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Film review: Caesar And Otto’s Paranormal Halloween (2015)

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SYNOPSIS:

Half-brothers Caesar (Dave Campfield) and Otto (Paul Chomicki) agree to house sit for a home with an ominous history. Apparitions, floating objects and possessions soon torment the witless duo unveiling a torturous secret in trademarked side splitting fashion in this satirical homage to contemporary horror films.

REVIEW:

Directed by: David Campfield
Starring: Dave Campfield, Paul Chomicki, Scott Aguilar, JamieLee Ackerman, Josephine Iannece

Terror is Relative

It appears that nothing remains sacred under the creative guise of writer David Campfield for his leading under achieving half-brothers protagonists Caesar and Otto. Taking playful jabs at such iconic genre gems as Halloween, The Shining, The Exorcist, Paranormal Activity, Poltergeist, The Conjuring, Insidious and Sinister, fans for an appreciation of all things to do with horror will no question revel in the humorous look at each of these editions in scream fanfare. Make no mistake about it, the plot never takes itself too seriously. Horror aficionados devoid of a funny bone may be best advised to pass upon this parody. Yet in most cases as comedy and tragedy seem to go hand in hand, if the average viewer can manage to check their expectations at the door a relative good time and plenty of laughs are in store.

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Prior to the opening credits the audience is privy to a little tribute to the John Carpenter’s Halloween franchise. The props, make up and special effects are rustic to put it mildly borderline nonexistent. Yet one cannot deny that in all probability the execution was deliberate to accentuate the absurdity of it all. Some chuckles and giggles are ensured no doubt as the opening credits roll as a prelude to much mindless sophomoric schlock that we’ve come to admire in one Caesar and Otto’s films.

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As the witless duo embarks upon some easy money to house sit for a spell the clichés and contrived variables are just as every bit plentiful as the laughs. The days are chronologically listed on the screen unveiling that we as the audience are privy to a slow decent into carnage and horrific mayhem. Paranormal Activity anyone? Even the most novice of horror fans will undoubtedly get the references to exorcism films, poltergeist, etc., etc.

Director Campfield is clearly a horror fanatic and seemingly celebrates his fanaticism unapologetically. For the most part the performances are not exceptional but on par for what a parody seeker may expect. In fact the execution of emotion and dialogue between characters only seems to create an authenticity feel to the production. We don’t really get caught up in the whole plausibility of the script. As a result the audience isn’t insulted with arbitrary elements that are too farfetched and nonsensical. On an almost subconscious level our guards are let down allowing the laugh elements to be exploited to their maximum potential.

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Paranormal Halloween is not at all a bad idea for a first date movie or perhaps sitting around with some friends enjoying a much needed escape from reality through medicinal or what not. Audiences unfamiliar with horror films may be best advised to skip this edition as a lot of the puns and satirical content will be lost.

A great deal of genre iconic cameos take place. We see a little from Debbie Ronchon, Felissa Rose and Vernon Wells. Their collective or single contributions will provide allure for the die-hard fan. Seeing their favorite horror related celebrities in a different environment whets the appetite and keeps the attention fixated until the final credits.

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Relative unknown Josephine Iannece in the role of Gilda truly steals the show. Her aesthetic appeal to a testosterone fueled demographic will no doubt dramatically increase sales. Witnessing Caesar’s indifference towards her character is a laughable comedic undertone that is worth the price of admission alone.

Paranormal Halloween is clearly not for everyone. But for those of us looking for an escape from the mundane, monotonous and simply want a few laughs that not at all a bad choice.

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At the Tabloid Witch Awards Paranormal Halloween won Best Supporting Actress for JaimeLee Ackerman and Best Editing awards for David Campfield. The Zed Fest Film Festival also gave best Outstanding Comedy nods among outstanding Femme Fatale award to JaimeLee Ackerman.

-Three out of five tombstones

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