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Movie poster for ParaNorman

Movie poster for ParaNorman

As someone who communicates on a daily basis with those in spirit, I was very excited to be sitting down recently with my family to watch a new DVD release, ParaNorman which was in the theaters this past summer.

ParaNorman is about a kid with the ability to see ghosts and spirits, not only can he see them, he can also communicate with them.

He is the only one in his family with these abilities and at school he is teased and given a hard time for his unique abilities.

The movie centers on a curse that a “witch” had placed upon the town many years ago during a very dark chapter in the towns history, similar to the Salem witch trials.

A group of spirits/ghosts are awoken and pretty soon things in town get really weird and Norman is the towns only hope for dealing with the angry ghosts.

The movie gets a little wild and crazy here and plays very loosely with reality as the ghosts become zombies and go on the attack.

Filmed in stop motion animation by the same folks who do Flushed Away and Coraline, the movie is very well done.

A good way to describe the movie is take one part the Sixth Sense, one part Scooby Doo and one part Diary of a Wimpy Kid and roll them all together into one movie – it works.

Both adults and kids will find this movie entertaining, and the ending is fantastic! I found myself teared up and I was not the only one.

I highly recommend this movie and give it 4.75 stars out of 5 – the only thing that kept it from being a solid five star review was the inclusion of zombies in what was otherwise a fairly realistic take on the paranormal.

Go out and buy it and add it to your movie collection today, you will not be disappointed.

For more about myself and what I do, visit; http://www.charlespeden.com.

-Charles

Movie Poster for the Lovely Bones

Poster for th Lovely Bones

Four years ago I read “the Lovely Bones” and found that while the book had some serious issues regarding the actual way things are once you die, (from my experience) that overall it was a good read. So … it was with much anticipation that I waited to see the movie once I heard a film was going to be created based upon the book. Soon after the movie came out I tried to see it in the theater, but for one reason or another it never happened. Recently I finally got a chance to see the movie and no disrespect to the actors, but it was not that great.

First of all there is the issue with taking a book that deals with sensitive subject material regarding a juvenile who is abducted, raped and murdered. That alone does not translate well from book to screen, it’s easier to read about than to watch … like a fly on the wall. Granted the film skips over the sexual assault, but still it’s uncomfortable to watch the killer going about planning to abduct the girl and then following through on it.

The elements of the story which I enjoyed, the transparency of our lives to the dead … the fact that there is an afterlife, the fact that some here can see the dead and communicate with them is still there, however I feel too much time was spent on emphasizing something that I do not believe exists the way as portrayed in the movie. When someone is “in-between” worlds, it does not appear as a gazebo in the middle of the cornfield that you may have been murdered in or as an odd place with a lighthouse. Instead, the world appears as it is, except there is little ability to interact with it, at least in the fashion that one was accustomed to.

Some of the story was edited and integral parts of the tale were left out, making the story less compelling. The relationship that the girls mother has with the detective who is working her case is skipped over as are a few additional components of the story.

I hesitate to recommend this movie though I do suggest the book. I thought that while the characters in the film were played well by the actors involved, the subject material does not make a good transition to the screen. So in closing, skip the movie and enjoy the book and remember that it is a work of fiction with just enough genuine elements of the interactions between the departed and those present to make it interesting and compelling. Heaven is of course nothing like what is portrayed in either the book or the film.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The other night my wife and I picked up a copy of “Paranormal Activity” at the local video store and popped it in the DVD player for a relaxing and entertaining evening. We had heard some good things about the film and with several of our friends asking our opinion of it, we figured that we should check it out.

At first we chuckled as a somewhat familiar series of events began to unfold. As in … sensing a presence around the home and being freaked out at the littlest noise or creak in the night. However, once the “psychic” was introduced I was severely dismayed. The person who played the role of the psychic did an abysmal job at best of portraying a genuine psychic, he was a complete hack. Not once when called into investigate a ghost issue have I peppered the homeowner with questions in an effort to learn more about the situation. I prefer instead to describe what I am being told has happened and to bring forward details concerning what has led them to call me in to assist them. Frequently the place is simply old … needs new wiring or windows and there is nothing otherworldly going on, other times it is “haunted” but not by anything scarier than a loving relative who is popping in from the other side to say hello.

A real psychic does not need to ask all the questions that were shown in the movie and a real psychic would not simply throw his hands up and walk out on the situation.

With the movie telling you that the spirit presence is actually demonic and not simply the soul of another human or animal and with the movie portraying the psychic as a hack … it becomes evident very quickly that this is a complete work of fiction and in no way comes even close to revealing the truth about such matters.

In my experience, demons as they are commonly portrayed simply do not exist. Oh sure there are angry spirits and souls of tortured human souls out there, but I am yet to see any real evidence that demons exist. In many ways the movie “Paranormal State” works as a Christian “plant” in that it discredits psychics, exposes spirits as demons and never offers up any solutions allowing “the Church” the ability to point at the movie as a cautionary tale for messing with attempts to communicate with spirits.

The bottom line is that this movie is one great big stinking pile of dung and is a great disservice to those who have had to live with real ghosts and who have need of the use of a genuine psychic who can actually offer real world solutions, advice and most importantly is able to effectively communicate with those in spirit.

If you feel that you have a visitor from beyond the grave … check out www.charlespeden.com to book a reading or to learn more about psychic medium and animal communicator, Charles Peden.