I don't know about anyone else but I am a big fan of the Paranormal Activity films. I really like the look and feel of these low budget films and really capture the imagination of the audiences watching the films. I remember when I first saw the original and it freaked me out! Of course it didnt help that my friend wound me up by telling me that it some an actual viral police video that was making the round on the internet. Oh how gullible I was!
However, looking back now I am glad that my friend did this to me as it is very rare these days that a scary film actually remains scary. Once you have studied media for a long time rather than just watching a film you find yourself analysing every little section of the film. It really does get on my girlfriends nerves when I start talking about camera effects and the quality of the direction of photography. But that to me is what a great film is. It's not just about been enjoyed by an audience but it also means that it impresses savvy media professionals such as ourselves.
My love for the Paranormal Activity films hasn't stopped either. It was only the other day when I was online looking at the trailer for Paranormal Activity 4 when I accidentally stumbled upon a fan page dedicated to paranormal films and videos. This straight away got me interested as I am always on the look out for a new film that must just achieve scaring the pants off me!
As i scrolled through the form I was seeing a lot of different low budget films and general YouTube footage. However I did come to a section that intrigued me. The forum was dedicated to a selection of video's on YouTube called the pantry ghost. The video's are said to have been shot by one family over a period of time while living in a house in the U.S.A. I decided to give these videos a quick watch and there was one in particular that really did make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up a little bit....
Now as a man of media I was of course very sceptical, as were a lot of other people on the forum, discussing how the video's could have been faked in some way or how CGI could have been used. As I scrolled through a bit more I discovered a link that had been posted quite recently about a documentary that has been created dedicated to the video's posted on YouTube. Curiosity got the better of me and I decided that I would go ahead and purchase The Pantry Ghost Documentary.
I must admit that after watching the documentary there was still a lot of unanswered questions in my mind and if anything it made me further doubt that these video's could be real, and this is why:
If anyone is a fan of these kind of film where it is shot in first person i.e Blair Witch, Cloverfield, Paranormal Activity, then you will know that there is always some sort of internet build up and promotion. Before the films are released and in some cases even created the directors will start an online frenzy by releasing tiny bits of information related to the films out into the public through the use of the internet. In my opinion this documentary isn't any different. I don't think that this was planned on such a large scale as that but I do believe that it may have been started as a little project that eventually grew to be a bit of a internet sensation amongst both viral video and paranormal enthusiasts.
However, I do believe the documentary is note worthy. I think that this is a good example of what can be achieved through the use of media and great promotion. The documentary as well, even though it is low budget, is quite impressive.
If your into this kind of thing or even if you are just intrigued yourself as to whether you think these video's maybe real or not I definitely recommend giving it a watch. I enjoyed watching it from both a paranormal interest point of view and from an analytical media point of view. I think any student of media would also find it useful to watch as an inspiration for any possible documentary work you may do as part of your studies, portfolio, or even just for a bit of fun with friends.
Until next time, keep being creative!