Friday, January 26, 2007

Ghosties and Such

logo pinched from the Discovery Channel's site

Earlier today I was watching a Discovery Channel series called "A Haunting" which recounted the story of a little boy who was being "influenced" by a demonic entity and how his mother eventually rid herself of it. Generally, I don't go in for these types of shows but there was nothing better on and I wanted to watch something while I did some back exercises.

I'm not going to debate whether or not such things are "real" but I will say that I believe we make our own reality and that any manifestations of good or evil in our lives are our own mental constructions made manifest. I'm sure others feel otherwise and that's fine by me. It's not like anyone can prove that they are right or wrong about such things.

The thing that struck me while watching this "docu-drama" (or whatever you want to call it) is that the producers really did a good job of ramping up the potential spookiness factor by adding in cinematic touches which weren't a part of the story. The mother said, while she was attempting to perform a ritual to bar the spirit from influencing her son, that she wasn't sure if the house was going to shake or the windows break . These things never occurred but the camera was shaking to make it seem as though it had. There were also all sorts of spooky sound effects and "demon eye view"shots with a filter on the camera which was rushing in on the woman or her son as if the demon was "watching" or "attacking". This also never happened.

It occurred to me after watching all the work that went into juicing up the story that the audience must be pretty jaded to need cheap horror flick effects tossed into a supposedly true account of a demonic encounter. I also felt that doing these things undermined the emotional impact of the real mother's story as she narrated portions of the story. I guess we've all seen way too many horror movies to be impressed by the mere retelling of a ghost story.

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