DIRECTOR Matthew Bolton WRITER Matthew Bolton; Chris W. Freeman STARS Oliver Rayon; Chelsea Vincent; Brett Edwards DVD Now

The Paranormal IncidentThe ominous Odenbrook Hospital has been abandoned for 60 years, since the walls of this former sanatorium witnessed a mass suicide. From then rumours of hauntings have been rife, and the place has become a legend. One night six college students venture inside, loaded with camera equipment, determined to prove that the legends are true. Some days later, sole survivor John is hospitalised and under suspicion of murder, he starts to relate his story to his case worker, mostly though the video footage that has been captured and found.

Yes, we return once again to that staple, that disease of horror cinema of the last few years, the found-footage genre. Should you find yourself in the unfortunate position of watching The Paranormal Incident you will continually be asking the question: haven’t I already seen this? There have been way, way too many films of this style released since The Blair Witch Project made fortunes from pennies and gave hope to a generation of film-school rejects. The Paranormal Incident doesn’t even attempt to offer any new content to fill 80 long minutes of screaming teens, shaky night-vision camera, demonic voices and very long periods with absolutely nothing happening.

Of course there’s a place for found footage and reality horror; [REC], Lake Mungo and The Last Exorcism are excellent examples of how it can be incredibly effective, but those were films made by directors with budgets and talented casts and crew. Now any hack with a camera, a handful of friends and an old building can do it in an easy way to make a movie and make a mark on a genre that has always been an entry level for young talent. But for now the talent is gone.


Posted by Rich Wilson

Falling in love with cinema after seeing Ridley Scott’s Alien at the age of nine years old, Rich has been obsessed with horror, westerns, martial arts and Japanese monster movies for the last 30 years. He has written for Q, Hotdog, Classic Rock, GoreZone and various websites, and is currently seeking a publishing house for his first novel.