5.7/10
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The Skeptic (2009)

Not Rated | | Horror, Thriller | 24 June 2010 (Kazakhstan)
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2:28 | Trailer
A lawyer who doesn't believe in ghosts is haunted after moving into a family mansion.

Director:

Tennyson Bardwell

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Daly ... Bryan Becket
Tom Arnold ... Sully
Zoe Saldana ... Cassie
Edward Herrmann ... Dr. Shepard (as Ed Herrmann)
Andrea Roth ... Robin Becket
Robert Prosky ... Father Wymond
Bruce Altman ... Dr. Koven
Lea Coco ... Deputy Lura
Sara Weaver Sara Weaver ... Helena Becket (as Sarah Weaver)
L.J. Foley ... Young Bryan Becket
Paul Tietjen ... Michael Becket
Steve Fletcher Steve Fletcher ... Courtroom Lawyer
Christina Rouner ... Courtroom Witness
Catherine Wyler Catherine Wyler ... Carol
James DiSalvatore ... Carl
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Storyline

After the mysterious death of his Aunt, a confirmed skeptic lawyer, Bryan Becket, dismisses reports that his Aunt's house is haunted and moves in. Immediately occurrences begin he cannot explain. And beyond the occurrences there is something about the house which gnaws at Becket - some strange connection he senses he has with the house's past. Soon, the haunting turns personal, he hears voices suggesting clues to a deep mystery. He questions his sanity, seeks medical help, but instead finds assistance in a young psychic who immediately declares, "There's a very bad secret in this house." Together they embark on a terrifying journey to uncover the secret - a journey which leads them deep into the recesses of The Skeptic's own troubled mind. Written by Mary-Beth Taylor

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

what do you believe? See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

IFC Films [United States]

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 June 2010 (Kazakhstan) See more »

Also Known As:

Herança Paranormal See more »

Filming Locations:

Ballston Spa, New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,553, 3 May 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$6,223, 17 May 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dr. Warren Koven's name derives from two words related to witchcraft: a coven is an assembly of usually 13 witches, and a warren is a maze of small rooms where they might gather. See more »

Goofs

The shape of the playdough creature on the table changes repeatedly between shots during Bryan's first conversation with his son. The position of its head changes as well as limbs appearing and disappearing. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[Deputy Lura looks around the dark house with his flashlight]
Deputy Lura: Miss Deaver? It's Deputy Lura, ma'am. Got a phone call from this house. Somebody hung up. Everything all right? Miss Deaver?
[He hears a sound]
Deputy Lura: Is somebody in there? I can hear you, you know. Miss Deaver, is that you?
[His flashlight finds Dead Miss Deaver, who appears to have died of fright]
Deputy Lura: Jesus!
See more »

Connections

References The Changeling (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Brand New Me, Same Old Blues
Written and performed by Joe Whiting
Published by MinkMan Music ASCAP
See more »

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User Reviews

 
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: A "haunted house" film for those who thought they'd seen it all.
26 October 2009 | by claudialoraSee all my reviews

I have seen hundreds of horror movies. There isn't much in the genre that shocks me anymore. New releases (whether original or remakes of classics) hit the theaters on a regular basis, all with variations of the standard "Scariest film of the year!" review. In my opinion almost all have be mediocre at best, failing to live up to the hype that preceded them. Sadly, it has been decades since a horror film caused me to jump and scream at various times. I'm thrilled to report that "The Skeptic" was able to do just that, which means I'm recommending it as a must-see for all lovers of "haunted house" films who thought they'd seen it all before.

The title character is a lawyer, Brian Becket (brilliantly played by Tim Daly). Becket is someone you'll love to hate, someone you can't wait to see get "his comeuppance". He is self-assured, sarcastic, arrogant, insensitive, emotionally frigid and (of course) skeptical of everything. He will not give credence to beliefs that can't be backed up with indisputable facts. Upon moving into the home of a recently deceased aunt he begins to experience strange phenomena that he, at first, believes are hallucinations brought on by sleep deprivation and high stress. As the film unfolds, Becket learns shocking truths about his aunt's house and his own past. Through the course of the film he slowly begins to change...and the proverbial shoe moves to the other foot. He is now the one who must successfully explain the unexplainable to skeptics...and he frustratingly cannot win a single argument because there are rational explanations for everything. About half-way through the film you'll stop hating Becket and not only start liking him, but begin empathizing with him and eventually feel sorry for him.

This film has everything you could possibly want in a "haunted house" film: an eerie-looking mansion filled with bizarre antiques, creaky floors and dark corners, a mysterious locked closet, ghostly images that will truly come out of nowhere, etc. What this film does not have is a satisfying ending. To those who enjoy psychoanalyzing films for hidden meanings, the ending will be poignant and acceptable. To others, the ending will be an abrupt disappointment and can be summed up this way: "That's it?!?

THE BOTTOM LINE: On a scale of 1-10, it is a very strong 8. I highly recommend "The Skeptic" to all horror/thriller buffs who are looking for a great "haunted house" story. If you are a fan of blood and gore, this film won't deliver. If you prefer movies with endings that neatly tie off all their loose ends, this film won't deliver either. HOWEVER...if you enjoy films filled with riveting suspense that slowly builds, throwing unexpected shockers at you along the way, then you will really enjoy this film.


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