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  • Warning: Spoilers
    This supposed "thriller" is just plain awful. Is mildly amusing at best because of it's stupidity, and clearly shows it's place on a TV screen. Uninspired performances and lackluster action make this one a real turn-off, despite the appearance of Sean Patrick Flannery (why, Sean, why?). The plot is unoriginal, and as if we haven't got enough of those. The characters are so flat you don't feel a hint of emotion for most of them, and I never cared what the main character did during his rounds of insanity. The only character that even slightly moved me was Lois, and her death was so rushed I barely had any time to feel anything. She was also almost completely ignored and deserved a better role (not to mention a better actress). The dialouge was horrible and stiff as a board.

    The plot involves an old house that a woman named Elizabeth lived in during the Salem witch hunts. Because of her wild claims and ferocious behaviour, she was hung outside the building. During present day, a descendant of hers is living in the house with her husband, a scientist trying to find a cure for brain disease. After finding a strange moss in the basement, he turns it into a medecine that heal the brain injuries of rodent test subjects dramatically. Intruiged, he tests it on himself, and finds a 30 point boost in his IQ. However, his personality is also altered. He becomes easily angered, goes out for runs at awkward hours, and suspects his wife of cheating on him with a friend of her's from campus. Despite the overload on cliches, it could have been better if done rightly.

    One subplot involves a fire on the front porch, which burns the symbol of Satan into the porch. Another involves a stain on the roof which keeps growing, about which the scientist has a dream where it drips blood on him and his wife in bed. Yet another has some members of his team testing the medecine on themselves and running Lois off the road to her death. And yet ANOTHER involves a corpse in an upside down coffin found in the basement. Each of these are competely ignored and forgotten. Perhaps if they hadn't intensified the finding of the corpse so much, it wouldn't have been such a big deal. The same goes for the stain. And perhaps because the ancestor was supposedly a witch, the symbol appeared. Each of these explinations have to be thought through for an arrival at them, and I'm being generous by mentioning them because they leave even bigger holes in the plot (which I won't explain because they'd be serious spoilers). There are countless others.

    Add this with a sterotypical ending and, as the previous reviewer commentd on, a tad too many over-the-phone fights so close together that seem so much like each other, and you have a worthless piece of mediocre that should probably be skipped. 1/10.
  • I will never understand why movie adapters feel the need to change certain parts of books for the movie. Here is an example of a book I like very much becoming a very bad movie. I realize it's on TV and there are time constraints, but there is no need to change things like the last names of the characters or the time period of the historical element of the book. Not only that, but the entire concept of the book was distorted. Robin Cook's book was a commentary on the lengths people will go to for personality-enhancing, "happy-pill" psychotropic drugs, like Prozac or Ultra in the book, driven by the possible financial gain as well. In the movie, the drug was changed to a possible cure for Alzheimer's Disease or other mentally degenerative illnesses. And Edward is driven by a past disappointment in obtaining a patent on a drug Not only that, the main character of the book is Kim and her quest for removing the stigma of shame surrounding her accused-witch ancestor and also for personal acceptance. She becomes a flat character with almost no real action except for running away. Edward is the focal character in the movie.
  • rrsafety22 October 2001
    Poorly acted, poorly scripted, stupid and boring. My wife and I howled with derision many times because it was so bad. Were it in a theater, plenty of popcorn would be thrown at the screen. If you are interested, watch the movie with friends and make fun of it (especially the scene where a phone is fought over no less than three times in about six minutes "I'm going to call the police." "Oh, no you're not." "Yes, I am." "Give me that phone." "No." --struggling -- "!") Awful.
  • sol121815 June 2007
    Warning: Spoilers
    ***SPOILERS*** Its a shame in that the actors and actresses put so much effort into trying to make "Acceptible Risk" believable when at the same time the script was a bummer right from the start and gave them practically nothing to really work with. The film starts off like your typical haunted house scenario with this yuppie couple Ed & Kim Wells, Chad Lowe & Kelly Rutherford, moving into Kelly's relatives, the Armstrongs, house in Marblehead MA. just a stones throw from historical Selem.

    Ed we learn is a hot shot young scientist with an Ivy league, Cambridge, education and is working on a cure for Alzheimers Disease. Ed's wife Kim is a pretty smart cookie herself but, unlike her obsessed husband Ed, has a bit more common sense in not getting involved in Ed's mindless experiments that eventually did him and a number of his friends and fellow yuppie whiz kids in by getting involved with his harebrained schemes.

    The Armstrong House turns out to have been a late 17th century, around the time of the Selem Whitch Trials, witches coven where there was all kinds of witches brews being cooked up. It's soon discovered that some of the ingredients, spores and fungi, to those devilish concoctions are still hidden inside the house three hundred years later ;with young nutty professor, or kid scientist, Ed Wells being to one to bring them back to life.

    The film has a hard time trying to connect the 17th century witches brew to modern day science and so does Ed. Later Ed gets involved in experimenting with the brew and finding out, by exposing himself to it, that it does wonders for his both IQ, raising it at least 30 points, as well as his sex life with the guy always horny and ready and willing to go into action, in as well as out of bed, at any moment of the day or night. What the brew also does is make Ed into a manic depressive psychotic where he becomes schizophrenic at everything he sees or hears with acquired super vision and hearing. Drinking the witches brew has Ed actually goes back in time, mentally as well as emotionally, becoming a brutal Neanderthal-type caveman hunting down wild game outside in the woods, and tearing it apart with his teeth, as well as losing his ability to eat with a knife and fork back at home.

    Wanting to make it big in pharmaceutical world Ed gets together with Wall Street high financier Standfield, Scott Hyland, and his fellow whiz kids and scientific geniuses Bobby Gloria and Sara, Sean Patrick Flenery Danielle Von Zerneck & Joy Tanner, who come up with this drug that they all test on themselves that's called Altra. Altra is supposed to clean out the Bata Amyloid plaque from peoples brain cells, the cause of Alzheimers. Instead the drug makes anyone who tries it on themselves, like Ed Bobby Gloria & Sara, lose their minds and go postal!

    The acting is the only thing in the movie that keeps you interested in it with Chad Lowe really giving it all he's got as the mad scientist. Kelly Rutherford is about as good as one can expect as the abused, by Ed and his friends, wife who sticks by her man even when her man is a deadly treat to her and everyone else that he comes in contact with. Bobby really gets the worst, far worse then Ed Gloria and Sara, of it in having his brain cooked and stir fried by the witches. Bobby ends up not only killing Ed's next door neighbor Lois ,Patty McCormick, by running her off the road and causing her to die in a flaming car smash up, just for the fun of it, but ends up murdering his girlfriend, and fellow science whiz kid Gloria.

    Ed who by now got both his act and brains together after doing a little mischief himself by viciously beating into a concussion poor professor Garvin (Philip Troy), for just talking to his wife Kim, is now confronted by the completely crazed Bobby who desperately wants another dose of Altra, the witches brew, and wants it so bad even if he has to kill Ed, who's the only one who knows where the formula for the dangerous drug is, to get it! that's just how crazy a normal and intelligent young man like Bobby, as well as Ed Gloria & Sara, became by exposing themselves to it!
  • sunbeam-41 February 2004
    I liked everything about this film except the unfortunate ending. I've always been a big fan of Kelly Rutherford and she did her usual great job in this one. I used to watch her in The Adventures of Briscoe County Jr. it seems like ages ago, and have watched for her movies ever since. She's really good in Threat Matrix too, although in that she plays a rather stern, tough girl character in my opinion. Needless to say, I think she's a cutie and really added a lot to this movie.