22nd Sep2021

‘The ParaPod Movie’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Ian Boldsworth, Barry Dodds, Carol Fieldhouse, Chris French | Directed by Ian Boldsworth

Starting as a comedy podcast about ghosts, mysteries and conspiracies in 2015, ParaPod has now become a movie. The first podcast to make that transfer to full feature film. I though had never listened to the podcast and knew very little about the movie, so would it work?

The short answer is thankfully yes. This is part comedy part horror part documentary (or mockumentary I’m not actually sure!) and does each of those things expertly.

Ian Boldsworth (also the director) and Barry Dodds, the hosts of the podcast, travel the U.K. to underground witches, haunted villages, violent poltergeists and much more, with Barry trying to prove to Ian that the paranormal is very real and it’s out there. You see, Barry believes in ghosts, despite never actually witnessing one, while Ian is very much sceptical, bringing rational to every situation they find themselves in. They are both astonishingly good in the movie.

While watching the movie (and remember I knew next to nothing about it) I was thinking ‘this is so brilliantly written that it feels like a documentary’. The dialogue and interactions felt so natural and it was often way too funny to be real life, or was it? IMDb and the movies promotion tells me this is a documentary but I’m still not sure!

The key to why The ParaPod Movie is so good is the friendship and interactions between Ian and Barry. For anyone that has watched or listened to The Ricky Gervais Podcast, Ian and Barry’s back and forths are very much like Ricky Gervais’ and Karl Pilkington. And I mean that as a huge compliment because this isn’t someone copying or recreating something they have seen, this is a natural relationship between the two friends that produces laugh after laugh. I haven’t laughed this much watching a horror comedy, or hell, any comedy, in a long long time. I was constantly giggling away to myself but also wishing I was watching it with a crowd, laughing along together. The laughs do mainly come from the naturally funny Ian, who even has Barry laughing at times while proving him wrong. For me personally, I think I enjoyed ParaPod so much because I could see both of their sides. Like Barry, I desperately want to see something paranormal, desperately want to believe but in reality I’m like Ian and I know it’s all rubbish that can be explained logically if you actually stop and think about it. And I think many people are the same.

There’s also such a likeability to the two of them that they feel like two of your friends. It becomes a surprisingly heart-warming movie

Of course, being funny is great but what about the horror? At first it might seem like this is just a long episode of Most Haunted but one that is actually supposed to be funny and that would work perfectly well but The ParaPod Movie actually manages to be scary too. My only real complaint is that the build-up to final few moments of the movie is so good that it was never going to live up to it. It comes very close and I enjoyed the ending but I think I wanted to be terrified and it wasn’t quite that. But, there is a moment that is so perfectly timed that it genuinely made me jump. And that really doesn’t happen very often.

The film ticks a lot of boxes. Comedy fan? You’ll love it? Horror fan? You’ll love it. Ghost hunting TV show fan? You’ll love it. Fan of the original podcast? You’ll love it. In short, everyone will love The ParaPod Movie. Not only has the movie made me go and check out the podcast but I wanted to watch the movie again as soon as I had finished it.

The ParaPod Movie is the funniest and best horror comedy in a very long time and I can’t recommend it enough.

***** 5/5

The ParaPod Movie comes to digital on September 27th.

One Response to “‘The ParaPod Movie’ Review”

  • Greg

    It’s definitely a documentary. The only potentially pre-written parts are the sections in the podcast studio, but the fact you thought it may have been scripted at all is a huge compliment to everyone involved – especially the superb editing skills of Simon Gibbs. Longer and uncut versions of many scenes (and much much more!) can be found on Ian’s Patreon.