Directed by David C. Fowler Jr | Reviewed by Anushka Dutta
Film director, Associate Producer, Director of Photography and Editor of the 4K multi-award winning feature film ‘Paranormal Investigators’ David C. Fowler Jr from Seattle, Washington resurfaces with a supernatural horror drama juxtaposed with comic elements, starring Tomaz Baskin as Carl Anderson, Elijah Al’Malik as Elliot Day and Gabriela Noble as Erin Davis among others. Winner of seven awards at the Oniros Film Awards, New York and two awards at the Milan Gold Awards, Fowler takes one more step to keep up with the huge success from his directorial debut in 2017, ‘Big Trouble In Seattle’, which was an instant hit.
Fowler’s latest work captures the resolution of young minds to defy the norm and be bold enough to pursue their childhood passions and desires, and the willpower to stay focussed and not give up despite the lack of support from society and their loved ones. The film centres around Elliot Day, who has studied Parapsychology inspired by his father, someone who had wanted to know about “the truth of the existence of the paranormal” and Carl Anderson, whose journey in the realm of the supernatural began when he encountered an unsettling experience with a spectre in his childhood.
Carl and Elliot leave behind their regular jobs and establish the Paranormal Investigators. As a couple of local ghost hunters, they struggle between their firm faith in the supernatural and the realities of life. They come across several leads in the beginning but, to their dismay, are met with logical explanations for every case. Stuck in a spiral of unpaid rents and lack of business exposure, they decide to look into a house where a mad clergyman tried to reincarnate an evil spirit using human sacrifices shortly after World War 2. It is there that they come across the case of Erin Davis. The PI team, with the addition of a third member, Nick Allen (Connor Heilborn), goes off in the world to fight dark energies using several specialized gadgets invented by Anderson that locate, disintegrate, and remove or capture the supernatural beings causing havoc in the city and terrorizing its residents. In the film, Anderson uses a Paranormal Detector to identify the presence and position of nearby metaphysical activities. After their first contact with a vile apparition and defeating the same at the house of Bryan Delaney, he tells the reporters that Anderson has designed the Automatic 2000 to shoot a blast that stuns and disperses the spirit while the High-Power Vacuum pulls the debris into a holding tank, keeping it safe until it can be properly disposed of.
‘Paranormal Investigators’, Fowler’s recent feature film, meets the standard of on-screen performances – especially the impressive work of Sam Schragel, playing the primary evildoer Barron. The sound effects used in the film are strictly diegetic, and they complement the corresponding visual effects of the weather outside as well as the ominous occurrences and activities taking place in secret tunnels. Fowler uses the moon multiple times in the film to symbolize something dark, menacing and sinister approaching soon. To emphasise this, the film opens with a janitor singing along to Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. The exact lines would be:
“I see a little silhouette of a man,
Scaramouch, Scaramouch, will you do the Fandango!
Thunderbolts and lightning, very, very frightening me”
– as if already indicating the arrival of something mysterious, something occultic and otherworldly, and most certainly diabolical.
However, the black, forbidding ambience of the film is subtly mixed with comic dialogues to lighten the mood. For instance, at Delaney’s house, when Carl and Elliot discover a ghost for the first time since leaving their jobs, Carl asks Elliot to distract the spirit with his manly charms, to which the latter replies, “I like my women alive, Carl, not dead.” Overall, with fine acting, decent cinematography, amateur sound and visual effects, Fowler and his team have come up with a handsome plot.”
Anushka Dutta is a student of English Honours, and a part-time content writer. A writer, singer and an artist; they have worked as an ambassador for Japan Film Festival in 2020 organized in Kolkata, India. They are a professional singer and have done playback singing in movies.