Revelator (2017) Movie Review

Seeing dead people has been used as a plot device for several movies in various genres, the latest of which is Revelator, a mystery film about a broken man with the ability to see the dead who helps mourning families find closure. Read on for my thoughts on Revelator.

Revelator was written and directed by J. Van Auken and stars J. Van Auken, Mindy Rae, Greg Lucey, and Alex Klein.

Official synopsis:

John Dunning, a disgraced psychic who sees the dead, is thrust in the midst of the embattled Bellvue family empire, and must investigate the suspicious death of the last heir, while cynical journalist Valerie Kreuger documents his every move; but when the death is ruled a murder and John the sole suspect, he must venture into the depths of madness to uncover the truth about the family and their power, before he loses his mind – or worse.

What I Liked

What kept me invested in this movie, even more so than the mystery aspect, was the relationship between John and Valerie, two people who have suffered emotional trauma and are dealing with it in their own ways. They initially don’t see the common ground they share but eventually, for better or worse, they form a bond through the pain and come to trust each other. J. Van Auken and Mindy Rae did a great job bringing these damaged and flawed characters to life and they have great chemistry together.

What I Didn’t Like

The antagonists in the film weren’t developed enough and never felt like a true threat. John’s ability to see ghosts really help him a whole lot because although he can see ghosts, he can’t communicate with them. I mentioned before how the strongest aspect of the film for me was the interaction between John and Valerie. The film tears them apart for a good portion of the movie and I started to loss interest. Although dealing with some supernatural elements, Revelator keeps things fairly realistic, which works in its favor. This is wasted once John stumbles upon a machine that lets him communicate with the dead. This leads to the mystery being resolved without much build up and felt like a deus ex machina.

Final Thoughts

Revelator centers on a mystery that never really pulled me in like I had hoped, yet I was able to keep interested due to the relationship between the two leads, at least until the film saw fit to tear them apart for most of the final act. The films reveal and ending felt contrived and convenient and wasn’t as shocking as it should have been. I was left wanting to know where the two leads wound up. If you don’t mind a film that is more mystery than horror, Revelator might be your type of movie.


About Charlie Cargile

Central Illinois based film journalist. Lover of cinema of all varieties but in love with films with an independent spirit. Elder Emo. Cat Dad. Metalhead.

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