Review: The Paranormal Diaries - Clophill

As Halloween nears, so do more "scary" movies. Lord help us.

"Dude. Like my hat?"
The latest in a long line of "found footage" documentary style horror films was released this last week. It's called The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill and it's another movie that uses the handheld style mixed with some crafty editing work to tell its "based on real events" story.

Clophill doesn't break any new ground for the genre and meanders through every standard trope while finally getting to a few worthy scares towards the end of the movie. Unfortunately, there's just not enough here to keep horror fans glued to their seats with a movie that never really delivers anything more than two or three creepy moments. And when those moments finally come, it's too little too late with an ending that just doesn't add up.

The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill mostly feels like a bad episode of Ghost Hunters. For nearly ninety minutes, audiences are expected to sit idly by while this unknown cast of mediocre actors tries to convince us that things are moving around them, that they're hearing sounds, and that there is an incumbent evil about to be unleashed upon them. Just like every other cheap entry in this style, the horror is mostly hinted at and only seen for a brief few seconds, making this a relatively unsatisfying affair that pays way too much attention to its influences. If these directors wanted to make something relevant, they should have dug a little deeper, gone back to the well, and come up with something that didn't feel so typical.

"Be very very quiet. I'm
hunting wabbits."
Much like The Blair Witch Project, Clophill spends most of its time outdoors while a cast of amateurs attempt to unleash a series of "oooh I'm scared" faces on an audience that's come to expect more from their horror films. The cast runs through the woods, stands around trying to bait the lurking evil, and unconvincingly wants us to believe that they're experiencing something spooky that really isn't there.

What these movies lack in budget, they need to make up for with heart. Sadly, Clophill has neither, which makes this an almost unbearable watch. There's just nothing to latch on to and not enough genuine scares to truly call this a horror movie.