Skeptical About Ghosts
Bryan Beckett is an attorney whose aunt just died and left him a four-story Victorian house loaded with lots of eBay™-able furnishings. The house also comes with a ghost. Therein lies the problem — Beckett is pragmatic to a fault, refusing to believe in the Loch Ness monster, the Roswell Incident, or spooks and/or spirits. He doesn’t even go to church because he thinks all that God stuff is just plain silly. Ironic how he keeps yelling out “Jesus Christ!” whenever the ghost comes around.
Beckett moves into the house and hears audible whispers and door scratchings (probably a giant talking rat). He even sees reflections of a ghost woman in mirrors and crumpled up at the bottom of the stairs. These are goon out moments. He later learns the house was willed to a scientific institute that specializes in investigation of the paranormal.
Having his inheritance yanked from underneath his disbeliefs, Beckett goes to the institute and discovers his aunt was a customer after hearing voices and scratchings herself. But the lab director deals in science fact, not fiction, and easily dismisses the experiences in what Beckett now believes to be a haunted house. And hey, factor in all the medication he’s been taking for chronic insomnia (and delicious wine left in the cellar), and you have a plausible explanation for the spookings. If only drugs and booze were that simple.
As the paranormal events escalate, Beckett slowly discovers he’s been blocking something so horrifying, he’d pee his pants right now if it wouldn’t be embarrassing in front of the supernaturally pre-disposed chick from the institute. She moves in for a night to see if the place is actually haunted, or if Beckett’s dipstick isn’t quite touching the oil. Strong dialogue propels the mystery even further, with the vomit-inducing truth coming to his mind’s surface.
An above average ghost story, The Skeptic (2009), even with its lackluster ending (it needed less Casper/1995, and more Poltergeist/1982), has great reaction shots and enough scare moments to make that which was prone to puckering even more so.