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The Mesmerist 2002
Description: Based on an Edgar Allan Poe story, this movie says the grimly comic tale of a bad-tempered old boy (Howard Hesseman) who hacks death, only to go on tormenting the living. When a medical experiment leaves the grouch hovering between life and death (and able to describe the globe beyond), things receive tricky for his daughter (Jessica Capshaw) and her beau (Neil Patrick Harris, of "Doogie Howser, M.D." fame), who can't receive their hands on his estate.
Released: 11 Mar 2002 Director: Gil Cates Jr. Writers: Michael A. Goorjian, Ron Marasco, Edgar Allan Poe (original story) Actors: Neil Patrick Harris, Jessica Capshaw, Howard Hesseman, Jason Carter Genres: Comedy, Mystery
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The Mesmerist Reviews:

I second the first feeling of puzzlement as somebody else wrote about this movie. Poe and... humour? It doesn't fit. Usually you watch films based EAP's chilling writing and you don't dare to go to the bathroom afterwards. "The Mesmerist" though leaves you *running* for the bathroom because you have been laughing so hard. It is hilarious - and this is without doubt due to the incredibly well chosen cast.There's terrible Benjamin (Neill Patrick Harris) who never seems to be on top of the meal chain, everytime complying with his girlfriend's wishes and fighting his own desires and temptations. Then we have Daisy (Jessica Capshaw) who is so believable as the frightened daughter - her performance is so wonderfully "over the top", a blast to watch. Of course, we mustn't forget lovely Consuela (Jo Champa) who manages to roll the "r" like approaching thunder adding to her intoxicating persona of the unusual maid. Last but not least, we're crying tears of laughter at the brilliant portrayal of Dr Pretory. Jason Carter delivers a stunning performance, taking the entire movie into his hands the moment he crashes through the door, literally. I highly suggest watching this movie. Go see it... and be mesmerized.


I saw this at SxSW in 2002, not really expecting much humor since it was based on E.A. Poe's "The Facts in the Situation of Mr. Valdemar." Luckily was I mistaken.Because Daisy's (Jessica Capshaw) father is dying, her and her fiance Benjamin (Neil Patrick Harris) create one last visit to his home before he goes to the nice beyond. But her father (Howard Hesseman) isn't about to go without a fight. Using a half-mad mesmerist (Jason Carter) he is going to adventure to the another side while still communicating with the living. This should have easy been a terrible horror flick, but the characters are so dysfunctional that it leads to some outlandish British comedy style humor.


I rented this and watched it today. I expected a decent movie, and that's what I got. It really was funny. The dark humor is very funny and I think anyone who likes dark comedies would like it. No, it's not as nice as some dark comedies like Corpse Bride, but it's still an alright movie. There's not much to tell about this movie. I've told all I can tell now. It's funny, sort of stupid, and short. I like comedies like that. You know, the sweet and short kind? I don't wish to watch a comedy if it's 3 hours long! This is short, but short to the mission where you want it should have been at least 10 mins longer. It's not bad, it's not great, but it's a good, short, and funny movie. A rental.



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