Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Bruce Altman, Tom Arnold, Tim Daly, Edward Herrmann, Robert Prosky, Zoe Saldana
Directed by Tennyson Bardwell
Distributed by MPI Media
Haunted house flicks are really hot right now thanks to the success of films like The Haunting in Connecticut and Paranormal Activity, and we couldn’t be happier that ghosts and demons are still en vogue. IFC Films’ latest release, The Skeptic, is a very traditional ghostly tale, which works both for and against it.
After his spooky old aunt (we all have one of those, do we not?) dies, lawyer Bryan Becket (Daly) finds himself helping to settle her estate. which is comprised of one hell of a big Victorian mansion. There’s just one problem … the house is still occupied. By the dead. Becket, however, believes in nothing. He’s a true skeptic of well … just about everything you can imagine. Surely there must be some explanation for the sounds he’s been hearing. The laughter, the crying, the whispering. And that strange lady he’s been seeing? Mind trickery, I tell you! Pretty soon things start happening that can no longer be denied, and before you know it, the situation for our non-believer becomes extremely grave.
The Skeptic is truly by-the-numbers fare; yet, strong performances from the cast do a lot to keep things interesting and keep you watching. The only problem is it’s really vanilla. Though tasty and certainly something you wouldn’t spit out, it’s just crying out for a little spice, maybe a topping or two. By the time the credits roll, you’ll be left sitting there shrugging your shoulders and wondering whether you liked it or you didn’t. The sad truth is we’ve been on this bus countless times before, and the route hasn’t changed.
In terms of extras we get, steady yourself …. steadyyyyyy …. a trailer. Yep, a whole thirty seconds of bonus content that takes the better parts of the flick and turns it into Cliff Notes. Including the ending. Really? So glad I watched the trailer before the movie. Thanks!
If you’re looking for a quick dose of spooky to kill some time, then The Skeptic should more than fit the bill. Those looking for a skeleton with a bit more meat on its bones should seek one out elsewhere. Kind of fun while it lasted, but ultimately forgettable.
2 1/2 out of 5
1/2 out of 5
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