Revelator, J. Van Auken: Film Review
Director: J. Van Auken
Writer: J. Van Auken
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Release Format: Streaming, VOD Platforms
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 1 Hour, 49 Minutes
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.
Revelator has released on September 5, 2017, across Video on Deman and streaming platforms. Produced by
Brain Damage Films
Maxim Media Marketing
Revelator follows John Dunning (portrayed by J. Van Auken), a psychic who can see and make contact with the deceased. His services are requested by the Bellvue Family; Carmine Bellvue (portrayed by Greg Lucey) and Elias Bellvue (portrayed by Alex Klein), after a death has taken place that puts them all in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, Valerie Kreuger (portrayed by Mindy Rae), a journalist, is looking for her next big story, which happens to be John Dunning and his supposed talents. She needs a story from him, and he needs a favor from her. Together, they proceed down a dark path of lies, manipulation, and deceit.
Revelator has a concept seen before. A person who has the gift of seeing the dead is nothing new in Horror and Sci-Fi cinema. With this in mind, J. Van Auken’s tale of spirits, murder, and deception creates an intriguing combination. This gets accompanied by a dark and dramatic score composition, which is great for the concept. The camera lighting is low-tone and dark to fit the theme. There is more sadness in the movie and every aspect revolves around that sadness.
John Dunning puts on a great performance as the guy that can see spirits. He is the one that everyone wants to seek and talk to for their own selfish reasons. He encounters many people who are not genuine and have ulterior motives for their own personal gains.
Valerie is one of those cruel people who fakes her kindness at first, just so she can land the perfect story in her career. This is every journalist’s dream and she does whatever it takes to reach that dream. However, she encounters deception in the process.
Another foe is the Bellvue Family, who do everything they can to keep John believing he’s a psychic who can see the dead. This part of the film confused me at first until things become cleared up later. They want his island and will stop at nothing to get him to sign it over. Other characters use him to connect with deceased loved ones, as for how films in this theme go.
For the costume selections, most of the characters wear dark clothing, which is suitable for the overall concept of the film. Dealing with spirits, murder, and investigations. The makeup effects of the deceased characters were convincing and impressive.
One interesting thing to note about John Dunning’s character; he is a pushover. Bad people use him and take advantage of him; even hurt him. He has the attitude and demeanor of a doormat. For the majority of the film, he allows these people to walk over him. For me, personally, I was not in favor of this.
I have spoken countless times about protagonists being the damsels in distress, and how nowadays, that has changed. After seeing this change in certain films, it was like a breath of fresh air. There is a new perception at bay, and it is invigorating to see protagonists now be defensive/aggressive. John gains the courage and morphs into this whole new version of himself closer towards the end of the film. This was a great relief.
There is no jump scare factor in this film. The encounters with the deceased are bitter-sweet and, although good, are not scary.
4. In Conclusion
Revelator has a familiar, but a good concept. The path Director J. Van Auken takes gives leverage to the film in a way where it stands on its own and not fall into any cliche’s. It’s a thought-provoking experience, as the viewer may find they have to view more than once to grasp the whole concept and understand it all.
Click for information on rating metric: 0-10 Avoid | 11-20 Mediocre | 21-30 Good | 31-40 Average | 41-50 Satisfactory | 51-60 Stunning | 61-70 Terrific | 71-80 Must See | 81-90 Amazing | 91-100 Impressive