Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A review of "Paranormal Asylum"

Confessions of a Film Junkie: A review of “Paranormal Asylum”

By: Brian Cotnoir

Who says that Hollywood Film Studios have run out of original ideas?...Oh, wait everyone!  It should come as a surprise to no one that when a film studio has a successful film, other studios will try their best to copy, make, and release their own interpretation of the film in hopes of finding similar success.  Case in point: “Paranormal Activity”.  This 2007 “Found-Footage” Horror film was written and directed by Oren Peli and shot on a budget of $15,000.  The film has made more than 100-Million dollars worldwide. That is an astounding amount of money made by a film with a relatively low budget.  Studios began collaborating and clamoring to create their own versions of “Paranormal Activity”, some of them were made with much bigger budgets than its predecessor, and in the past 5 years we’ve been treated to films like “The Devil Inside”, “Paranormal Entity”, “Grave Encounters”, “The Conjuring”, and dozens of others.  Many—but not all—of these films fail in comparison to the original “Paranormal Activity”.  The film I am reviewing today, “Paranormal Asylum” is one of those films.            
You two suck!
    “Paranormal Asylum” was released in September of 2013 and was directorial debut for Nimrod Zalmanowitz ...seriously ...with a name like Nimrod, are you expecting anything less than total crap?!  Sorry, getting away from the point, let’s talk about the film.  So the plot to the film goes like this: Mark and Andy are two good friends who decide to rekindle their friendship by making a documentary film in New York City.  Through their research they come across a supposed Haunted Asylum.  They’re main lead to the story is an old legend of a patient called “Typhoid Mary” who was apparently a resident of one mental hospital before she was transferred to another hospital—in secret—to be used as human test subject.  Mark, Andy, and Andy’s fiancée decide to go in search of spirits.  Everywhere they seem to go something strange and unsettling happens, and our cast begins to retreat deeper and deeper into their own madness.           
What a Pathetic looking camera
Holy crap!  This film sucks.  There is just so much wrong with it.  The film is shot in two major perspectives. The first person camera P.O.V. (like in “Paranormal Activity”) and basic camera shots (like any other film release).  I don’t think it’s a good idea two have to different styles of camera making, because it looks like they’re trying to combine two styles of filmmaking and it’s just so inconsistent.  The first person P.O.V. camera shots are much worst than the regular camera angles, because both Mark and Andy have their own camera’s and they’re these tiny digital photography cameras, that look so pathetic.  It doesn’t look professional to show them using digital photography cameras to make their film instead of an actual video recorder.      
What do you plan on doing with that, Mark?
    Not only that but all the scenes in this film seem rushed.  One of the great things about the “Paranormal Activity” Franchise is the build up and amount of suspense that occurs in each film.  The atmosphere created in those films is intense.  Sometimes the most tense scenes that occur in the film is when nothing is happening:  there’s no sound there are no images, and the slightest little motion has you gripping the arm rests of your seat with fear in anticipation because you’re terrified of what might happen next.  Your mind begins to race as wait and anticipate for something to happen, and most of the time nothing happens until the climax or very end of the film, but still leaves an impression of dread and terror in your memory.  Now this film has no build-up.  It has now suspension or anticipation.  Most of the scenes are rushed, so there is nothing about it that’s scary.  Some scenes in the film go by so fast that it makes you wonder if they were just running behind film schedule or if they didn’t have an actual film permit and they were rushing to get scenes done before the authorities showed up.  There is just nothing to look forward to in this film.                                 
How I loathe you both!
    The acting isn’t very professional as well.  Mark is the films protagonist, but he just sounds so bored and uninspired in this film. His character just sounds like he doesn’t want to actually be there making this documentary.  He just leaves no impression on you at all, he’s that dull.  The worst actor in this film, hands down, is Nathan Spiteri, who plays Andy.  What I think makes Spiteri’s acting worst is his voice.  The way he speaks in the film sounds like he’s trying to cover up a foreign accent.  There’s just something about the way he speaks that’s just so totally off.  Besides Andy, the other terrible characters in this film are Evelin, who eerily enough reminds me of the Mother from “Troll 2”, Dr. Brooks, and George Sheffield.  They’re all terrible in this film. 
   Absolutely nothing of importance or interest happens in this film.  For the most part this film is just arguing and exposition, and that’s not entertaining, it’s boring.  Really, really boring.  The ending also very stupid. It comes out of nowhere, and isn’t even like a “great twist-ending”.  You have no reason whatsoever to want to see this film.  It’s not good at all, and everyone should just avoid it entirely.

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