Believe (2000) Poster

(I) (2000)

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Wonderful suspenseful ghost thriller for all ages
Thalor-23 March 2001
I just finished watching this movie and I think it is one of the best I have seen in a long time. It manages to combine a ghost story, a love story or two, a teenage rivalry, a suspense-thriller, a get-even story, and a "I'm-not-telling" (grin) ending.

Children and adults can both enjoy this film. It manages to avoid any gorey scenes and yet includes plenty of rising suspense and timely comic relief.

The two youthful stars, Ricky and Elisha, are truly great actors and will no doubt have very long, very successful careers. I look forward to seeing them play in more movies soon because they certainly can act. The pair put quite a lot of "punch" into the story, making all aspects of it real and involving.

I really recommend you see this film. I think you will enjoy it no matter what age you are.
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decent ghost story,though not very intense(very family friendly)
disdressed126 April 2007
i didn't find this movie too bad.i was expecting something more intense.this is a fairly family friendly ghost story and there's nothing wrong with that.Elisha Cuthbert is the leading female character,while Ricky Mabe(whose career so far has been mostly TV series and a one or two TV movies)is the lead male character.the acting is fine,and the movie has bit of an eerie feel to it.however,i didn't really buy into the reason for the ghost haunting the just seemed too weak of an explanation to me.other than that,i don't have any major gripe with i said,it's pretty lite family fare,so you want see any blood or violence,and there's no bad language that i's rated PG for thematic material,but i don't think too many children over ten would have a problem with it.for me,"Believe" is a 7/10
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Flying in the Dark
BaronBl00d26 June 2001
This is a nice, family-oriented little ghost story about two teenagers trying to release a ghost from its eternal walking. Much of the film is well-crafted with some solid if not inspiring acting from the whole cast and some interesting, effective direction from Bob Tinnell. Tinnell uses bright colors throughout the film, particularly in the night scenes, creating an obvious homage to Mario Bava and Dario Argento. The story is somewhat adolescent in nature, so if you are looking for blood and guts, look elsewhere. Plot elements are nicely climaxed but fall short in the end. Although the end is a bit weak, I still found myself liking the film quite a bit. Just wondering if anyone found the the climax of the falling branch to be a page out of Saki's "The Interlopers?" Actor Jan Rubes does an excellent job as an embittered yet caring grandfather looking after his grandson with whom he has not seen since five. Look also for a nice cameo by Andrea Martin of SCTV fame as an expert on ghosts. The two teenaged leads were pretty good with Elisha Cuthbert really standing out.
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Good spooky fun for the whole family
Glyde Stick2 September 2000
When I rented "Believe", I was expecting some cheesy ghost film. I was pleasantly surprised to find a good story, decent acting, and some actual chills. Even more surprising was the fact that the film makers pulled it off without graphic violence, nudity, or vulgar language which makes "Believe" a good film for the whole family to watch.

A mysterious woman in a red coat keeps making appearances at an old spooky house. Benjamin, a young man recently expelled from school for practical jokes and sent to live with his grandfather, attempts to find out who she is and how he can help her.

The house staff all know about her, but won't talk. The cranky old grandfather vehemently denies she exists. With the help of a girl who lives next door, Ben uncovers old skeletons in the family closet and a tragedy that occurred many years before.

The film is very well done highly recommended for "family movie night". Think of it as "Goosebumps" meets "Are You Afraid Of The Dark" with just a touch more maturity.
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The ghost in the garden
jotix10024 July 2005
Sometimes it takes years to realize how wrong two bitter enemies have been about an incident one party blames the other, when in reality the accused didn't have anything to do with what happened, at all. This is followed by enmity, as neither party seems to be the first one to see the real facts, as they really happened. Such seems to be the situation one witnesses in "Believe", directed by Robert Tinnell, and based on a screen play by Roc LaFortune and Richard Gaudreau.

Ben Stiles (Ricky Mabe) a teen ager whose parents are too busy and keep him in private boarding schools, decide to send him to spend some time with his grandfather Jason (Jan Ruber), a wealthy man living along in a majestic estate. No sooner is Ben installed in the mansion when he begins seeing a woman clad in red, a ghost, who seems to be all over the place. His grandfather doesn't want to talk about its existence, at all; yet the mystery continues.

Ben meets a beautiful neighbor, Katherine Winslow (Elisha Cuthbert) who lives nearby with an unmarried uncle, Ellicott (Ben Gazzara). Her parents have died in a terrible accident. Ben and Katherine, who also has seen the ghost, try to get to the bottom of the mystery, until they hit a sore spot in both Jason and Ellicott. Both older men live with bitterness in their hearts because each one blame the other for the death of Jason's sister Margaret, the ghost, years ago. Ben and Katherine keep on investigating until the tragedy of Margaret's death is revealed.

"Believe" has some good moments. Its atmosphere of mystery and eeriness is well executed by the director. The acting serves the story and the film is easy to look at and will entertain anyone looking for a moderately good time. The moral of the story seems to center around the bitterness that can come between the best of friends when there shouldn't have been any.
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Doesn't go far enough, but decent enough
slayrrr6662 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"Believe" is somewhat decent, if a completely non-threatening horror film.


Expelled from school, teenage Ben Stiles, (Ricky Mabe) is sent off to live with his grandfather Jason, (Jan Rubes) on his estate. Reprimanded for pulling his pranks, he meets neighbor Katherine Winslow, (Elisha Cuthbert) and helps her to get even with some local goons. When he gets word of their transgressions, he immediately bans them from hanging out together. As they defy the orders and continue on seeing each other, they come across a possible ghost on the property. Initially dismissed as another prank, the two decide to investigate it more. Finding that there's a reason for the haunting and work together to help the ghost get what they want.

The Good News: This one here wasn't all that terrible. The fact remains that there's still some really good stuff in here when it gets to the horror attempts. The main source of fun is the excellent haunted house sequence. It's pretty inventive and creative, really goes all-out and contains some great spots that are a real joy to watch. The fact that the setting itself is really great makes it all the better, since making it work in a really lame house would be a real challenge. The only other fact that works for the film is the fact that there's some great back-story for the ghost. This here is a really creepy tale and doesn't really seem like a cliché at all. This could be a real life occurrence and winds up being one of the best things about the film. It even manages to stay watchable all the way through. There's no dull spots, it stays moving along and doesn't really stop for much. This is a pretty easy watch and isn't very taxing at all. If this is the style that's pleasurable, it can be a great time.

The Bad News: This here doesn't have very many flaws. Most of what's wrong with this one is tied up simply in it's rating. There's not a whole lot of tension that can be created with such a rating. This can't get any suspense or anything really spooky or creepy that will offend it's target audiences. This can't be bothered with the real juicy details with most of the normal versions on display, and that makes for some really slow-burning times. There's hardly any scares involved as it tries to go for the family approach and doesn't even come close to doing anything about it. This failing is pretty much the only thing wrong with the film, as the rating will negate what real horror films should do.

The Final Verdict: While not exactly a sterling example of the genre, it's a pretty decent film overall. Really only for those who enjoy the more light and harmless horror affairs, while those who need scares, brutality, sleaze or anything more traditional horror films have are well advised to leave this one alone.

Rated PG: Mild Violence
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Hugs and Puppies, Without the Puppies
Carrigon5 May 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Misbilled as a horror movie. It's a soggy waste of a ghost story. Not scary. And the ending is really, really lame. The entire plot is weak. It really could have been something. The grandfather's mansion is really nice and they should have used it more. Comes complete with a nearby cemetery. There was no big secret. The ghost died by accident. So, why is she moaning away every night? Well, the plot is warm and fuzzy enough to make you queasy. If you're looking for a Brady Bunch movie with a ghost, this is it. If you were looking for horror and scares, forget it. This thing wouldn't scare your pet. It's a real shame, some of the elements were there. Amazing house and scenery. But a really bad plot and script.
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Canadian PG Horror
gavin694230 September 2015
After being continually kicked out of boarding schools, Ben (Ricky Mabe) is sent to live with his stern Grandfather in a small town. While there, no one is interested in him with the exception of a girl named Kathrine (Elisha Cuthbert).

Really, the only thing going for this film is the cast. Ben Gazzara is always a joy, even if he serves no real purpose in this movie (his role could have been filled by anyone). The real treat is Elisha Cuthbert. There is no way that anyone would have thought within a very short time she would become a sex symbol thanks to "The Girl Next Door" (2004).

The story and everything else is rather bland, and seems like it was made for TV, possibly for young adults or children. You probably will forget you ever watched it within days.
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alright movie
heart-break_lullaby22 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Movie is decent except for the horrible acting by the main character. That and his mouth constantly being open. It does have a few good scares and jumps in it, ghost girl isn't at all what i expected either but they made it work. The reason i gave it a 5 is all because of the main character who drove me insane throughout the whole movie. Locations and houses in the movie are gorgeous. I still think they could of picked a few better actors for the roles too, you can tell the boys aren't very strong because it contstantly seemed like they were reading from a script. All in all it was an okay movie if you can sit through the horrible acting in some parts. Other parts the actors and actresses are really good, i don't understand how that happened but it did. If your bored and need something to do watch it, wouldn't recommend it for a date night unless your looking,for an eye roll and a laugh
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Did I see the same movie as everyone else??
JBoze31320 November 2000
First off, the person who commented on this movie first was wrong. The movie is about Benjamin Stiles not Thad Stiles. Thad is only in the movie for a very short time, and he plays Ben's father. It's Benjamin played by Ricky Mabe who goes to live with his grandfather who he barely knows. I just wanted to clear that up. my review....This movie was weak, weak, weak. The premise of the entire film was completely unoriginal. A ghost pops up near some big mansion, and it turns out to be the ghost of someone very close to the family in the mansion. I have seen that movie a million times with a million different titles. The acting is horrible. It seemed as tho the director got together a few people off the street who had no acting experience and made them star in his movie. The only good thing I can say about this movie is that it's shot very nicely. It has a really great look to it, and the cinematography is well done. I know it is aimed at children, but I only figured that out after seeing it. The box in the rental store made it look like a horror film for adults, not some tame ghost story you could show on the Disney Channel. Other than the overall atmosphere the film has, the only other redeeming quality if the beautiful Elisha Cuthbert who played Katherine, and did probably the best acting job in the entire film. The movie is not a horror film as the box implies, but instead a kid's ghost story that could be very watchable by children, but no other age groups. The acting and unoriginal story will be enough to keep anyone over the age of 12 away from this movie.
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Very Good Movie
tanishashah8527 February 2010
I remember watching this movie 9 years ago and almost forgot how good this movie was ...not scary at all ..a very decent ghost story with good acting especially Benjamin stiles as Ricky mabe ...its sad that these days they don't make movies like they used to make...a perfect movie which can be watched with your family on Sunday afternoon it if you like ghost stories.....can anybody tell where I can find the movie DVD or can even watch it online as it been ages I haven't watched this movie desperately wanna watch it....loved this movie won't get bored watching this movie again and again ...believe it.
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A scary, affecting and entertaining movie for the whole family.
bsenn31 August 2000
Director Robert Tinnell makes "family films," and he makes them well. He has a way of exploring important issues, such as familial communication, trust and loss, by coalescing emotions into a series of subtly potent moments. Oh, and he also loves monster movies. A life-long fan of classic (and not so classic-Believe features two scenes inspired by the 1941 Bela Lugosi Monogrammer The Invisible Ghost!) horror cinema, Tinnell turned his earlier Frankenstein and Me (1996) into a touching homage to growing up with monster movies. So for those of us with children ourselves (or for the monster movie-loving child in all of us), Tinnell makes our kind of movies. And Believe is his even more polished attempt to put some fright (and insight) into family fare. "I wanted to make a film where Hardy Boys meet the Wuthering Heights, and I hope that's what I did," explained Tinnell (who also concocted the film's story line). Indeed he did, with a touch of Val Lewton thrown in for good measure.

Believe centers on Ben Stiles (Ricky Mabe), the 14-year-old son of a diplomat, whose absentee parents have put him in a succession of boarding schools. Ben has a very unusual way to liven things up-he stages elaborate fright gags to scare his fellow pupils. After his latest stunt gets him expelled, he's sent to stay with his estranged grandfather (Jan Rubes), a reserved and imposing man who lives in a large, forbidding mansion. As the two try to establish some sort of relationship, Ben comes to realize that the estate is haunted by the ghost of a young woman-something the grandfather refuses to discuss. With the help of a recently orphaned girl named Katherine (Elisha Cuthbert), Ben attempts to unravel the mystery, leading to a confrontation between his grandfather and Katherine's great uncle (Ben Gazzara) over tragic events that transpired long ago and have affected their lives ever since.

Tinnell fills his film with nice eerie touches; shots of a shadow on a wall, leaves rustling in the wind, and shafts of illuminating moonlight (not to mention some evocative, prowling camerawork) generate an uneasy atmosphere.

"My goal in this one was really to find out if I can scare people," explained Tinnell. "I'm not a guy who runs away from that label; if you point and say 'he's a horror filmmaker,' I say great. So my goal was to prove I could do that."

But there's more to Tinnell's movie than just scaring young 'uns. "My other goal was to do something that would provide an entry level horror film for kids, with a positive message. And again, there's been a theme that's run through all four of my films pretty much: communication, the family. And I thought what better way to demonstrate how just not talking to one another, the damage it does to families. And I really do believe in that." Believe is really a story of families and relationships and the importance of communication-with an engrossing ghost yarn to hang these ten-gallon emotional hats on.

Don't be put off by Believe's so-called target audience. "It's primarily for kids from, say, eight to fourteen-primarily," admits Tinnell. "But I like to think that children of all ages, from eight to eighty, can enjoy this film. I think the best family films-this is not a children's film, obviously-I think the best family films are the ones in which the parents are sitting and watching with the kids, which is what they should be doing anyway, but don't.. I think that it works for all ages." Indeed it does.

Tinnell's heart (and, given the finished product, head) is in the right place. "I'm not going to condescend to the kids," emphasizes the director. "They deserve a good scare. Nowadays if they want to see any kind of contemporary horror, there's so much misogyny and just gratuitous bloodletting-and it's just not scary and there's no real supernaturalism. I just wanted to make a film that if I was 12 I would have loved.

In the movie, Ben explains why he stages his terror tricks by observing, "People like to be scared." Yes they do, and here Tinnell has offered up his own fright frolic, with some important ideas and involving sentiments thrown in for good measure. Aimed at those monster movie lovers who've grown up and had kids of their own (as well as those who've never really grown up at all), Believe is a sometimes scary, often affecting and always entertaining movie for the whole family. And that is a rare commodity these days.
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Worth scaring up a copy!
bymarkclark.com14 June 2000
It's never easy being 14 years old, but it's especially tough for Ben Stiles. First, he can't seem to communicate with his absentee parents, diplomats who apparently live overseas. Then he gets kicked out of boarding school after pulling an imaginative but childish ghost prank on his classmates. He's forced to move in with an icy-tempered grandfather he barely knows. And finally he discovers his grandfather's estate is haunted by the eerie specter of a young woman in a red coat. Of course after the ghost prank, no one takes his claims seriously.

Ben (Ricky Mabe) is the point-of-view character of BELIEVE, a new horror film aimed at younger audiences and lensed by director Robert Tinnell, whose previous work includes horror fan favorite FRANKENSTEIN AND ME. Unlike FRANKENSTEIN AND ME, which was essentially a coming-of-age story with horror trappings, BELIEVE is designed to generate real chills – and it delivers. Even veteran horror fans should receive at least a few satisfying shivers from the picture.

As BELIEVE's story progresses, Ben quickly realizes his grandfather (Jan Rubes) isn't telling everything he knows about the mysterious figure in the red coat. Granddad goes ape when he discovers that Ben has enlisted the help of a neighbor girl (Elisha Cuthbert), who has also seen the ghost, in his quest for the truth. The girl's uncle (Ben Gazzara ) is equally upset by this development, and forbids her from seeing Ben. The teenagers realize that somehow their families' histories will unlock the secrets of the Stiles house, and maybe help their phantom finally find peace.

Tinnell refers to BELIEVE as `an entry level horror film.' Pressed for an explanation of this term, he explains: `There's a void for young people -- and older people, too -- who would like quality a quality supernatural experience that isn't misogynist or extremely gory. I was trying to make something like I WALK WITH A ZOMBIE that kids and adults can both look at and be scared without being steamrolled.'

Imagine George Romero shooting a movie for The Wonderful World of Disney and you have some idea of the film's tone. To achieve this effect, Tinnell asked production designer Jules Ricard to decorate his sets in the style of the classic Hammer horrors. Then Tinnell shot his movie much in the mode of Mario Bava. Viewers who know Tinnell only through FRANKENSTEIN AND ME will find BELIEVE a revelation. It's far more visually cohesive than his early work and its use of color is striking. Certainly Tinnell was well served by cinematographer Pierre Jodoin, whose work is imaginative and eloquent. Composer Jerry DeVilliers Jr. sets the mood with a truly haunting score.

Tinnell, a formidable horror film scholar in addition to a gifted young filmmaker, built in several nods toward great ghost pictures of the past. Horror aficionados will appreciate the film's visual references to movies like THE UNINVITED and THE INNOCENTS. BELIEVE also quotes from THE HORROR OF DRACULA and (of all things) THE INVISIBLE GHOST. The director confesses to influences as wide-ranging as Romero's MARTIN and THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN, but his capsule description of BELIEVE is `the Hardy Boys meet Wuthering Heights.'

Tinnell had to bring in the picture on a $2 million budget and a 20-day shooting schedule. To his credit, BELIEVE looks like a much more expensive film. For what it's worth: Many horror publications, from stately Midnight Marquee to splatter-happy Fangoria, have given BELIEVE glowing reviews.
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it's ok...
sourapple3 January 2002
Believe is actually a film that more or less is "straight to video" or "tv movie" type. But in a strange way, it is a pretty good family friendly film. But all through out the movie I went on rolling my eyes waiting for them to kiss. Pretty dumb, but it's so obvious that the "young lovers" will soon have an enchanting moment.

Ah yes, definitely a film for all. Nothing scary, or anything like that :D
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Spooky & Scary Thriller for Teens & Adults
sevenseven721 September 2015
This movie has a haunting spirits and a memorable story that should entertain the whole family. It does have some quick scary moments that keeps you wanting more. A somewhat romantic twist weaved into the movie adds to the nice story. I found this to be a very good spooky mild horror film to keep your attention to the very END!It is nice to see they do make movies with a good memorable story line that thrill and scares us only to be vying for more.It does have a PG-13 rating for it may scare the younger viewers a little too much.Spooky! Scary! Family oriented fun.Shows and gives us family values . Needs to be also viewed as a learning experience for the younger generation. *BRAVO*
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