Revelator: A Review
by Luce Allan
In Revelator (2017), the psychic John Dunning struggles to discern whether or not his ability to see the dead is legitimate, as much of the world invalidates his abilities. Soon after he reluctantly agrees to have a young reporter interview him for a highly-publicized series of articles, one of his most loyal clients dies and bequeaths her valuable island property to him, her wealthy and ruthless family set their sights on John, planning to ruin him unless he can uncover the cause behind their youngest son's death. As John fights for his life and his reputation, he unearths the dark, shocking secrets that lurk within both the living and dead around him.
Revelator is an excellent contribution to the horror genre, and hits the mark on some of the most crucial elements in a noteworthy film. While the concept of a psychic with a connection to the dead is common in horror, the creativity infused within the film's ghost-centered lore and aesthetics is both riveting and eerie. The plot, while slow in some areas, compensates with delicious twists and turns that intensify the fresh imagery. The cinematography is superb in punctuating the dark and brooding atmosphere that pervades the film, as well as the various gorgeous locations that comprise the setting. The acting is also distinctive, featuring an impressive lead performance by J. Van Auken (who also serves as the writer and director of the film); the deeply-rooted doubt and pessimism that Auken infuses into his character flows easily between stoicism and powerful emotion, and allows for a wonderfully complex protagonist. Mindy Rae (Valerie Kreuger) is brilliant as well, translating the role of a young reporter as a cool and collected powerhouse that complements the psychological chaos within Auken's character. Nicholas Thurkettle provides some of the most chilling moments of the film as the ghost of Jacob Bellvue, and creates a maelstrom of terror in each of his scenes.
Overall, Revelator is a top-notch horror film that has the potential to excite and invigorate fans of horror.