Sunday 2 March 2014

Film Review - Paranormal Asylum

I wasn't expecting much from this film, the trailer looked fun, but it's average rating and negative reviews indicated otherwise, it turned out that I was pleasantly surprised by it. It's a lost footage format horror about an old asylum that once housed a young girl apparently the cause of a local typhoid outbreak. Two friends and one of the friend's girlfriend investigate the asylum and the stories attached to its history and quite naturally discover some scary things.

Now don't get me wrong, it might not have been as bad as some reviews have painted it. It's a decent horror film, but does have a couple of issues. The first is that this is obviously a low budget film and while that isn't a problem in itself, it does show. It's main weakness is with the cast, they're not bad and they do an ok job, but it could have been better. The other is with the effects, but here the film turns it to its advantage.

The footage format is used to its advantage as well, most of the effects are visible only on this medium meaning that it covers a multitude of sins. The other issue was the ending, it feels a bit rushed and doesn't feel satisfying, although I did like the darkness of it.

The film does do a few things well, the first is the story, it's a simple story that has been told before, but it is told well in this film. The second is the atmosphere, I like a film that can build a decent spooky atmosphere and this does a decent job of it. It does rely on a few sudden scares here and there, but for the most part it simply builds on the atmosphere it creates. On balance it's a fun horror film that I enjoyed watching, it's worth checking out if you like ghost stories with a bit of meat to them.

Mary Malone (aka Typhoid Mary) was committed to a NY insane asylum to live in solitary after being blamed for spreading Typhoid Fever in the early 20th Century. After decades in isolation she died alone on North Brother Island. Now, nearly 100 years later, two best friends and aspiring filmmakers are setting out to find out what really happened. What starts as a simple investigation turns into a battle for survival, as they discover Mary may be dead, but she's certainly not gone. In her quest for vengeance, torture and death appear to be the only outcome.

Click here to purchase Paranormal Asylum from Amazon (and it's a decent watch)

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