Thursday, April 11, 2013

A review of "The Skeptic"

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “The Skeptic”
By: Brian Cotnoir

     How awesome is Tim Daly?  I mean when you’re the voice of Superman/Clark Kent being awesome is kind of a requirement for the job.  Though like many others in my age group I think more people recognize Tim Daly for his voice acting than his live action performing.  Recently, I saw a film starring Tim Daly called “The Skeptic”, and I was very impressed with this film.  It’s kind of like a B-Movie version of “Insidious”, so let’s dive into this film, and I will explain why. 

 So “The Skeptic” is focused around the life of Tim Daly’s character, an attorney named Bryan Becket.  Bryan’s Aunt recently passes away and seeing as he is her only living relative he becomes the new owner of her house.  Bryan is a very bland, unfeeling person and people begin to resent him for it.  He claims that his attitude and inability to have strong emotions is just part of who he is, but his wife begins to question his constant emotionless state.  Soon after he puts his Aunts old house on the market, Bryan’s best friend and Law Partner (played by Tom Arnold) tells him that his Aunt actually wrote a will and she left her house to a man named Dr. Warren Koven, who runs a Sleepy Study Lab at a local college.  Bryan is outraged and confronts Dr. Koven to tell him that he’s not getting the house. As it turns out Dr. Koven wasn’t treating Bryan’s Aunt for sleep troubles, he was actually searching her house for spirits.  As a hobby Dr. Koven also runs a lab to test for E.S.P., and he went to Bryan’s Aunt’s house to see if it was haunted.  The ever skeptical, Bryan, doesn’t believe what Dr. Koven is doing is anything worthwhile, but pretty soon he begins to claim more and more that he’s seeing ghost in his house, and soon with the help of Dr. Koven and others Bryan begins to learn and uncover much more about his life than he ever realized.          
Tim Daly is Awesome
Tim Daly, just gives a fantastic performance in this film.  I’d say it’s one of the best acting performances I’ve ever seen.  I know that’s quite a bold statement to make about a film that nobody’s ever heard of, but it’s true.  When the film starts out he’s just this quiet, straight-talking, no frills, no nonsense kind of a guy.  He has his daily routine and will not deviate from it for anything.  As the movie progresses we see him dive deeper into paranoia, but despite all the strange things that keep happening to him, he tries to use logic and skepticism to explain everything.  The scenes towards the end of the film where he does his soul searching and uncovers the truths to his past just explain so much about his character early on in the film, and it’s just great to see him do a complete 180 with his character.                                             
He's been in worst films people
    This film also has a great supporting cast.  Tom Arnold, plays Tim Daly’s boss and business partner, and normally I don’t like films that feature Tom Arnold, but he was actually quite good in “The Skeptic”.  Actor Bruce Altman plays Dr. Koven, and I just like how even though he’s a Professor at a College and believes in E.S.P., he still tries to use logic and other theories to explain what’s happening to Tim Daly’s character, rather than claiming that it is ghosts that are haunting him right from the beginning.  There’s also a Priest in the film that Tim Daly’s character also goes to for guidance.  Daly’s character is not a religious man, but the Priest is an old family friend who knew Bryan’s parents very well and knew him from a very young age, and he actually tells Bryan the truth about his Aunt’s old house and it causes him to uncover some repressed memories and really adds to the development of Tim Daly’s character.  
She was pretty useless to the film
Towards the end of the film Bryan get’s help from a student of Dr. Koven’s named, Cassie, but I think she was more of a filler than anything.  She’s a psychic who also helps out Tim Daly’s character, and helps him confront his past so that he can go on with his life. I really think her character could have been replaced by Dr. Koven and the film would have flowed together much better.  I assume the addition of Cassie to the plot was just an attempt to appease any female demographic who watched this film.                                          
     There are a few jump scares in the film, but nothing really out of the ordinary terrifying.  A lot of the jump scares have some great build up leading up to them that were totally worth it when they happened, and other times throughout the film the buildup leads to nothing.  As a horror movie, this film isn’t really all that scary, but as a mystery film it gets to be pretty good at parts.  I think people should see it just to see Tim Daly’s performance, but there are other things in the film that you are sure to like as well, so do yourself a favor and check out the film “The Skeptic”


  1. The ending made me angry. I wasn't sure what happened. Angry Mom ghost and son are happy in heavenly picnic?? Or What??

  2. Has nobody seen the 80s movie House? This movie copies that one so heavily it is appauling. Though it goes in another direction, scenes in the movie are a direct copy. Disappointing nobody notices this.

    1. I must point out that my post was before I had watched the rest of the movie. The beginning is still a rip off of House from 1985. But the rest is pretty interesting.