Directed by Joe Chappelle
Visual Effects Consultants: Robert Greenberg, Bruce Schulter

Visual Effects Produced by:




Creature Effects by STEVE JOHNSON'S XFX

Makeup and Effects by KNB EFX GROUP

[credits not complete]

Joe Chappelle (HALLOWEEN 6) directs PHANTOMS, a thriller starring Ben Affleck, Peter O'Toole and Rose McGowan about a mysterious force that kills the population of a sleepy Colorado town.

Although there are a handful of 2D compositing tricks, PHANTOMS contains plenty of CG animation effects, mainly in the realm of creature animation. Mysterous ghouls attack the town's residents, in the form of huge flying bugs, tentacled beasts, mysterous lizards, and finally revealing itself as a mass of human bodies and souls.

The film's effects are admirable, but not inspiring. Some bright moments are an interesting couple of shots where a tiny lizard is formed from a strange liquid, then deconstructs in the same way it was built. During action sequences, lights flash on and off, and the camera flies all over the place, not really allowing the effects to be noticed--much in the same vein as MIMIC's visual effects. There's a terrific shot near the end of the film as the beast's "arms" smashes to the ground; as Ben Affleck dodges death, the "arm" smashes into the ground, with bits of earth flying up upon impact, and the camera appropriately shaking with the action. The film also contains some really nice CG tentacle shots, some of which contain CG elements that move and look completely photorealistic.

PHANTOMS is a boring, mixed up film where characters move from scene to scene with little or no logic. It is a forgettable project, with some promising effects from Neo, Fine Grain and Station X.

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