Let me start off by saying, I had no idea who Ahmed Khaled Tawfik was until he died. Never bothered to read any of his work, cause I didn’t want to invest in someone with a limited number of releases.
I’m also not the biggest fan of Amr Salama. In fact, Shiekh Jackson can be on my top 5 worst movies of all-time list. As for Ahmed Amin, I’m okay with him, but not as obsessed as most people are.
With that said, I was kind of excited to see the first Egyptian Netflix production in general, but probably not as enthusiastic as the majority of Egyptian millennials are about “Paranormal” specifically.
Luckily, I got to watch the first episode of Paranormal yesterday, and to my surprise, I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected.
We want this to be a fair and unbiased review, so let us start by some things we disliked about the first episode.
The show is way too overhyped, you might get disappointed with it.
This does not mean that by any way the first episode was disappointing, but if you’re setting really really high expectations like most people I know are, you might not enjoy it as much as you should. Just like any popular release, go in without expectations, you’ll enjoy it a lot more.
I know I did!
The first episode starts a little bit slow.
I was slightly bored in the first few minutes, and just continued watching cause I had a review to write.
Maggie’s Scottish accent is a joke.
Overall, actress Razane Jammal who plays Maggie, did a great job with her acting. The problem is her Scottish accent is far from proper. It just sounds like an Australian trying to imitate a Canadian pretending to be English — not even Scottish!
Overall the character might pass as English, but definitely not Scottish. We could have let this slide if it was a series on CBC, but guys, common! We’re watching all the details here!
Young Refaat looks exactly like Mohamed Sharnouby, and it’s distracting.
It’s just annoying and funny and ruins the mood.
Now enough with the negativity, let us talk about the things that we loved about the show!
As a massive fan of the horror and thriller genre, I was actually not disappointed.
I started watching expecting to see a lot of jump scares and cheap thrills to make it “scary”, but surprisingly, that was not the case at all. If anything, I would say the overall vibe was more of eerie than scary.
I would slightly compare it’s vibes to something particular that only gamers might get, but it sort of reminded me of the 2014 P.T – Silent hill video game.
Now I understand what the hype about Amr Salama is for
Okay, I might have hardly judged him for Sheikh Jackson (I mean, seriously guys! It’s just a horrible movie!), but I was actually impressed with the directing of the first episode.
I had to rewatch it to be more critical about things, and to my surprise, I concentrated less because I just became mesmerised with the visual, and forget to actually “watch” the series.
Amr Salama, I get you now. I get it.
While his status about how to watch the show rubbed people the wrong way, it made a lot of sense.
Visually, the series is on the dark side when it comes to listings, and the colour grading is slightly disaturated. If you have the lights on, it’ll reflect on your screen, and make it hard to watch.
Note that the first time I watched it, I didn’t even know about the status, and I started over after turning the lights off cause I wasn’t enjoying it.
As for the audio, I honestly can’t give a definite opinion, since my hearing isn’t the best. But I expected some cheap jump scares and loud screams, but none of that was there, which I can appreciate.
The subtitles are spot on!
I had the English subtitle on by accident and didn’t bother to turn it off. To my surprise, it was translated in the best way possible for non-Arabic speakers!
We got to see words like “Balbos” and “Arashana” get written in franco-Arab, so the jokes and context would translate.
Usually, non-Arabic speakers dislike watching Arabic movies because of how much is lost in translation, but this is not the case here!
One of Amr Salama’s suggestions was to have the Arabic subtitles on for non-English speakers since there are parts where they speak in English. Still, we didn’t need it, nor did we find anything special since the English dialogues were very basic.
We can say, however, that they were also spot on, but not as impressive as the English translation.
It’s also worth noticing that just like any Netflix show, the audio description made sense. But since we can’t criticise it as much, we can’t guarantee if it’s good or not. (Tell us if you use it and think it’s good!)
MIGHT BE A SLIGHT SPOILER AHEAD ABOUT THE APPEARANCE OF AN ACTOR IN THE SHOW. SKIP IF YOU DON’T WANT ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THE ACTUAL SHOW.
Ahmed Dash made a surprise appearance, and as always, he was a breath of fresh air!
I’m biased, and I actually really enjoy Ahmed Dash’s acting. I’m also biased towards young actors, deal with it!
I personally was not aware of his appearance at all, and seeing him was a pleasant surprise. The kid can act!