Film Review: Paralysis 

January 5, 2023

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.

Writer/director Levi Austin Morris’s supernatural feature Paralysis is a labor of love that punches above its microbudget weight and delivers an intriguing watch.

Haley Stone (Allison Lobel) is a young woman who has become reclusive. Growing increasingly distant from her mother as she deals with the terrors of sleep paralysis along with battling personal demons, her only regular contact is with her brother Nicky (Morris). Increasingly worried that diabolical forces are at play in her home, she contacts paranormal investigator Annisa Bradley (Lisagaye Tomlinson). The pair must delve into the trauma that Haley is going, and has gone, through to confront her fears and the causes behind them head on.

Lobel gives a riveting, multilayered performance as the troubled Haley, heading up a solid cast. The characters feel lived in and the dialogue between them is realistic. Morris’s screenplay nicely balances drama concerning mental illness and family with eerie horror elements. Shot with an iPhone by Morris and Emerson Gregori, the cinematography is solid, and the film boasts some imaginative framing to accompany classic fear-fare set-ups.

Paralysis is currently on the film festival circuit, and is well worth seeking out.

 

 

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