I am a pretty much a sucker for those Ghost Hunter shows.
From the Cheesy mockumentaries like Discovery Channel's "The Haunting" to Scooby Doo Reality shows like "Ghost Hunters".
This is a show about fearing the unknown like a good Catholic Boy and by god they give you stuff to fear.
Small children are harassed, things loom in the dark, voices encourage the living to kill, and the Aleister Crowely in me rubs my hands. Everything in "Paranormal State" is short-handed into half hour, "Dog the Bounty -- er, Ghost Hunter" blocks.
Ryan, the intrepid leader of this pack of Penn State Graduates, is claiming to see "visions" of a demon's name he knows and that might be involved in a paranormal haunting...
Of the two episodes I watched each revolved around violent, nasty hauntings tied to violent, nasty deaths. Every time there is an interesting, verifiable shred of evidence -- the murder of a family in a farmhouse in the 1800s -- the proof is waved in front of the viewer like a con artist trying to convince you a stack of papers currently under your nose is proof of that ten million coming from Nigeria and then yanked away before you can get a good gander.
By the end of the pilot of "Paranormal State" when the main "character" in this reality dance macabre gives a Creepy Kid a bottle of Max Von Sydow Holy Water and reassures him by telling this boy that he, too, had a unspecified bad experience as a child with things that "came out of the closet" and the (Catholic) Church gave him a Holy Water to fend off the Things Coming Out of the Closet I knew I should have given Monday Night Football another shot. And they run around Pennsylvania researching the most terrible hauntings and the lost plot to an M. He is often accompanied on "investigations" by hot co-eds and some other people seen in the credits but rarely caught on camera. Almost immediately that gets annoying because the obvious intention is to give Ryan's ghost hunting some gravitas, but his filtered monotone does nothing but provoke grunts and laughs.The shtick behind "Paranormal State" is a group of Penn State students all got together and started their own Ghost Hunting club. Seriously, every serious intonation sounds like the radio chatter from a Call of Duty video game.The "investigations" -- the plot that each episode revolves around -- are interesting on the surface.No haunted Inns or Restaurants to be found in "Paranormal State".
EVPs that could be a rat farting, cold spots in a drafty house, and "orbs" that even the Ghost Hunters themselves discount as dust.It is a sort of Scooby Doo like approach that makes "Ghost Hunters" ... Whereas "Paranormal State" claims to have EVPs but gives the viewer a ten second video clip of a wave file in Garage Band with no audio. People are claiming to see dark figures in the basement... while leaving the night vision camera on an enthralling stationary shot of the living room.