NewsBlaze search box 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
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

This race hate documentary chronicles neo-Nazi relocation to Leith, a small town in North Dakota, and what the locals did to get rid of the supremacists.
Prairie Miller has a conversation with Ben Vereen, about Time Out of Mind, his movie with Richard Gere, a film about the homeless struggling to survive.
A power-hungry ruthless assassin mobster wants to muscle-in on illegal Mafia rackets in the Italian North End. An intimidating, monster with no conscience.
Directed by Anne Fletcher, Hot Pursuit is a mindless diversion chock-full of the staples of the unlikely-buddies genre, like car chases, and accidental drug use.
Three big budget films. Paper Towns, Pixels and Southpaw. Teens saving a neighbor, retro-gamers saving the planet and a southpaw boxer saving himself.
A post-slavery purge of blacks resulted in a whitening of the Argentine population, as immigrants from Italy, France, Lebanon and Syria were welcomed.


NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month

Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

Copyright © 2004-2015 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