Ginger Nuts of Horror
There are certain things I am wary of when reviewing films, one of which is the independent multitasker, that very common animal who writes, directs, produces and even composes the score for the film as well as giving himself the starring role. These films are usually to be avoided like the plague. J Van Auken was obviously a very busy man as he wore all of those various hats. Revelator is one of those rare exceptions in which he didn’t stretch his talents too thinly as this film is totally engrossing and J Van Auken as the principal character is flawless in the portrayal.
The basics are that there’s this guy John who can see ghosts, not everyone believes him, yet with sufficient interest from certain people he gets a degree of credibility he’d rather not have as he is much sought after but not always in a good way. Valerie (Mindy Rae), a journalist of the ‘top 10 lists’ variety sets her sights on finding out the truth about John’s abilities and either exposing him or promoting him, as in her world Internet clicks equal cash in pocket.
The last heir to the Bellvue fortune has died, and there are questions regarding legitimacy of the cause, so John is called upon for answers even though the family believe him to be a fraud. Valerie invites herself along and generally interferes in spite of John’s reluctance to get involved.
The film is shot in very muted colours with an overall feeling of drudgery, this works beautifully as it lends a more sombre tone to complement John’s personality. On that note, J Van Auken who plays John, doesn’t appear to be acting at all, his movements, speech patterns and general demeanour are exactly as one would expect of a person in his predicament. There is good if not limited support from other cast members but chiefly it’s the MC’s film and one which is all the better for it.
So far this may not sound enticing, especially if you’re a fan of non-stop gore and jump scares, though don’t write it off as although there is a small amount of gore this film is not about that, it’s about John, and the character portrayal there is complex and perfectly performed. There’s a lot to be said for films such as ‘Paranormal Jump-Scares Part 27’ or whatever other cash cow the movie industry churns out for $$$$$$, and I don’t mind admitting that although I find a lot of them boring, some of them can be fun, yet I would gladly trade a dozen such films for one such as Revelator. It’s a class act and if there’s ever a follow-up I’d be happy to see it.