There are likely two predictable reactions to any mention of 1998’s Phantoms, a campy, Ben Affleck-led sci-fi/epidemic thriller that came out in theaters 20 years ago this month: either complete befuddlement because the movie’s been lost to the ether, or something resembling, “Hmm, I think I picked that up from Blockbuster at some point, but I don’t remember much about it.”
Both reactions are understandable. Phantoms, based on a Dean Koontz novel of the same name, barely made a splash at the box office, pulling in just north of $3 million on its opening weekend. One might point to the fact that Titanic, Good Will Hunting, and As Good As It Gets were still dominating the cinemas as reasons for its paltry showing, but that’d ignore the fact that Phantomsprobably got exactly what it deserved. The formless sludge of Phantoms — both the mysterious evil creatures and the film itself — couldn’t compete with the joyous meta masterpiece that is Spice World, never mind topple a juggernaut like Titanic.
With all that said, though, there’s still plenty of reason to revisit (or introduce yourself to) Phantoms on its twentieth anniversary. Sure, the editing is a mess and the story is as flimsy as that old box filled with VHS tapes that you just can’t seem to get rid of, but it’s also a film that deserves a certain amount of reclaiming. It deserves to be enshrined as a campy classic that populates the occasional midnight screening at your local cinema right around Halloween. From the performances and the special effects, to the sheer ludicrousness of certain scenes, Phantoms boasts some serious B-movie bona fides.
If you need more convincing, here are a few reasons why Phantoms deserves your time 20 years after its disastrous box office performance.
Read the full article @ SyFy Wire.