Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
I’m no expert when it comes to paranormal television shows. If you’re looking for someone who knows a thing or two, check out Alice Oscura’s reviews on this site. No, I’m just a horror fan who knows what she likes and recently I came across a series called Paranormal Emergency that tells stories based on real interviews with first responders (police officers, firefighters, et cetera). And after only the first two episodes I found myself completely immersed by this different take on paranormal entertainment.
So with only one season under my belt (a second is yet to be announced) I figured why not share some of my thoughts on this interesting and thought-provoking series. Here we go in four slices:
Slice 1: It’s All About the Tone
While I don’t watch a lot of paranormal reality television shows I am familiar with them. Most tend to go a bit overboard with the jump scares and emotional responses of the people involved, but that’s not the case with Paranormal Emergency. Because the people here are the kind of people we tend to look at as serious, level-headed individuals it adds a layer of tension and genuine emotion to the episodes.
Listening to them narrate the strange occurrence they experienced and seeing the story progress you the viewer will become fully engaged in the mystery as it unfolds. The fact most of these are unexplainable only up the creep factor, which is exactly what you want from a series such as this one.
Slice 2: Reenactments Done Right
Another aspect that pops up in paranormal shows is reenactments where you have actors hired to play out the events so we the viewer can have a “first hand” account of what happened. The problem I tend to find with these is they are either horribly acted or too over the top to take seriously, so instead of engaging with the storyteller I find myself shaking my head or rolling my eyes at what I’m seeing. That never happened while I was watching the reenactments on Paranormal Emergency.
The first smart move here are the actors chosen. Everyone looks and acts like real people and not Hollywood glossed-up celebs looking to pad their portfolios. Because of this, and the fact each story is narrated by the actual officer who experienced the event, there’s a sense of realism that you wouldn’t normally see in something like this. The pacing is always on point too and by the time you get to the end of the story you’re left wondering how much of what you just saw may have really happened.
It gets even harder to be skeptical when they also utilise real 911 calls and body cam footage of events (the episode with the car crash victim in the river gave me the chills). Between the reenactments and narrations I think even the most staunch skeptics might find a hard time explaining what exactly happened to these officers. Believe it, or not! I can’t remember the television show that was from but it seemed fitting. (Editor Jules: It’s from Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Sommer.)
Slice 3: It’s Not Just Another Ghost Hunter Show
The first paranormal show I ever saw was Ghost Hunters, way back when the SyFy channel used to spell their name right. I genuinely enjoyed it but with its success came a buttload of copy cats. And before you knew it, there were at least a dozen others just like it on television, which means I got bored and moved on. With so many similar shows out there, it’s hard to find ones that look and feel genuinely different from the others, but for me Paranormal Emergency is just that show.
There are no ghost hunters here, no “experts” of the paranormal. These are people who consider themselves as logical as they come. Their jobs required them to remain grounded and to look for reasonable explanations as to what is happening around them. So to see first responders such as these tell you how much these strange events not only affected them but in some cases changed their entire belief systems, it makes for not only an entertaining watch but a poignant one as well.
Slice 4: In Conclusion
So if you are a fan of the paranormal but you’re burnt out on the same old ghost hunting shows, why not check out Paranormal Emergency? It features real responders with real stories treated respectfully (keeping in mind the serious nature of their jobs).
And whether you’re a believer or a skeptic, the stories here are handled in a way that leaves room for discourse because it doesn’t take sides; it just tells intriguing (sometimes disturbing) and genuinely creepy tales. And it leaves it up to you the viewer to decide, what do YOU believe?
Sommer’s Score: 6.5 out of 10
You can check out more great paranormal investigations content below:
Top 5 Paranormal Investigations TV Series (RMR Turns 5, Part 2 of 6)
Ghost Adventures ‘Disturbed in Wickenburg’ and ‘The Joshua Tree Inn’ Reviews
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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