Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 19
  2. Negative: 10 out of 19

Where To Watch

Stream On
Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. 50
    A horror film that starts out creepy but ends up disjointed and borderline- incoherent. It's a shame that the final product isn't a little better packaged because, unlike many lame entries into the genre, this one actually contains a few interesting, philosophically titillating ideas.
  2. For about 20 minutes, Phantoms, based on Dean Koontz's bestseller, keeps you guessing. After that, it barely keeps you awake.
  3. 25
    A movie, based on the popular Dean Koontz novel, that seems to have been made by grinding up other films and feeding them to this one.
  4. A horror movie that has the distinction of not even being scary... Although Koontz wrote the screenplay, the suspense for which he is supposed to be famous doesn't translate to the screen.
  5. Director Joe Chapelle knows how to stage a spooky scene, and Going and McGowan supply a refreshing alternative to the shrieking bimbos so familiar to horror fans.
  6. 30
    Director Chappelle lays on the spook factor heavy in the first 30 minutes or so, but the film quickly devolves into a simplistic slash 'n' bash shoot-'em-up which goes nowhere fast.
  7. 80
    Pic's virtues all stem from taking its genre imperatives absolutely seriously rather than condescending to them or playing cute. Even venerable O'Toole resists what must have been an obvious temptation to wink at his role, and delivers a solid, enjoyable turn.
  8. Well-crafted in most aspects, Phantoms is finally more ambitious than satisfying. It also could have used more humor. But it can't be accused of insulting the intelligence of its audiences.
  9. The effects are murky and the giant worm looks more like a smear on the lens than anything else. Most of the intensity is generated by sudden sound effects like ringing phones, alarm clocks or oven timers.
  10. Sometimes in horror movies, bad acting is effective, its very woodenness contributing to the sense of robotic horror. That ain't happening here. These guys are just bad actors.
  11. The movie's computer animation is so cut-rate and its direction (by Joe Chappelle) so slack that the attacks are virtually terror-free.
  12. New York Daily News
    Reviewed by: Jami Bernard
    Phantoms is fear-less.
  13. 50
    Until it coughs up a ridiculously convoluted explanation of why an isolated town in Colorado suddenly goes deader than a weekday matinee of "The Postman," Phantoms delivers the shivers.
  14. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    Phantoms may have sold like hotcakes as a book. But this movie version is a grotesque fiasco, a confoundingly senseless story told with unexciting visuals, cliched dialogue and ear-bashing sounds... Watching it is a truly hellish experience. [23 Jan 1998]
  15. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    Hot Damn! A full-on gory (relatively) unpretensious horror movie!... Far better than it has any right to be.
  16. 16
    It's nearly unwatchable, a farrago of confusing direction, stupid plot coincidences, and banal dialogue.
  17. 40
    All the movie's free-form horror phenomena might have been more interesting if the plot didn't keep insisting on a systematic explanation for them.
  18. Since neither (Chapelle nor Koontz) seems to have any idea as to how to make an actual movie, they abandon form and reason and throw every stock trick in the book at the screen to see what sticks. And what sticks is the murky goo of storytelling gone bad.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 87 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Feb 23, 2011
    This Movie Was Scary And Alot Of Fun!
    Rose McGowan Does A Great Job (As Well As The Rest Of The Cast)
  2. Feb 7, 2016
    Phantoms is one of my favourite horror movies. The cast give fun performances and the movie has intense,
    complex special effects. The movie
    Phantoms is one of my favourite horror movies. The cast give fun performances and the movie has intense,
    complex special effects. The movie was produced by Wes Craven's Dimension Films company. Phantoms is one of the wittiest and inventive horror movies of the 90's.
    Full Review »