Eddie Brewer is a paranormal investigator who likes to work alone, with his own outdated methods, and has been going at it for 30 years. He is now being followed by a documentary crew as he ventures into two new cases that will really show him a side of the paranormal he has only sensed, but never seen, before.
Mixing the mockumentary approach with the supernatural is a solid ground for any horror movie. Whether you like the mocku-aspect or not, doesn't really matter in this case. It's popular for a reason, let's just leave it at that. But many of them seem to push it too far, and always step over the boundaries until we don't feel any sense of realism to it anymore. "The Casebook of Eddie Brewer" quite successfully keeps the horror semi-grounded and real in many ways, although there are other parts of the movie that pushed it from being a good movie, to maybe just average/alright.
"The Casebook of Eddie Brewer" decides from the start to try and be as documentary-like as possible, and focuses on Eddie Brewer, a paranormal investigator who has been in the business for 30 years but isn't REALLY a deep believer. The documentary crew follows him on his two new investigations, but on the side of that they also focus on him as a person, his job overall and the world of paranormal investigators. That extra step is what made me enjoy watching Eddie Brewer even when he wasn't literally chasing ghosts. There was a tension in his persona that became apparent early on, that I felt they managed to keep realistic for the rest of the movie. To me, this was the strongest point of the movie. When things finally start to get freaky for Eddie, it's almost as interesting to see how he reacts as it is to see what paranormal power is in action.
I have always had a slight problem with mixing the mockumentary aspect with a clearly fictive narrative. I simply don't want to be led down a mockumentary road, only to suddenly have third-person scenes/typical narration. This has a bit of that, and while it's never so bad that I will dismiss the movie because of it, it's one thing that threw me out of the movie and made it seem like the filmmakers hadn't decided entirely for the mockumentary approach (if you go that route, I feel you should go all out). I don't think that the scenes where they do this are needed, and most of them could've been worked out some other way. Another thing I had a problem with isn't gonna be constructive criticism since I don't know what could be done about it, but I simply couldn't muster up any chills or thrills for the scares/paranormal stuff. Unfortunately, that's an important part of this kind of movies for me, and it IS hard for movies to successfully do that. One of few of the last decade I can think of is "Lake Mungo", and that one went with a very peculiar style for it to work.
The movie is definitely not a waste, I think there is talent on display as well. Ian Brooker is great as Eddie Brewer, and I could really believe him as a paranormal investigator. His motivation for doing what he does, mixed with his beliefs, helped create a believable person that I WANT to follow. Unlike the TV personalities we get nowadays (and a character that we're introduced to later on), he seemed trustworthy. I haven't seen writer/director/producer Andrew Spencer's other work but based on "The Casebook of Eddie Brewer" I would absolutely want to watch more from him. He might not have won me over with this movie, but I didn't have a bad time. It's apparent that he has something going for him, he just need to keep making movies.
I'm pretty indifferent towards "The Casebook of Eddie Brewer". I can't call it a bad movie, it simply isn't. It does have flaws that keep it from being great, however. It should've treated the mockumentary style as religion, and worked out the scares more. That's about as specific I can be as to what they could do to make it better, and that's because I don't really know why it didn't click for me. It simply didn't. Check it out if you're interested in supernatural stories that aren't going way too far with it, and also if you dig the mockumentary approach. People with an interest in paranormal investigators on TV but generally feel they act stupid will probably find Eddie Brewer to be quite an interesting guy.