Odd is his actual name, and according to townspeople, he lives up to it each and every day. If they knew he had powers that justified what they called him, they’d REALLY be upset. Odd (Anton Yelchin) is a short-order cook who can see the dead. They can’t speak but they are often frantic to impart a last message, sometimes about how they died, and who might be responsible. Thank goodness for Chief Porter (Willem Dafoe), who pursues Odd’s leads and doesn’t ask too many questions that can’t be comfortably answered.
But there’s something more sinister than usual hanging around this California desert town. Dark and threatening forces (seen only by Odd of course) are clustering around a mysterious man, and Odd has a very bad feeling that something very serious and very deadly is about to go down.
The movie is pretty wobbly as far as tone goes: romance, tragedy, comedy, supernatural thriller. It’s scary, witty, goofy, silly, and yes – odd. And while some may find it tough to breach the ever-changing landscape, Anton Yelchin is just the man to incorporate all of these facets into something that makes sense. While Yelchin’s loss is still keenly felt, it’s a little more palpable when he’s addressing a child’s ghost and offering condolences for a life cut short.
Odd Thomas is a quirky comedy-horror if ever there was one, but I couldn’t help but like it. It is oddly entertaining; Odd has the makings of a paranormal investigator that I could watch again and again – I kind of wish it was a series and not a film so that I could. Writer-director Stephen Sommers adapts from a Dean Koontz novel which I have not read but imagine the film manages to capture a good bit of the source material’s spirit. It’s an engaging deviance from the usual approach, a more whimsical, almost quaint approach to horror, quite a feat for something involving satanic cults and mass murder.