I really enjoy a good ghost story. The very idea that something supernatural exists along side the natural (and unnatural) is spine tingling, and witnessing proof (or even the hint of proof) that what you believe or think you’ve seen isn’t just your imagination is nothing short of thrilling (or damnably frightening).
Special effects in film have also advanced at the same rate as portable filming equipment, meaning that the average YouTube auteur has access to nearly the same tool set as professional filmmakers. With only time, talent, and inspiration separating the two, the old question of “staged vs. real” comes to light: would you rather see good actors pretending to… well, whatever, or bad actors really doing it?
Two of my favorite ghost stories of late have been The Others and The Orphanage. Both films have similar themes and elements: century-old mansions, secret sorted pasts, creepy children, and centered around an estranged wife. All these elements contribute to the mystery, and as long it feels safe to stop anytime (as opposed to the only way to make it stop), the investigation continues in spite of what may come.
Semi-reality shows like “Ghost Hunters” appear to be about serious investigation of paranormal phenomenon, but the controversy over what is staged and what is real seems to hinge on anticipation. What if, after years of waiting to see something more than a jacket being tugged upon, you walk into your very own 1408, a location that defines haunting but defies classification?
Then again, if something looks too easy or too unlikely, we’re not going to buy it, either. It’s easy to fake a still image but much harder to rotoscope around an object to “prove” it exists, but computer imagery is making this a standardized trick in movies. Is it too much too expect that we’ll never actually see a Class 5 free roaming vapor, or are we forever doomed listening to static for the words, “Are you a god?”
Orignal From: Theatrical vs. Paranormal