The Believer Movie Review
If you’re wondering what Billy Zane is up to, head on over to The Believer, a new low-budget horror movie. Or don’t. Compelling for a while but not as clever or as riveting as writer/director Shan Serafin thinks it is, The Believer is a moderately entertaining but ultimately unfulfilling production.
Zane plays a psychiatrist in the movie but really only appears in a few scenes, and those scenes are arguably the worst parts of the movie, not-quite-red-herring sequences that distract from the better bits. The stars are Aidan Bristow and Sophie Kargman, who play the worst married couple in history; he’s an unemployed nuclear scientist (are there unemployed nuclear scientists?) grounded in science and logic, and she’s a seemingly psychotic devil worshipper who, a month earlier, terminated her unborn child without talking it through with him first.
Then again, he may be losing his mind, too, so in some respects, they’re the perfect match.
The Believer relies heavily on this off kilter dynamic and reveling in its mysterious, slowly unfolding story. Serafin presents an intriguing vision and lays the foundation for something solid; the pieces just never converge in a cohesive, powerful way. Both Bristow and Kargman are good given the material, but neither are quite able to overcome the film’s limitations; as the story gets more twisted and disturbed, neither entirely sell their characters. Nonetheless, Kargman does creepy well--but it would have been good to see her become more sadistic and fully unleashed.
The journey is moderately satisfying, but by the end I had largely lost interest in what happens, and I’m not entirely clear on what happened. There’s enough here that some horror fans may be won over, but it didn’t make me a believer.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.