19th Jun2019

Terrible Terror: ‘The Paranormal Incident’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to the latest installment in a brand-new series here on Nerdly, Terrible Terror, in which we highlight some of, what we think, are the WORST horror movies to have ever burnt my retina with their atrociousness. Up this time is The Paranormal Incident – a found-footage hospital horror that was first released back in 2012.


Stars: Amanda Barton, Keith Compton, Thomas Downey, Brett Edwards, Oliver Rayon, Derrick Scott, Sabrina Villalobos | Written by Matthew Bolton, Chris W. Freeman | Directed by Matthew Bolton

The infamous Odenbrook Sanitarium closed after a mass suicide occurred within its walls. Sixty years later, six college students armed with cameras and recording equipment venture into the asylum to prove the existence of the paranormal. Thrills turn into nightmares as members of the group go missing without a sound, cell phones mysteriously vanish, corridors turn into mazes, walls appear where doors once stood, flashlights fail and something or someone begins toying with the group. Days later, when five of the six friends turn up missing, the lone survivor must go through the recovered footage in order to clear his name and find out what happened to his friends.

Christ, not another found footage film… That was my initial reaction as the first frames of The Paranormal Incident played across my TV and after watching the entire flick my mind has not changed one iota, and that’s despite an “interesting” final twist…

In a sea of found-footage flicks it takes something special for a film to rise above the rest of the flotsam, sadly this film has absolutely nothing to recommend it to anyone but the most die-hard of genre fans. The acting is poor, the story is mediocre – and I’m can’t believe I’m saying this, we’ve seen it done better in found-footage films such as Episode 50 – plus the twist, whilst offering something new, actually makes the film even more confusing and doesn’t satisfy any need for a conclusion or even a real explanation as to what has gone on.

I understand that some filmmakers like to plot threads hanging and not truly explain everything that has gone on in order to leave the audience to make up it’s own mind as to what has unfolded on screen – but it would help if there was any story beyond “Ooooh a haunted sanitarium lets stay the night” to begin with!

With no plot, no story, bad acting and an ultimately confusing final denouement this is one film to be avoided… Unless you want to create your own “incident” by putting your TV through whilst watching this mess!


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