, Odd Thomas is about doing the right thing. Odd has a strange ability. One that could ruin his life, like it did his mother’s. Instead, he chooses to embrace it. It wasn’t a well-reviewed film and not many people saw it. Unfortunately, it took the passing of Yelchin for me to give this film a second look. Now I have a new appreciation for Odd Thomas. In fact, I think I’ll watch it again. Thank you, Anton, for making the film better than it would’ve been. Rest in peace.