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

Movie reviewer Kam Williams reviews the Documentary Film 'The Address'. Williams gives the documentary 4 stars and says it is a current-day, Ken Burns PBS production every bit as moving as any of his nostalgic classics.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams interviews actor Marlon Wayans about his new movie, A Haunted House 2 and shares it with NewsBlaze readers around the world.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams gives the film, Small Time 3 stars. He said it is very good and realistic, a slice-of-life drama highlighting the plight of a teen with a hole in his soul who's understandably torn between moving on with his life.
Kam Williams reviews The Railway Man, an introspective story of Eric Lomax, one of 60,000+ POWs forced to build the Burma Railway, known as the Death Railway, because so many died.
Movie review Kam Williams interviews Bridget Moynahan about the movie Small Time. Here she talks about the coming-of-age drama co-starring Christopher Meloni, Devon Bostick and Dean Norris.
Prairie Miller talks to filmmaker Lars von Trier discussing what this work in progress several years ago at Cannes, may or may not have to do with Hitler, heresy, hedonism and existential despair - before being booted from the festival.

 

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