Thursday, October 27, 2011
2011 October Horror Movie Challenge Movie 73: The Skeptic
So I saw the poster for this movie, saw that it had Tom Arnold in it, and went "Nope, pass." I wasn't going to subject myself to this. Especially since IFC films releases as many terrible movies as they do good ones, it seems. But I saw the trailer for this movie, and the trailer looked really awesome, and that put a fire under my ass and then I really wanted to see this movie. so it was with much anticipation that I popped the DVD in this morning. So how did the movie fare?
Well, from the start, Tom Arnold doesn't have a very big role in this movie (he's another lawyer who works with the main character at the same law firm) and I think his name is only out there in the promotional material because it's a name the filmmakers think people will recognize. Unfortunately for them, the name recognition works AGAINST them, and people who recognize who Tom Arnold is probably won't want to see this movie because of him, and that's a shame, because he's not bad in his little role and he certainly doesn't detract from the movie any. The plot here surrounds a man (played by Tim Daly) who prides himself as the world's best skeptic. His life is ordered, orderly, a place for everything and everything in its place. He thinks it works for him. Unfortunately, it doesn't work for his wife, who asks for a separation hoping it will shake him out of his emotionless rut and is irritated when he takes the suggestion as a chance to move out and go live in his recently deceased aunt's house until the estate is settled.
His aunt was his last living relative, so he thinks he should get the house, but his aunt left it instead to an institute for the study of paranormal phenomena, which as you can imagine sets Mr. Skeptic off leik whoah. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, he's experiencing strange phenomena in the house which he's sure aren't ghosts (because ghosts don't exist, of course) so it's not until things start to spiral out of control that he begins to think maybe things aren't as they seem and maybe what he thinks he knows about his life might not be accurate, and maybe something is going on beyond the realms of natural understanding.
It's a hell of a trailer and a hell of a premise, and even though I don't like the main character, I still kind of wanted him to figure out what was going on and stop the evil. I loved everything right up until the ending, which seemed really rushed and really confusing to me, and I'm still not sure I "get it" 100%, so I'm going to have to let it sit for awhile, maybe buy the movie and watch it again, maybe read some other reviews to see what people thought, but it's not a "bad ending" by any means, at least I'm not ready to categorize it that way yet, so I'm just going to say the ending was kind of a let down, but the movie is definitely worth checking out. It's not perfect, but I really enjoyed it. Some spooky good fun.