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Review: Paranormal Attraction (2020)

Would you stay in a house where the previous owners had suddenly, (as in food left on the table suddenly), vanished only a year after moving in? How about if the owner before that died suddenly? Well, that’s what’s facing Sarah (Brooklyn Haley, The Crossing, Slice and Dice) in Alexander T. Hwang’s (Lilith, Prey in Cold Blood) new film Paranormal Attraction.

She’s been hired by Melanie (Jennifer Nangle, 4OuR, For Jennifer) to clear the place out and get it ready to sell. As an added perk, she gets to live there where her abusive ex can’t find her. Of course, in a movie with a title like Paranormal Attraction, it’s not going to be that easy. It soon becomes clear that she’s not alone in the house. And her unseen roommate isn’t friendly. Or perhaps a bit too friendly.

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Richard J. Aguirre’s script, he also wrote Lilith, gives conventional haunted house tropes an Entity style sexual edge. Sarah hasn’t been with anyone since her ex. And her friend Kelly (Eden Shea Beck, My BFF Satan) keeps telling her that it’s been way too long. Which may be the reason for her dreams and her response to those dreams. Of course, there’s the obligatory cute cop to play the potential love interest. In a nice twist, they turn out to be another woman Evelyn (Nicole Cinaglia, Hunting Lands, Death House).

However, all of this is handled in a fairly restrained way. Hands moving under the sheets, moans, etc. And the only nudity is a look at Ms. Haley’s body double’s ass. It does work up tension, both of the suspenseful and sexual kind. But ultimately, Paranormal Attraction raises expectations that go unfulfilled in that department.

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It does however do a good job of mixing what we do get in with the more conventional scares as the film goes along. There are several good jumps along with an air of menace throughout the film. Which lets Paranormal Attraction builds nicely to an energetic if somewhat familiar climax.

That cast all do a good job, and regular viewers of indie horror will recognize Hunter Johnson (Verotika, Crossbreed) as Kelly’s boyfriend. And spot cameos by Charles Chudabala (Serena Waits, Irrational Fear), Al Burke (Silent Panic, Killjoy’s Psycho Circus) and Thomas Haley (Attack of the Unknown, and Brooklyn’s father).

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While a bit restrained compared to what I was expecting from the director, Paranormal Attraction is a well done Blumhouse style film. The film will premiere at the Action on Film Festival on September 5th in Las Vegas. You can check the film’s Facebook page for other showings.

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