Director: Matthew Bolton
Screenplay: Chris W Freeman, Matthew Bolton
Starring: Oliver Rayon, Amanda Barton, Derrick Scott, Chelsea Vincent
Running time: 82 minutes
Release date: 23 July 2012
If you thought that a film with a title of Paranormal Incident would be trying to cash in on similar titles, you’d be right.
Sixty years after a mass suicide, a group of students decide to stay overnight in an abandoned insane asylum and try to capture some paranormal activity in order to pass a class. It’s yet another found footage film, but it’s bizarrely edited with the ‘action’ inter-spliced with a hospital bed based interrogation with a survivor with apparent amnesia. He witnesses the events unfolding as they are played back on the television in front of him by his interviewer. If there were any real tension on offer here, it dissipates the second we switch to the hospital bed. These scenes play out like a soap opera TV movie with soppy music and the interviewer has a strange habit of smirking as she interviews. The situation in the asylum is filmed even more strangely. On top of the hand-held cameras – where a soundtrack has been added – there are security cameras, and some of the camera angles are just weird. After all, why would you have security cameras on the floor?
Characters seem quick to change their outlook on the paranormal – non-believers switching very quickly – and they appear to be the dumbest characters ever committed to celluloid. They find cobwebs “gross” and scream-worthy and there are so many stupid decisions and non-decisions made by the teenagers that you begin to lose count and, not long afterwards, interest. Finding themselves locked in, with the one entrance and exit padlocked, the whole thing degenerates into the usual lowest common denominators that some found footage films are guilty of employing. The final few minutes play out like a bad haunted house ride. Even a character, who is supposed to be dead, can be seen, front and centre on the screen, breathing.
The sound is awful, with conversations seeming to almost drop out mid-sentence before quickly returning. Night vision, normally the saviour of these types of films, is strangely underused, meaning you are left in the dark for quite a bit of the duration.
In case you haven’t entirely understood our feelings towards this film, we shall sum it all up for you by saying it is awful, just awful. Avoid this like the plague.
If you enjoyed our review and want to watch Paranormal Incident, please consider clicking through to our Amazon Affiliate links. If you do you’ll help keep the This Is Horror ship afloat with some very welcome remuneration.