Tag Archives: directorial debut

Review of Paranoia (2011)

14 Jan

Paranoia (2011) is a straight-to-DVD thriller/film noir/mystery film, made by people associated with the comedy/movie review site thecinemasnob.com, which is great, I recommend checking it out.

Directed by Ryan Mitchelle, this being his directorial debut, he is the founder of Walkaway Entertainment, an independent movie production company.

Written by Brad Jones (Cheap (2005), The Hooker With A Heart Of Gold (2011)), better known as his character Cinema Snob, parodying snobby film critics.

Starring: Brad Jones, Brian Lewis, Sarah Lewis, Brian Irving, Jillian Zurawski and others.

I don’t think anyone, who’s not a fan of The Cinema Snob even knows about this movie’s existence. Obviously it barely has any budget so, that should really be taken into consideration when judging the film. It is really sad how shitty low-budget movies look nowadays, because for some reason digital video just looks unnatural and does not have the same presence as film. And it would have worked so much better on grainy film stock and set in like the late 80’s/early 90’s. I wish I had watched the writer’s cut, because the movie works better in black & white.

Mostly the music is very good and adds to the atmosphere of the film, which is very dark and suspenseful, but then there’s a club scene where the music is so weirdly generic, it’s a bit jarring. This illustrates how throughout the film I kept being pleasantly surprised by how some things are executed and then suddenly something cheesy would take me out of the film. Like the lighting being messy and illogical.

As much as I’m a fan of Brad Jones and his friends, so I was ready to forgive the shortcomings of the film, it was also hard to separate the actual people from their characters.

Of course, I don’t want to be too harsh towards the acting, because none of them are actual actors, but at times it was really painful. Sarah is a very likable person, but the acting at the start of the movie was so cringeworthy, I was glad she soon disappeared for rest of the film. On the other hand Jerrid Foiles, who I was surprised to see not hamming it up in his little cameo, which was really funny. Brian Lewis is somewhat ok as a police officer. Brad’s wife also does an ok job. Brian Irving is miscast and his acting is so unbearable, that I found myself with a furrowed brow every time he appeared on-screen. Brad Jones, of course, did the best acting in the movie, which sort of makes sense, because he wrote the character and understood him the best.

Covering blood with ketchup? Not a bad idea. People smoke a lot in this movie, which is something you don’t see very much in major studio movies nowadays.

The film was a bit confusing, but I guess the ending explains it. In a way this created some suspense and I was pretty entertained most of the time.

Overall, it’s not a great movie, but also not too bad for a no-budget indie thriller. Recommend mostly for Brad Jones & Co. fans, because others might not be invested enough to see it.

Sadly, this is how I felt at times watching this movie.