DVD Reviews

The Skeptic Ė DVD Review

By Jeff Swindoll Dec 18, 2009, 18:24 GMT

The Skeptic Ė DVD Review

What would it take for you to believe in the supernatural? Tim Daly stars as lawyer Bryan Becket, a cynical control freak who inherits his aunt s creepy Victorian mansion after her mysterious death. But when this die-hard doubter begins to experience a series of increasingly vicious and personal paranormal events, he turns to his business partner (Tom Arnold) and an eccentric medium (Zoe Saldana of Star Trek) for answers. ...more

The Skeptic?  Is this a film about a DVD reviewer?  Well no, itís a haunted house film about an unbeliever who moves into his auntís house and encounters spirits of his pastÖ or does he?  

Bryan Becketís (Tim Daly) aunt has just been found dead in her Victorian mansion.  Heís seemingly unfazed by her death and is more looking forward to taking possession of the house since itís 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 auntís death, but also his troubled marriage to Robin (Andrea Roth).  Since he now thinks heís 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 doesnít 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. Itís being left to Dr. Kovenís (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 thatís called the Skeptic, our main character isnít 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 directionÖ or are they?  Letís 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 ďhaunted houseĒ highlights that youíll probably see coming.  One of the creepy moments involves a sleepy eyed doll that is pretty eerie.  However, our main character doesnít remember his mother and itís pretty easy to figure out why he doesnít and what the haunting is about. 

The ending of the film is pretty open ended.  Youíre not sure if the ghosts are real or are a figment of our main characterís 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 16x9 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 doesnít 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 isnít 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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