Daily News header

The Skeptic Movie Review

By     get stories by email

While horror movies have become tedious fare, relying on outworn conventional templates and recycled gotcha scare tactics, The Skeptic aims to keep viewers on their toes, as well as at the edge of their seats. A turbulent brainteaser blend of the supernatural and psychotic, with mystery novel elements tossed in too, the film playfully refuses to satisfy audience cravings these days for fast food narrative closure, and instead relies on the more traditional classic suspense that masterfully intrigues and eludes.

Tim Daly is Bryan Becket in The Skeptic, a sarcastic, emotionally atrophied upscale lawyer whose marriage is falling apart due to his intimacy issues. When Becket receives a call that his estranged elderly aunt has passed away, he seizes the opportunity to go live in the sprawling Victorian mansion for a time while arranging for the future of the estate, in order to distance himself from his unraveling marriage.

But what is as yet unknown to this supremely confident, studiously concrete thinker, is that the house may harbor long buried traumatic memories that he experienced there as a boy, when his mother died under mysterious circumstances. Also compounding these multiplying horrors, though not without some unresolved narrative threads, is an elegant but seemingly sinister abode that appears to be haunted one moment, and a frightening series of hallucinations experienced by Becket the next.

The Skeptic Movie

Written and directed by Tennyson Bardwell, The Skeptic is a very different kind of housing nightmare in this age of mass foreclosures, but one that likely embodies some of those reality based, subconscious seized shelter possession, or rather possessed, fears and phobias. In any case, the film stylishly teases and provokes with its power of suggestion, hide and seek tendencies, not just of apparitions that may not be apparitions at all, but a constantly shifting dynamic between the logical, psychic and psychological.

Turning up the tensions surrounding this spooky talking mansion, is Zoe Saldana as an unhinged telepathic ghostbuster making unwelcome house calls, and just as spaced out here, so to speak, as in her simultaneous big screen turn in Star Trek. Along with thespian vet Ed Hermann as a less than forthcoming evasive shrink, and Tom Arnold as the never disappointing, comical when not creepy legal colleague, with a few freaky possession issues of his own.

IFC Films
Unrated
3 stars

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Chef, author, world traveler Anthony Bourdain is an outspoken trailblazer with unique insights talks about his life, career and Peabody and Emmy-winning TV-series, Parts Unknown.
Kam Williams interviews Gina the Dreamer about Beyond the Lights, a romance drama co-starring Gugu Mbata-Raw and Nate Parker.
Marion Cotillard, who is no stranger to tackling complex characters and complicated women in movies, most notably as Edith Piaf in La Vie En Rose, plays Sandra in Two Days, One Night. An emotionally vulnerable blue collar worker in a plant determine
Stevie Nicks, older and ever bolder turned heads with Stevie's back-to-the-future, pre-technoid selfies at an opening exhibition in the Morrison Hotel Gallery, Manhattan.
Michael Pena, who first appeared in 'To Sir, with Love' and 'End of Watch' director David Ayer talk to Kam Williams about reuniting to collaborate on Fury.
Rosamund Pike stopped by the NY Film Festival where Gone Girl premiered, to weigh in on assorted relevant topics, with Prairie Miller.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site