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Paranormal Attraction 2020 Movie Review Poster Trailer Online
Director: Alexander T. Hwang
Writers: Richard J. Aguirre, Alexander T. Hwang (Story)
Stars: Brooklyn Haley, Nicole Cinaglia, Hunter Johnson
Paranormal Attraction (2020) is a horror film written by Richard J. Aguirre, directed by Alexander T. Hwang. Our movie begins with a gruesome murder. A woman lies on a bed. Bereft of life, her eyes stare out into the ether. There is blood (presumably hers) staining her face and shirt.
Suddenly, two cops, guns drawn, burst through the bedroom door. One of the cops checks the dead woman’s pulse. The other one notices a light coming from underneath the bathroom door. Someone is in there. Cautiously, the two officers move over to the door. As they open it, they discover a man inside. Covered in blood, the man raves maniacally about the dead woman on the bed. The cops tell him to drop the knife. The man decides not to do this, and instead tries to stab the cops, who promptly shoot him dead.
Following the opening credits, we are introduced to Sara Myer (Brooklyn Haley) and her boss Melanie (Jennifer Nangle). Melanie is a real estate agent whom Sara works for. Sara’s job is to move into houses that have been abandoned or repossessed or whatever, live in them for an indeterminate amount of time, and clean out all of the shit that belonged to whoever lived there last. Melanie takes Sara into the house and gives her the tour. After that, Melanie fucks off, leaving Sara alone in the house.
Sara starts cleaning up the place, and live streaming it on the internet. However she keeps hearing strange noises and getting weird feelings throughout the house. The next day, while shooting a video, Sara hears something. She goes to check it out, and is startled by her BFF Kelly (Eden Shae Beck) and Kelly’s BF Nick (Hunter Johnson) who are pranking her. They will be turning up periodically to help Sara clean.
Later on, Sara has just finished cleaning one of the rooms in the house. She goes outside to take some trash to the cans, and hears another strange noise. She finds nothing, however when she returns to the room she has just cleaned, it looks like the place has been ransacked. Fearing she has an intruder, Sara calls the cops.
Officer Evelyn Bennett (Nicole Sinaglia) and a partner show up to take the report. Sara tells Officer Bennett about what happened. As the two converse, some sparks start to form, and some amorous glances exchanged. Officer Bennett gives Sara her card. After she leaves, Sara looks at the card, and smiles. This could be the start of something big!
That night, Sara lays in bed, asleep. While she dreams, she is spoken to by a ghost, and rubs one out. She then wakes up, having heard yet another noise. She walks through the house, opting not to turn on any lights, but rather to just use the flashlight app on her iPhone. Suddenly, a door flies open, and Sara is dragged by an unseen force, through the door, which immediately slams shut. At that moment, Sara wakes up in bed, terrified. Something weird is definitely going on in this house, and Sara is going to find out exactly what that something is, for she is now possessed by a… Paranormal Attraction.
Oh boy. This is going to be a weird one.
I’m not going to try and blow smoke up anyone’s ass here. This movie is bad. The story doesn’t make a lot of sense. There are no real rules established regarding the paranormality. We are never really sure if we are dealing with a ghost or a demon or an incubus, or some other supernatural force. Whatever it is, it seems to be each of these things at different points in the movie. It is never really made clear in which ways this thing can or can’t interact with the corporeal world, and so all kinds of different batshit things happen.
Tonally this thing is all over the place. And I’m not talking merely inconsistent, I’m talking deconstructionist. It goes from suspense, to comedy, to romance, to action, all on a whim. None of it done very successfully, mind you. But it is interesting to see this thing blowing around, seemingly in every direction without knowing which one it wants to go in. This movie is like the full-length version of Wes Bentley’s plastic bag documentary contained within American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999).
I would also describe the production values as frugal as well. The audio is pretty rough. Especially the first 15 or so minutes of the film. The special effects aren’t all that impressive either. There aren’t a ton of SFX shots, so that gripe didn’t really factor in too much. It did however contribute to the generally amateur air surrounding the entire film. I could pretty much tell, the instant the picture started, that this would be a low-budget affair.
There is no other way to say it, this movie is bad. Paranormal Attraction is not good. It isn’t scary, it isn’t suspenseful, it isn’t gory, it isn’t much of a horror film. It is amateurish, the paranormal attraction hinted at in the title is only ever mentioned once, and then completely forgotten, and it is a mess.
Only thing is, I had a blast watching it.
I haven’t enjoyed a “bad” movie this much in a long time. I feel required to add the proviso that we aren’t talking The Room (Tommy Wiseau, 2003) or Dangerous Men (John S. Rad, 2005) levels of so-bad-it’s-good. But unlike other bad films I’ve seen in 2020, not only was I not enraged or insulted at the poor quality of this thing, I couldn’t wait to see what it was going to do next. This is not to say that every twist and turn is so shockingly insane that it’ll blow your mind and shock your eyelids. Rather it’s that Paranormal Attraction is so unpredictable that despite the lackluster quality of many facets of the film, I was totally with it, no matter which way it wanted to take me, until the end.
A huge part of my enjoyment of this film was that I absolutely loved every single one of the actors in this thing. I’m not trying to suggest that there are any Oscar contenders in the bunch. Far from it. But everyone was just so Goddamn likable to me. There is an earnestness to the performances that makes them endearing despite them falling slightly shy of the bar for awards. After a little while, I couldn’t have cared less about how many holes I might be able to poke in the script. I was just enjoying being on a ride with these people.
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