Saturday, August 3, 2013

Horror Film Review

Paranormal Incident (2011):  Oh, dearie me.  Here's another one.  A found-footage fiasco that only wishes it wasn't as stinky as diseased donkey diarrhea.  Pardon the alliteration.  Let's just get this over with so I can forget the 82 minutes stolen from me.

A group of friends decide to investigate the allegedly haunted Odenbrook Sanitarium where a mass suicide occurred many decades ago.  The impetus for this investigation is college credit.  There are the believers, John (Oliver Rayon) and Tess (Sabrina Villalobos).  The skeptics, Samantha (Chelsea Vincent) and Daniel (Derrick Scott).  And then there's stud/asshole Brennan (Brett Edwards) and his ditzy girlfriend Blake (Nadia Underwood).  The movie actually starts with John in the hospital, handcuffed to his bed, being interrogated by Rebecca (Amanda Barton) who says she's not a cop.  John doesn't remember what happened.  Rebecca's there with the recovered camera footage taking John, and therefore us, through it.  Turns out John never went in, rather he locked the others in and planned (with Tess who's inside) to prank the skeptics.  Obviously John is the prime suspect but he swears he didn't hurt anyone.  Watching the footage, we see he didn't.  He just sat in his car the whole time.  For two days.  Why?  Hell if I know.  As for the others inside the abandoned loony bin, they do a fairly professional job of investigating.  They use night vision cameras, digital recorders, and EMF detectors and experience slamming doors, disembodied voices, and shadows.  Then they discover the padlocked door and begin searching for another exit, which seems to make the dead-by-suicide spirits mad.  Blake gets mad at Brennan, storms off, gets lost, and dies.  Then Tess, then Daniel, then Brennan.  John hears Samantha screaming, snaps out of his fugue, unlocks the door, and dashes inside just as she's dragged away by...something.  That's it for the footage.  Back in the hospital...well, that's when the film simultaneously falls down the rabbit hole and the toilet.

Of all the inanities, of all the annoying and downright stupid crap we're subjected to, what irritated me most of all was the fact that they expect us believe this huge sanitarium has only one entrance.  No disbelief can be suspended that much.  Next in line is the ending.  It's as if they tacked on the ending of a different film for the sense it makes.  The hospital room John is in is fake.  Rebecca belongs to some sort of organization run by a douche bag in a dark suit who, after ordering John be killed, steals a line from The X-Files when he says, "Burn it.  All of it."  I think it was meant to carry serious dramatic impact.  It didn't.  So what do these people have to do with the sanitarium?  No idea.  Frankly, I don't think the filmmakers know either.  It's beyond WTF.


Acting:  No one is in danger of winning any awards.  Especially Rayon and Barton. 
Story:  A cliché wrapped in a steaming pile of dumb.
Direction:  There was a director?
Production Values:  With a budget of $31,000, one can't expect much.  Oddly, it really doesn't look that bad.  Except the hospital room.  It's like something you'd find in an eastern European country.
Gore/FX:  A dollop of blood here and there.  I think CGI was slightly beyond their means.
Scares:  If I'm honest, there are one or two.
Ending:  Maybe the worst ever put on film.
Verdict:  Should you see Paranormal Incident?  If you're taking a college course on how not to make a horror movie and need to do research, then sure.  Otherwise, go watch some episodes of Ghost Adventures.

Rating:  1 out of 5

No comments:

Post a Comment