Ben Affleck’s Sole Horror Film: A Misstep in His Career

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When it comes to Ben Affleck, one cannot deny his unwavering affinity for Dunkin’ Donuts, a love only surpassed by his enduring presence in Hollywood. Ever since he and his longtime friend Matt Damon made waves with their breakthrough roles in the acclaimed “Good Will Hunting,” Affleck has consistently demonstrated his prowess as a versatile actor. This was evident in his riveting portrayal of Nick Dunne in the electrifying thriller “Gone Girl,” as well as his iconic turn as the brooding Dark Knight of Gotham.

However, it’s worth noting that alongside his stellar filmography, Affleck has also graced some less fortunate productions. And this time, it’s not the infamous “Gigli” that takes the spotlight (although it certainly holds its place among the most ill-fated films to grace our screens). We’re referring to “Phantoms.”

If this title doesn’t ring a bell, you’re not alone. It’s far from being lauded as a pinnacle of the horror genre. Specifically, “Phantoms” is an adaptation of a novel penned by Dean Kootz. The source material presents a multi-layered narrative unfolding in Snowfield, Colorado, where a malevolent force threatens to obliterate the entire populace, leaving the remnants to battle for their lives. Regrettably, many elements that rendered the novel exceptional—such as its intricacy and literary allusions to luminaries like H.P. Lovecraft—were either deliberately omitted or failed to translate effectively onto the silver screen.

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The end result was a film that felt hollow and disjointed, with Affleck and his co-stars delivering performances that struggled to convince. Thus, it’s hardly a surprise that the film garnered a paltry 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and amassed a mere 5.6 million in total box office revenue.

“Phantoms” marked Affleck’s early venture into the horror genre, following a minor role in the 1992 Buffy movie. However, after this misstep, he pivoted towards a role behind the camera, co-producing the 2005 monster flick “Feast” as part of the LivePlanet production company.

While “Feast” didn’t exactly soar to critical acclaim, earning a modest 57% on Rotten Tomatoes, it did spawn multiple sequels and stands, at the very least, as an improvement over the ill-fated “Phantoms.”