DIRECTOR Michael G. Bartlett; Kevin Gates WRITER Kevin Gates STARS Mark Andrews; Michael G. Bartlett; Criselda Cabitac SCREENING Today at 10.30
There is a nice format to be had here: a genuine documentary intercut with dramatic material, albeit in that all too familiar found-footage style. However this is not a found-footage film. What it is, is the creation of Michael Bartlett and Kevin Gates, makers of the dreadful Zombie Diaries… and, as such, it is no surprise that The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill is rather poor.
There is simply not enough material — “90% real”, emphasised a participant during the Q&A — to stretch across feature length, the decision for splicing of type bafflingly ignored in favour of no balance at all. The end result is one hell of a dull time, with nothing other than repetitive speculation to lull the viewer into slumber until just the one scare, which occurs over an hour in. This is accompanied by a loud gong, that serves to illustrate how little understanding these filmmakers had of how to deliver impact to match the overall style. The fact that this is the first of a new franchise is cause for despair.