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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Review: Paranormal Prison

Director: Brian Jagger 

Screenplay: Brian Jagger and Randall Reese

Year: 2021

The quest I decided to undertake by reviewing horror movies has been very rewarding and fun, but sometimes it is unavoidable to reflect on if this is worth the effort. That feeling usually comes hand in hand with a movie where it doesn’t matter how committed I am to finding a positive aspect; it is just impossible to do so. “Paranormal Prison” falls into this category of movies that are so hard to watch that it even makes me reevaluate if I want to keep doing something that I’m passionate about. 

A group of paranormal investigators is on the brink of closing their Youtube channel if they do not manage to record a video that goes viral and brings them some audience. As their last effort, the team goes to a prison where paranormal events have been reported. While they investigate the place, they discover a mystery that envelops the walls of the prison.

“Paranormal Prison” is a found footage-esque documentary where we see the group of paranormal investigators talk and talk as they research the different parts of the prison and they talk some more about the history of the place. After talking more and sharing some unimportant details about the protagonists, they continue talking. Did I mention that they talk too much?

Well, jokes aside, let’s highlight the positives. The movie was filmed in the historical prison known as Idaho State Penitentiary, and the location has an impressive presence, although it is not well-used thanks to the weak script presented by the director Brian Jagger, which he co-writes alongside Randall Reese, both debuting in their respective roles. Also, there is some fun stuff at the credits, including a disclaimer stating that no ghosts were harmed or crediting an owl around as they were shooting. 

It is sad to say that few will get to see these details at the credits and that many will not even make it past the first 15 minutes before deciding to invest their time in some other activity. The movie is pure exposition until the final minutes, and these are not able to redeem it. When a movie of just 70 minutes of runtime includes long exposition scenes about the backstory of some characters that are not important for the plot but only to stretch it, this results from a soulless script. On top of that, many parts of the script make no sense, and you don’t get interested in the characters at all. 

Sadly, “Paranormal Prison” falls in the category of movies that have made me have an existential crisis about if this adventure of reviewing horror movies is actually worth it. The simple fact of thinking that I will inevitably keep stumbling upon films as boring as this one makes me shudder more than any horror scene that has haunted my nights. I just hope that this is the most boring movie I get to see this year because if there is a more boring one, I just might not survive it.

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