For the most part, I accept the ghost taunter shows as they are. They still annoy the living crap out of me for poor experimenting and general stupidity. However, I watch to be entertained by good story-telling craft.
The generally absurd Paranormal State often fits this bill. They are battling Satan, not seeking answers. The atmospherics are played to the hilt. It’s SATAN! He’s one scary mofo (and so is the Demonic Entity Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken That Follows Ryan Everywhere). It’s a Halloween haunted house attraction on film.
Last night, for a time, the Ghost Adventures crew hit on this meld of camp-fire story telling that I want to see. They ratchet it up by being the reincarnation of The Three Stooges on a paranormal hunt.
Zak Bagans, aka Moe Howard, is serious as all get out. Don’t get in his way, he knows what the hell he’s doing. His way or the highway. Gung ho is the way to go. A buffoon or a true leader of men? Hard to tell.
Nick Groff, aka Larry Fine, is almost normal. Perhaps he doesn’t shine as bright as Moe, but he has a certain bit of common sense. Unfortunately for him, Moe overrides that sense and absurdity is sure to follow.
Aaron Goodwin, aka The Third Stooge, is the glue that makes the trio. Aaron boasts Curly Howard‘s bald head and natural comedic timing, but he also brings the dangerous element that Joe Besser possessed as the only Third Stooge to ever hit Moe back. (I would feel remiss not mentioning the other TS’s Shemp Howard and Joe DeRita, but…ya know, screw them)
The first part of every episode is comparatively staid and appropriate to the historical information being collected. Not to mention adding an overarching tone befitting of the (usually) deteriorating structure they are about to take on. This serious beginning lets us in on the secrets behind the closed doors – the history, the local legends, witness accounts and a ramping up of the dread hidden within. It serves to generate the proper atmosphere for the audience.
Our story tellers have hushed us and brought the circle in closer to the crackling fire. We know we are about to be gifted with a True Story that will knock our socks off and we are happy to be along for the ride. Settle in and let your imagination be directed by our guides.
Now come the antics!
Firstly, during the walk-through discussion of “creepers,” shadow folks that duck and crawl, post production added a creepy shadow guy graphic crawling across the ceiling. I couldn’t help but laugh. It was awn now!
When they start the investigation, Zak lays some flowers on the ground for the alleged female spirit. Oh, Zak. Such a ghost-lady’s man. Is it any wonder he gets ass grabbed? A spirit stalker is only natural.
Eventually, Aaron set off on his own (under direction from Zak, of course) and boy did he bust some moves. Sounds and grabbery everywhere. The patented Aaron O Face, yelling and running. It was spectacular. Curly would have been proud. The man is a natural. While Zak is downright theatrical, Aaron is like watching “amateur” porn. It may be cheap and dirty, but it feels more honest.
[EDIT: I have to add that at one point, Zak was working with a piece of electronics that lights up or beeps, supposedly when a spirit gets near it. He proceeded to talk to the alleged entity like it was a puppy. Exhorting it to “come here” and to follow him, then heaping praise on the poor little guy. He even used the universal baby/puppy talk voice. If he doesn’t end up with a loony ghost gal stalker, he certainly will have a ghost puppy scratching at his door.]
In the end, they took all their spectacular footage of shadows (which looked really CGI-ish in movement to me) to some paranormal group for confirmation. I turned it off before those kids said a word. I don’t want some hangers-on foisted on me here any more than I want to see any GHers while watching Destination Truth.