Paranormal Attraction tells the tale of a young woman, Sara Meyers (Brooklyn Haley), who moves into an abandoned house with a tragic and mysterious past.
It seems as though my luck with new release movies this past week has been exceptionally poor, to say the least. Just when I was praying that I would finally be able to see something of true excellence, Alexander T. Hwang’s Paranormal Attraction comes along and shows how painfully boring and oftentimes unintentionally funny it is.
The cast that makes up the film are not highly experienced professionals that have been working in Hollywood for years. You don’t need a cast like that though to be fair. I’ve seen plenty of movies starring actors who have never acted before and they managed to impress and you would swear that they’ve been in the industry for several years. But, the actors in Paranormal Attraction are not only relatively inexperienced, they genuinely feel that way too.
A lot of the time the line delivery by many of the actors is extremely weak and unfortunately quite noticeable. In the first fifteen minutes alone, it genuinely seemed as though some people were reading off of a teleprompter somewhere on set because they couldn’t remember their lines. It truly sucks you right out of the movie and reminds you that you are watching a group of people trying their best to be convincing. It’s just a big shame that practically nobody in the movie is convincing.
On the same topic of the lines, a large portion of the dialogue here feels incredibly cringe-worthy and generic. A lot of these scenes are filled with lines that don’t do anything to propel the story forward and instead, are lines that feel like something you may hear in a strange teenage drama instead of a horror film. The film should have gone through some fairly extensive rewrites because this certainly feels like a first draft script in many regards.
To add insult to injury, none of the characters are all that interesting, either. Even though they already messed up on delivering a unique and chilling story – which is arguably the most important aspect to any film, let alone a horror film – it would have been at least something had the characters been gripping and interesting to follow, but they’re not. They all feel so underdeveloped. By the end of the story, I genuinely didn’t feel like I knew who lead protagonist Sara Meyers was at all. She comes across as an average woman that gets caught up in a scary event and that’s it. There is essentially no screentime dedicated to fleshing her out and making us care for her.
But Paranormal Attraction also fails at making the “scary” scenes legitimately scary. All of the visual effects come across as immensely cheap and bland, and I understand that the film probably has an incredibly small budget which is definitely highly respectable, but it doesn’t mean the final product will end up as anything special. The only scary thing about Paranormal Attraction is that it’s an unscary, poorly written mess with tons of weak acting throughout.
Paranormal Attraction is an unintentionally hilarious, painfully unscary, and poorly acted disaster with virtually no surprises up its sleeves.
Overall Grade: F
MPAA Rating: N/A
Directed by: Alexander T. Hwang
Distributed by: TiberiusFilm Limited
Release Date: October 27, 2020
Running Time: 89 minutes