After repeated viewing of the final part of the episode we are ready to present the third act in the misguided play known as PARANORMAL STATE: THE NEW CLASS. We hope to cut through the fog of misinformation and downright deception.
Let me make this clear -- the family featured in this episode, "If I Should Die" had a haunting. This case is similar to the one in the Animal Planet pilot, Demon Exorcist, where Sarah Maitland claims her family is being attacked by a demon. Neither of these cases as presented to the viewer show credible proof of demonic activity. What we have is a case of para-celebs and para-celeb wannabes amping up a case that features real living honest people for the sake of fame and fortune.
On Day 2 of the investigation we see Ken arriving and reassuring the family that whatever is lurking in their home is feeding off fear. And by gosh today they're going to try and get rid of them. [Would you go see a doctor or leave your car with a mechanic if they would simply say, "We are going to try to help you!"] Now these demons are hovering around yet nothing has happened since the team walked into the house. Have we heard any footsteps? Have we seen shaking beds? Moving furniture? Doors opening and closing by themselves? NO! Nor are we even offered an EVP to prove the spirits are there.
While the investigators are investigating, Kelly, the girl of the house talks to the sketch artist. He's been on previous episodes of Paranormal State – is he the sketch artist on-call? Are there no other sketch artists in the area?
We don't see the team doing their historical investigation. We have no idea who they really talked to, if anyone. We told that a retired railroad worker shared a photo of a brakeman who used to work on the railroad. Did he have anything to do with the home? Was he a bad man? We aren't informed. And how does a human become a demon? Remember, they claim this is a demonic case.
The photo is never shown close enough for us to see. How can the viewer tell whether it resembles the person from the sketch or not? If the person has any living relatives one would hope they view this program and talk to a lawyer. This mysterious brakeman, or whoever he is, is being dragged through the mud for no reason.
We are then offered a story, minus any type of proof to back it up, concerning an abused child who sets a house on fire and kills some of the people in it. Yet there is never any kind of tie back into the case. The weak logic they use is that, “well things don't have to happen on the haunted property, just nearby to have an influence."
A demonologist is brought in by the name of Carl Johnson who is a self confessed agnostic! Dwayne Claud who was featured in the Demon Exorcist pilot also has similar beliefs. By confessing such a lack of faith he lacks the spiritual authority to cast out demons. Notice how he phrases things like: we will try to hold it back, etc. If your faith is in Christ who was the master exorcist there is no trying to hold it back. You will drive it out using the power of Christ. So everything that follows is simply an act. It's what I refer to as The Three Stooges exorcism.
We have Chip sitting on a bed, Carl holding a crucifix and a squeeze bottle of holy water, and Ken standing off to the side, posing for the cover of a new age magazine. Again, the only person to interact with the demon is Chip. He keeps interrupting Carl as he tries his best to act as if knows what he's doing! Does the alleged demon demand anything? No. Then we're warned that this farce of an exorcism is about to reach its full power by Chip. Yet not even a bang on the wall is heard. They must realize that the drama of the whole thing is falling apart as they bring Kelly into the room. Chip is the focal point and Carl and Ken are left to stand around and look uncomfortable.
The drama continues as Chip tells Kelly to yell at the demon and by gosh it flees and all is hunky dory.
The team meets with the clients and simply rehash the same confusing story that made no sense then and still makes no sense now. The family reacts at the end to the disappearance of the paranormal activity which is simply due to the fact that was there nothing there in the first place.
I admit that I thought I'd never see a more deceptive show than Paranormal State but I was proven wrong. We hope that we won't be seeing anymore offerings from this pathetic program.
NEXT WEEK – More DEMON EXORCIST madness!