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<Movie Details
15 June 2012 by Tim Evans

Paranormal myth debunkers Dr Margaret Matheson (Weaver) and Tom Buckley (Murphy) are the sort of rational scientists who would give Derek Acorah sleepless nights.

Skilled at spotting supernatural charlatans and their inventive scams (lifting up seance tables with a well-placed foot), they're the scourge of celebrity psychics who use two-way radios to glean information about their vulnerable targets.

No apparently otherworldly occurence can't be simply explained...until legendary medium and psychic Simon Silver (De Niro) re-emerges after years of self-imposed isolation.

The blind millionaire, who travels by executive jet with his glamorous PA (Joely Richardson), retired from the scene following the mysterious heart attack death of a sceptical journalist who was dogging Silver's appearances.

There's also bad blood between Silver and Weaver's psychologist after the psychic once used the existence of her comatose son in a TV stunt to discredit her meticulously scientific approach to his dodgy profession.

There's an intriguing premise to this thriller which also ambitiously takes on the concept of the mind being conned through sneaky tactics, including the planted doubt that can wrong-foot a confirmed sceptic.

However, it can't settle on a tone and superfluous characters - Elisabeth Olsen's lab assistant/love interest and Toby Jones' rival scientist - merely serve to confuse matters.

Weaver - a veteran ghostbuster - and Murphy make an attractive pairing although it's difficult not to stifle a giggle when a milky-eyed De Niro gives us yet another parapsychologic spiel.

At the end of a long night, it's an effective thriller that could have done with sticking to its strengths.