The brain sees what it wants to see.
Professor Phillip Goodman devotes his life to exposing phony psychics and fraudulent supernatural shenanigans. His skepticism soon gets put to the test when he receives news of three chilling and inexplicable cases -- disturbing visions in an abandoned asylum, a car accident deep in the woods and the spirit of an unborn child. Even scarier -- each of the macabre stories seems to have a sinister connection to the professor's own life.
ActorsStarring: Andy Nyman, Martin Freeman, Alex Lawther, Paul Whitehouse, Nicholas Burns, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Louise Atkins, Daniel Hill, Deborah Wastell, Amy Doyle, Maggie McCarthy, Christine Dalby, Jill Halfpenny, Ramzan Miah, Joe Osborne, Maria Major, Emily Carding, Benji Ming, Leonard Byrne, Macie Allen, Ryan Oliva, Samuel Bottomley, Jake Davies, Oliver Woollford, Callum Goulden, Anthony Davis, Mike Aarons, Derren Brown, Elaine Dyson, Billy Sneddon, Paul Warren, Lesley Harcourt
Professional paranormal debunker and self-proclaimed “truth seeker”, Professor Phillip Goodman, visits three people who claim to have had supernatural encounters. By the end of his journey, Phillip hopes to expose the cases as frauds or explain away their encounters with unwavering logic. However, this time Professor Goodman may have met his match. As soon as I saw the trailer for this movie, I was anxiously awaiting its release. Then for some reason, it only released in one theater near me and for only one day, and then it was gone. Luckily, I was able to catch it via some xfinity app through a friend. If you haven’t yet seen the trailers I highly recommend watching them as they are amazing, and frankly more enjoyable than the movie they represent. Be forewarned now that there will be spoilers ahead.
When the movie started, I was full of anticipation and hope – something I try not to do when watching a horror movie for obvious reasons – and my initial reaction after the opening scene was surprise. Not from the opening scene being bad, but the realization that Martin Freeman wasn’t the main character. I guess I misinterpreted the trailers or there was some misdirection in marketing, given how much trailer screen time he has. After that initial disappointment wore off, I let myself enjoy the rest of the movie – or at least try to. I assumed the movie would revolve around the three paranormal cases advertised in the trailers, but I thought there would be more depth to them, especially since they are the reason I’m watching this movie in the first place. Instead, each case is revealed, played out, and then the scene immediately cuts to the next case. There’s no resolution or discussion of the events that took place, just a flashback to the paranormal event and then the next scene is literally Professor Goodman arriving at the next case. After the film ended, the credits revealed information that possibly explain this poor editing/storytelling.
If you look at each case as its own short movie, I guess maybe one of them I would consider scary. The other two were silly and just plain didn’t make sense. What’s worse is we are not provided any explanation or discussion about the events. For instance, in the second case, a boy driving home alone at night accidentally hits a goat-man and then gets attacked by said goat-man. Later he apparently gets home somehow and his parents just stand in one place, and the boy compulsively puts demonic imagery on his bedroom walls. That’s it. On to the next case. If you’re hoping for some big reveal at the end that will ultimately make all of the stories make sense in some way, think again. Instead, we’re lazily given the twist that Professor Goodman has been in a coma this whole time and imagined the entire movie. I tried making excuses as to why the movie was good but I can’t. This was such an incredible let down.
After the movie is over, we learn this was adapted from a stage play, which makes sense when I look back at the scene transitions. While this may have been a great stage play, I think it’s safe to say it did not translate well onto the silver screen. After all of the great reviews and near impossibility finding somewhere to watch this movie at release, I really wanted to like it, but I have to be honest and tell you this was not worth the effort. The trailers were amazing, but the hype over-promised and the movie under delivered.
This movie is…
One of the best horror trailers I’ve ever seen but in the end, there was nothing more to it.
Cheers and goodnight.
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