It is football season, which means I will be a widow for the next several months. My husband will be firmly planted in front of the TV watching every football game he can possibly find.
That means I will have time to catch up on watching the movies I have been being to see. Last weekend, I checked out several, which I will be reviewing over the next few weeks.
The first film in my group is “The Skeptic,” starring Tim Daly, Tom Arnold, Zoe Saldana, Andrea Roth and Edward Hermann. I’ve missed Daly since our weekly trysts back in the 80’s and 90’s when he starred on “Wings;” one of my husband’s favorite shows.
In “The Skeptic,” Daly plays Bryan Beckett; a rather cold and distant man who can’t or won’t open up to his family or friends. That has suddenly become a bone of contention between him and his wife Robin (played by Roth). So he jumps at the chance to use his aunt’s death as an opportunity to separate. He says he needs to move into his aunt’s home to protect things until the estate is settled.
However, things don’t go well in the house. Bryan hears strange noises and sees things he can’t understand. Still, he keeps that to himself until he finds out from his lawyer that his aunt didn’t leave him the estate after all. Instead, she left it to a group doing research in the paranormal.
He confronts the group’s leader who informs him that his aunt fully believed her house to be haunted. Still Bryan poo poos the idea. But more and more things happen, making him believe there just might be something to his aunt’s claims.
During one of his visits to the center, he meets a powerful psychic by the name of Cassie (played by Zoe Saldana). Unable to resist the chance to check out a haunted home she invites herself to Bryan’s house and talks him into allowing her to stay.
With Cassie’s help, Bryan unlocks some secrets from his childhood that he has managed to bury within his own mind. They are powerful enough to explain why he has remained closed off for most of his life.
“The Skeptic” isn’t a great movie. It really isn’t even a particularly good one. However, it does have a few spine tingling moments that might may make it worth the rental to someone who enjoys that sort of thing.
Daly plays his role a bit too well. He must have taken a lead from his sister, Tyne, because he mirrored some of her coldest performances. Or perhaps, all the Daly family members just have a propensity toward being cold and distant.
Arnold plays Bryan’s best friend, Sully. His role is small but he manages to pull it off. Let’s face it, this man will never be a great actor but he does have something indefinable.
Saldana is eerie as the troubled Cassie. Still honing her acting skills, there is a definitive thread that runs through all of her performances. I think that is just a piece of the actress herself. To really make it big in Hollywood; however, she will need to move beyond that to show more varied skill.
The screenplay, written and directed by Tennyson Bardwell, could have benefited from another director’s point of view. It was one-dimensional because the writer could not separate himself from his work.
There was a lot of promise in this film but it simply wasn’t fully met. It has a few scary moments but not enough to really hold the audience’s attention for long. Therefore I can only give it 2 out of 5 stars.
RATING SCALE USED:
0 = A stinker. Don’t waste the money!
1 = Bad. Rent it at your own risk.
2 = Below average. See only if you have time to kill.
2.5 = Average. A toss up.
3 = Good. Worth a looksee.
3.5 = Very Good. I recommend it.
4 = Excellent. Don’t miss it!
4.5 = Outstanding. What are you waiting for?
5 = Destined to become a classic. You will be sorry if you don’t see it.