– By Dave Cliffe
John Dunning is a troubled psychic who has the ability to see dead people. He uses this forsaken gift as a job, where he helps clients find out the what, where and why of the recently deceased. However, his latest assignment involves a murder, an island, an inheritance and an inquisitive reporter who wants to know if he is for real or if he is a fake.
The premise for Revelator is pretty decent; a man who can see dead people gets embroiled in a murder mystery, however, this is the only thing of merit that can be gleaned from this low-budget horror thriller.
It is a slightly worrying sign, although somewhat commendable too, when the star of the film (J. Van Auken) is also the writer, producer and cinematographer. It is probably fair to say that budgeting could be the main factor of this, however, it also feels very much like a vanity project too. Due to the thinning-out of duties, the film lacks in narrative cohesion (the story threads do not bind well and is convoluted); the direction lacks any sense of dread, horror or originality, moreover, many scenes feel stilted and there are moments of ham-fisted acting; the sound design is at times difficult to comprehend and lacks atmosphere; and finally the cinematography is generically-filtered.
This sounds harsh, but the parts do not add-up to anything memorable or coherent. If all the above fail, then maybe the audience might engage with the leads (the psychic and the reporter), but even they are one-noted and do not feel like lived-in characters. Apart from the priest and father of the Bellvue family, who are well acted and bring gravitas to the proceedings, it all feels a little contrived and unrealistic.
Great title and premise, but with extremely poor direction and execution, please give this one a miss.