The Skeptic? Is this a film about a DVD reviewer? Well no, it’s a haunted house film about an unbeliever who moves into his aunt’s house and encounters spirits of his past… or does he?
Bryan Becket’s (Tim Daly) aunt has just been found dead in her Victorian mansion. He’s seemingly unfazed by her death and is more looking forward to taking possession of the house since it’s the last of the family money. He even shows up late at her funeral, but is covered by Sully (Tom Arnold), his best friend and partner in their law firm.
Bryan is just not emotionless about his aunt’s death, but also his troubled marriage to Robin (Andrea Roth). Since he now thinks he’s inherited the house he says that he wants to separate from Robin and moves into the mansion. Soon he starts hearing noises and having visions and begins to think the place is haunted.
That doesn’t scare him as much as when he learns from Sully that his aunt will has been found and that Bryan is not inheriting the house as he thought. It’s being left to Dr. Koven’s (Bruce Altman) institute at a local college. He confronts the doctor, but also relates his odd experiences in the house.
Bryan continues to stay in the house and begins to unravel his hidden past with the help of the psychic Cassie (Zoe Saldana), his psychiatrist Shepard (Edward Hermann), and Father Wymond (the late Robert Prosky).
For a film that’s called the Skeptic, our main character isn’t the one who exhibits the traits that the title portends. In fact, the one skeptical character expresses his skepticism and then basically disappears from the film.
Of course, the filmmakers seem to be going in the opposite direction… or are they? Let’s start off with the good things. The film does offer some creepy moments and the acting is pretty good. Everyone does a good job, even Tom Arnold.
The film does hit some of the “haunted house” highlights that you’ll probably see coming. One of the creepy moments involves a sleepy eyed doll that is pretty eerie. However, our main character doesn’t remember his mother and it’s pretty easy to figure out why he doesn’t and what the haunting is about.
The ending of the film is pretty open ended. You’re not sure if the ghosts are real or are a figment of our main character’s imagination. The film does appear to be on the side of the supernatural, but maybe that open ended finale might make you a bit skeptical.
The Skeptic is presented in anamorphic widescreen (2.35:1) and is enhanced for 16×9 televisions. The only special feature is a trailer for the film.
The Skeptic feels like a television movie, but does offer some minor chills and really doesn’t seem very skeptical about the ghostly subject matter of the film. In fact, the skeptical character disappears as the film focuses on the ghostly doings of the creepy mansion.
The ending isn’t very good and ends up making you ask more questions than it answers. However, some good acting makes up for it a little.
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