The Paranormal Incident DVD Review
Written by Sharon Davies
DVD released by Arrow Films
Written and directed by Matthew Bolton
2011, Region 2 (PAL), 82 Minutes, Rated 15 (UK)
DVD Released 23rd July 2012
Oliver Rayon as John
Chelsea Vincent as Samantha
Amanda Barton as Rebecca
Brett Edwards as Brennan
Derrick Villalobos as Daniel
If there was ever a cookery recipe which ensured the appearance of ghosts or demons then surely adding a rack of insane asylum, a dash of 60 year-old suicide and then peppering with evil do-ers would be a sure fire winner.
The Paranormal Incident opens its eyes as John does. Waking up bruised and sore in hospital, he finds himself being interrogated by female agent Rebecca. Urging him to remember what has happened to his five friends, she makes it clear that not only are they missing, but that he is the prime suspect. Four days earlier his group checked themselves into the abandoned Odenbrook Sanatorium hoping to be able to catch supernatural action and hence a worthy film, but of course through the grim corridors of insanity we see their demise.
Is John the killer or is there something darker to blame?
Rebecca is going to make him watch every minute of the footage (strangely edited perfectly together) and we will watch this cat and mouse game unfold.
Ok now I’ll be honest, I GROANED when I saw the title of this film, The Paranormal Incident. Are you kidding me? It's riding the coattails of Paranormal Activity, but I’m almost certain that a herd of goats outside in the rain could have come up with a better title than that.
Pros to this piece include the introduction, which is suitably unsettling and artistic in its look (although the music like my grandmothers organ playing), the overall location (doesn’t quite fit the whole “60 years abandoned” scenario however) and the odd cool hair-raising special effects which allowed me (every now and again) to feel slightly creeped out.
MAJOR cons include lack of originality (I literally have seen this storyline a million times), superbly bad acting and some strange decisions. Why exactly I needed to see an “over-recording” of the footage spliced with sex scenes between Brennan ad randoms is beyond me. If you want to add some childlike demonic drawings supposedly scrawled from past patients, then just a hint – make them look old. (Even I know the old coffee over the paper trick!). Finally, if this IS a found footage film then why are there subtitles? Interesting. Active security cameras throughout? Hmm again interesting considering this place is meant to be ABANDONED.
Overall the main problems started with the title, leveled out with how much I disliked the characters (and really rooted for them to be picked off ) and ended superbly when I read that this film actually had a pretty decent budget. With such a substantial (I hear tale of $3.1million) pot of money I would have assumed that they would have considered purchasing a better cast, a stronger script or that herd of goats to consider a better name rather than maybe spending it on... I’m not sure – a good wrap party?
As for the ending? Don’t get me started.
Video and Audio:
The video looks authentic enough for a found footage scenario and spliced with odd shots from several cameras it scrapes through as acceptable. Not a huge amount is done to show a massive change from the regular lens used to catch the interrogation and overall “footage” though. Audio is faithful to the project without the need for OTT parlor music.
A trailer previews the highlights of the film.