Movie Review: The Parapod: A Very British Ghost Hunt (2021)

September 23, 2021

Written by Joseph Perry

Joseph Perry is the Film Festival Editor for Horror Fuel; all film festival related queries and announcements should be sent to him at [email protected] He is a contributing writer for the "Phantom of the Movies VideoScope" and “Drive-In Asylum” print magazines and the websites Gruesome Magazine, Diabolique Magazine, The Scariest Things, B&S About Movies, and When It Was Cool. He is a co-host of the "Uphill Both Ways" pop culture nostalgia podcast and also writes for its website. Joseph occasionally proudly co-writes articles with his son Cohen Perry, who is a film critic in his own right. A former northern Californian and Oregonian, Joseph has been teaching, writing, and living in South Korea since 2008.

If you are like me, The Parapod: A Very British Ghost Hunt will be your first experience with Ian Boldsworth and Barry Dodds, and their wildly popular podcast The Parapod. No need to worry, though, as this fun paranormal documentary serves as both a fine introduction to the duo and their work and what must be a blast to long-time listeners to see the gents in film form.
Boldsworth is a skeptic, while Dodds believes in such supernatural things as ghosts and curses. The crowdfunded film sees the pair travel — in a converted hearse with the Parapod logo on the doors — to reputedly some of the most haunted locations in the United Kingdom, such as the “screaming woods” of Pluckley and an underground crypt in Edinburgh said to be used by a coven.
All along the road trip, Boldsworth sets Dodds up as the butt of jokes and pranks — such as rather suddenly being told that he must address an audience at a skeptics conference about his beliefs in the otherworldly, and playing on Dodds’ being easy to frighten — but the film boasts some suspenseful moments as well. One event frightens Dodds so much that Boldsworth acknowledges that the former isn’t a good enough actor to behave so convincingly.
The Parapod: A Very British Ghost Hunt isn’t likely to sway believers or skeptics in the other direction, but the documentary isn’t meant to do that. Both sides, however, should come away from the film with fresh viewpoints, and it is interesting to hear theories and anecdotes from both talking heads and people that the podcast cohosts encounter on their journey. 
The Parapod: A Very British Ghost Hunt is far from the typical paranormal documentary. Those who avoid the subgenre will want to make an exception for this often hilarious road trip and the banter between two cohosts who obviously have a strong bond of friendship between them, despite their differing beliefs.
Parapod: A Very British Ghost Hunt is currently playing in U.K. cinemas, and is available on VOD in the U.K. from September 27, 2021.


 

 

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