Director: Matthew Bolton
Cast: Chelsea Vincent, Brett Edwards, Oliver Rayon
Production Companies: Marquis Productions, Splashdown Productions
Runtime: 82 minutes
The idea of a group of people trapped in a haunted place has become a long-standing tradition in horror movies. Isolation and the supernatural have been explored in many films, such as House on Haunted Hill (1999), Thir13en Ghosts (2001), and The Shining (1980). Following in these ghostly footsteps is Paranormal Incident (2011).
In the movie, six students set out to prove the existence of the paranormal by spending a few days at the notorious Odenbrook Sanitarium. They soon discover that there is no way out of the mysterious facility. The supernatural incidents start to mount, and the students begin to disappear one by one.
The characters run from intelligent to moronic, and from likeable to obnoxious. They make both good and bad decisions, based on their individual desires. This range of personalities and motivations keeps things from getting predictable, and provides some variety for the viewer.
Each character goes through a lot of emotional ups and downs over the course of the movie. This allow us to feel sympathetic toward all of them, even the ones that are initially dislikable. The ghosts that briefly appear from time to time are well-conceived and unconventional.
There are a lot of jump scares, slamming doors, and creepy noises that maintain interest while the film builds to its conclusion. Once the characters find themselves alone in the darkness, the bravado they displayed earlier in the film quickly turns to pure terror.
The main location is the greatest strength of the movie. The sanitarium has scary corridors, creepy stairways and filthy bathrooms that add to the overall experience. The lighting effects are also of interest. Many scenes are illuminated only by flashlights, or by malfunctioning lighting within the institution.
The movie is a mix of found footage, and a more traditional style of filmmaking. The found footage segments benefit from the use of multiple cameras, which provide more diversity while viewing the action. The traditional shots are all filmed inside a hospital room, taking place after the main story.
The film is told in a non-linear way that builds to an effective surprise ending. The opposing film techniques help to define the differences between the two main locations. Paranormal Incident is a fun supernatural thriller with some spooky moments.
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…