TITLE: The Paranormal Diares: Clophill
YEAR RELEASED: 2013
DIRECTORS: Michael Bartlett, Kevin Gates
CAST: Michael Bartlett, Kevin Gates, Craig Stovin, Mark Jeavons, Criselda Cabitac
Review by DAVID SAUNDERSON
In recent years, we’ve become very used to paranormal reality TV shows.
Spooky fans are divided when it comes to the worth of these programmes. Some are convinced what they are seeing is real, as-it-happened footage. Others aren’t so sure. Others reckon it is just fiction for the cameras.
For my mind, very few are worth watching, if only because nothing really ever happens and I find it quite tedious watching folk wandering around the dark. As anyone who goes on real paranormal investigations will tell you, ghost-hunting can be very boring, so watching them as a spectator can be doubling boring.
That is why The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill is a lot more fun than watching reality spook TV shows.
Mixing improvised scenes and real life people with scripted fictional scenarios, The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill feels like a very good and coherent paranormal television show but with real creepy payoffs. Yes, the scary bits are fiction – but who cares – it is actually frightening at times.
The film centres on the spooky goings on in the small Bedfordshire village of Clophill and its infamous haunted church ruins, which were the site of satanic worship in the 1960s. (Read about the church’s spooky story here on Spooky Isles.)
Directed by Michael Barlett and Kevin Gates, the film introduces us to a paranormal team who are going to spend three nights on the grounds of the church grounds. During the day, there’s great interviews with witnesses to previous spooky events and the cast and crew seem to know what they area doing. They have a method for their investigation and they appear genuinely interested in getting to the bottom of the mystery of Clophill.
The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill sometimes mixes the real life interviews about the history of the village and made up stuff a little too well.
Director Kevin Gates told the Spooky Isles in an interview recently: “Only around 10% is fake and you might be surprised just how much material in the film is real”
The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill is the best of both worlds – great paranormal reality TV with an acceptable payoff at the end.
It’s creepy and well-worth watching. I can’t wait for the proposed follow-up, The Paranormal Diaries: Mothman.