A new month means a new lineup on Amazon Prime Video, so I browsed the movies available. I can’t be sure this one wasn’t there before, but this is the first time I ever heard of it. It’s Odd Thomas, from 2013, and it’s based on the first of the Odd Thomas novels by Dean Koontz. There are several.
But first we are introduced to the Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) character. He relates for us his origins. His name really is Odd, and there is some dispute as to how that came about. However, it is not unwarranted. Start with his family life. His mother was, herself, odd, to say the least.
When Odd was 12 they carted her off to an asylum.
Now he’s on his own, early 20s and already collecting a reputation for being odd in the desert town of Pico Mundo (Peak World). For example, he can see dead people. The girl in the picture is Penny Kalisto (Ashley Sommers), and she is dead, murdered. And Odd has just realized that the guy in the car, Harlo Landerson (Matthew Page) is the person who killed her. For some reason the killer saved a piece of white felt with her blood on it, and that evidence is now in the killer’s pocket.
Confronted with the devastating accusation, Landerson bolts, and Odd chases him down and takes him prisoner.
Two police officers, Bern Eckles (Kyle McKeever) and Simon Varner (Nico Tortorella) haul the murderer off to the slam.
The town police chief, Wyatt Porter (Willem Dafoe) is keyed in on Odd’s mystical power. As Odd converses with the dead girl, Porter approaches, and she saunters back across the swimming pool, fading into a cloud of dust as she goes. Porter helps Odd keep his special powers under wraps. He advises Odd to claim seeing the evidence when examining the perp’s wallet.
At night Odd is set upon by a host of visions of people who beg for his help. They are being shot by a mysterious figure wielding an automatic weapon, and they are all wearing the same, strange attire.
Break to further character development, as Odd explains he keeps his life simple, for example by choosing to work as a short order cook at a diner.
He is visited by his girlfriend, Bronwyn “Stormy” Llewellyn (Addison Timlin).
Chief Porter drops in, as well. Also a swarm of bodachs, spirit creatures from Gaelic mythology. Only Odd can see them. Bodachs kill any being that they know can see them, so Odd keeps it cool, working hard at pretending they are not there.
But he notices they swarm a patron named Bob Robertson, referred to thereafter as “Fungus Bob,” due to his moldy appearance. Odd becomes alarmed as seeing the bodachs swarming Fungus Bob, because such a swarm is indicative of massive death portending.
Skipping over the vast body of the plot, Stormy works with Odd as he narrows his investigation of the coming doom. In the interim, Fungus Bob is shot by a person unknown and left in Odd’s bathtub. Odd borrows a car and disposes of the body in an abandoned military base.
Then he tracks the plot to a planned attack on the shopping mall, where Stormy works at an ice cream parlor. By now he knows that Varner and Eckles are in on the plot with Fungus Bob. They are cult members who have moved to Pico Mundo and infiltrated the police force. He tracks Eckles to the security room at the mall, where Eckles has just murdered the guards. He ambushes Eckles with a baseball bat as he comes through the door. Then he goes looking for Varner.
Too late. Varner appears inside the mall with an automatic weapon, spraying patrons with bullets. One fusillade sweeps through the ice cream parlor.
Odd confronts Varner and kills him with the pistol he has taken from Eckles.
But Bob’s van is parked at the mall entrance, and it is packed with explosives, set to go off in seconds. Odd takes over the van and drives it out of town. Eckles grabs on and enters the cab in an attempt to kill Odd, who jumps out just before the van plunges into a drainage channel and explodes.
Odd is hailed as a hero, and he and Stormy make plans to spend the rest of their lives together. But the vision of Stormy is just that, for she was killed in the hail of bullets aimed at the ice cream parlor.
Odd exits Pico Mundo on foot to start a life of adventure that will develop into six additional Odd novels.
Production costs of this movie were high ($12 million), possibly owing to the extensive incorporation of CGI. I could not detect any top-tier talent involved, although all roles were adequately executed. And the plot is interesting, but apparently the concept did not connect well. The box office came in at $1.1 million. I’m thinking there will not be a bunch of sequels coming out.