Psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant study paranormal activity, which leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic who has resurfaced years after his toughest critic mysteriously passed away.
The skeptical psychologist Dr. Margaret Matheson and her assistant, physicist Tom Buckley, are specialists in disclosing fraudulent paranormal phenomena. When the famous psychic Simon Silver reappears to his public after many years of absence, Tom becomes singularly obsessed in determining whether Silver is a fraud or not. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The scene in which Margaret Matheson exposes a psychic healer by listening in on a partner feeding him instructions wirelessly was based on the case in which skeptics James Randi and Steve Shaw (better known under his stage name Banachek), with technical assistance from crime scene analyst and electronics expert Alexander Jason, exposed Peter Popoff in 1986. In that case, as in the scene, Popoff's wife Elizabeth was feeding him information that she and her aides had taken from prayer request cards filled out by audience members over wireless radio. Some of the dialogue is taken almost verbatim from the actual case. In May 1986, Randi presented the evidence on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962), exposing Popoff's fraudulent practices. In 1987, Popoff declared bankruptcy, only to make a comeback in the late 1990s and early 2000s. See more »
At the beginning of the movie you hear a car driving with the gears changing on a manual transmission. However, when the car appears, it is a car that was never manufactured with a manual transmission. The car zooms down the road in the same scene with, again, the wrong automobile sounds. See more »
Not impressed. Too hollow, self-conflicting, unfulfilled
Unimpressed. I liked the theme that the movie was hinting towards in the beginning. Scientists evaluating and debunking pseudo-science and psychic phenomena. Reminded me of the Great James Randi. But within minutes, it was clear that even that aspects are mangled up. Some investigations are shown without the results/ explanations given in detail. The debunks are simplistic, and talk about some of the common/ popular psychic cons, but never in detail; I wonder if people would catch it unless they are already familiar with the cons via documentaries and other shows.
I was particularly irritated about how they administered the Astrology chart test devised by James Randi, and popularized via "Pen & Teller: Bulls**t" episode. Cilian Murphy's character administered the test, and then left the scene without explaining the point of the exercise, which is a shame.
I liked Sigourney Weaver's character in the beginning, but the character turned out to be so poorly threshed out; not a lot better than a caricature of a pseudo-science skeptic.
I understand a lot of people have problems with the movie's ending. I can understand the frustration. The climactic twist takes away from the central premise, it reminded me of 'The Reaping' in some way. And besides being incongruous to the main storyline, it further had the problem of being very poorly executed.
Overall, I'd rate it around 4 out of 10. Not great.
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