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Film / The Messengers

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The Messengers is a 2007 horror film starring a then relatively-unknown Kristen Stewart.

Roy Solomon (Dylan McDermott), his wife Denise (Penelope Ann Miller), their teenage daughter Jessica (Kristen Stewart), and their little son Ben move from Chicago to an old farm in North Dakota. The family is struggling financially because Roy has been unemployed for a long time. There was also a car accident that has caused serious problems for Ben. Roy plants sunflowers and hires the stranger Burwell to help him until the harvest. When Jess sees ghosts and poltergeists in the house, her parents do not believe her. She tries to prove that she is not insane or seeking attention and discovers the fate of the former owners.

The Messengers contains examples of:

  • Adults Are Useless: Naturally, since Jess and Ben are the only ones who can see the ghosts at first, the adults don't believe them when they try to warn them what's happening.
  • Big Bad: John Burwell/John Rollins, whom the ghosts were trying to warn the Solomons about.
  • Creepy Good: The ghosts are unsettling at best. But it's later revealed that Burwell is really the Rollins' patriarch who murdered his family in a fit of madness. So in reality, these creepy ghosts are trying to warn the Solomons about him.
  • Cross-Cast Role: Then child actress Jodelle Ferland was Michael, a boy.
  • The End... Or Is It?: At the end of the movie, everyone is shown to be living happily. Jess is smiling, Ben is speaking, and the sunflowers are ready for a good harvest. However, crows start flocking around the farm...
  • Family Extermination: It turns out John murdered his wife and children, leaving only him.
  • Good All Along: The Ghosts aren't bad, they're just trying to either ward off the Solomons or warn them about John.
  • Invisible to Adults: At first only Ben and Jessica can see and feel the ghosts.
  • Mask of Sanity: John Rollins previously killed his family in a fit of madness due to his collective issues. Afterwards, he repressed his memories of the murder and adopted a new identity as John Burwell. So when he comes up to Roy, he comes off as a normal man who just happens to have advice on growing sunflowers. It's only after he's attacked by the flock of crows that he regains his memories and his former persona resurfaces.
  • Practically Different Generations: Jessica is a girl in her late teens, with her younger brother Ben a toddler who still uses a crib.
  • Prequel: The 2009 film Messengers 2: The Scarecrow, staring Norman Reedus, is billed as a "prequel" though you'll have a hard time finding a connection between the two films.