Odd Thomas should be sold as a two pack with John Dies at the End. Both are tongue in cheek quirkfests chock filled with sarcasm, dark humour and wilful strangeness. Both are equally endearing and frustrating, however JDatE wins out by embracing the lunacy – something I for one regularly espouse.
As a waif like alterna-vigilante with the power to see and interact with the dead, Thomas (Anton Yelchin) is an unlikely anti-hero. Rounding out the unlikeliness is his flawless girlfriend Stormy, with whom he shares a super cutesy poo relationship. She works in an ice cream shop for fucks sake.
As Thomas encounters ‘bodacs’ – demons whose presence announces impending death nearby – in astonishing and foreboding number, he realises that Very Bad Things might be imminent, and he and Stormy set to solving the problem.
Chief Porter (Willem Dafoe) is the only other guy who knows what’s up, but he’s too busy trying to get busy for much of the film with a hot date.
Unfortunately ‘quirky’ can’t be your sole defining characteristic. Funny should be at least nearby. Odd Thomas isn’t especially funny, not at all scary and only mildly weird if I’m honest, except the fact that Stormy knows about Thomas’ ability to converse with the dead and still works in an increase cream shop.
There is lots of narration through the film, which reflects the fact that the plot is disjointed and confusing, and every strong feature in the film is offset by another which provides frustration. What wants to be The Frighteners via Donnie Darko ends up as an occasionally admirable disappointment.
Final Rating – 6 / 10. Seriously, who thinks Anton Yelchin is a star? His inbred Kevin Bacon thing isn’t winning winning me over.