Adapting their own paranormal podcast for the big screen are skeptic Ian Boldsworth and true believer Barry Dodds. The two hosted The Parapod between 2015-2018, investigating strange occurrences up and down the U.K., with their unique wit thrown in for good measure. The film follows the same premise, and aims to prove the existence of the paranormal one way or the other.
While The Parapod is well meaning, the film feels like a more expensive version of television’s Most Haunted. The aim of proving whether the paranormal does actually exist is never fully answered, and when anything actually occurs – it is never picked up by the camera for the audience to see. While Dodds is the gullible believer with an open-mind, he continually backs himself into corners and rarely, if ever, can back up his claims. His usual defence being, if you can’t explain something then it must be proof that what he’s saying is true. Boldsworth on the other hand provides a more pragmatic, fact-based, take on events. The two share countless back and forth’s over their opposing views, and while sometimes it is genuinely amusing, it also comes across as frustrating bickering.
While most of the film seems to be carried out in good spirits, there is an element between the two hosts that seems hard to ignore. While Boldsworth’s approach is understandable, it also comes across as slightly mean-spirited toward his friend. The film settles neither side of the argument, and let’s be honest – no one expected it to. At nearly two hours long, The Parapod will stretch your patience, and the end will leave you more than a little frustrated.
The Parapod: A Very British Ghost Hunt is in select cinemas now, and will be available on VOD from 27 September.