Paranormal State Season Four DVD Review–Lower Tech Ghost Hunting
The folks out at A&E sent over a copy of Paranormal State Season Four for us to review, and I’m actually glad they did. I’d caught bits and pieces of this show on A&E, and it was definitely worthwhile to catch this in one place.
Paranormal State is, essentially, A&E’s answer to SyFy’s Ghost Hunters, but with a twist–it’s all (or it was at some point) college kids. Paranormal Research Society founder Ryan Buell leads a team of fellow Penn State (hence the name, Paranormal State) students as they go hunting for proof of life after death and has been in operation for fully ten years now. They use a variety of tools and methods, including plenty of outside consultation, to aid in their hunting, and they’ll be crisscrossing the country in a bid to find out what–if anything in some cases–is haunting a variety of people all over the United States.
The one real distinguishing feature of Paranormal State is their “dead time” use, when at three in the morning, they specifically try to contact the dead, believing that the silence of night is a good time to reach the dead.
Now, for those of you who think that SyFy’s TAPS is the ideal of ghost hunting, you’ll scoff at A&E’s PRS for their use of things like the “dead time” systems and their reliance on psychics and mediums and the like. It makes for good TV either way, sure, but if you like your ghost hunting heavy on the tech and debunking, then your skeptic sense will go off like a rocket all over Paranormal State.
Entertaining? Sure. Valid? That’s where the debate really begins.
And they’ll do some pretty exciting things here–you’ll get a few exorcisms going on, which is always interesting to watch, and some real out of the box thinking (like looking around the houses in question instead of just inside), and it makes for a pretty good watch.
Of course, a good chunk of how entertaining you find this will be subjective–Ryan Buell, for his part, is something of a showman and whether you find him entertaining or a P.T. Barnum in the making will be a matter of personal taste.
The end result, though, is that Paranormal State will provide some good shocks and some nice entertainment for those of you who don’t mind the content.
The Screenhead Ten Scale hands Paranormal State season four a seven out of ten for being entertaining enough but only under certain circumstances.