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(YEAR), RATING [CAP RATING*] (1hr 29.8min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
November 13, 2011
November 15, 2011

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2009), NR (14+) [13-NR*] ... is not a family Saturday night flick

Production (US):
Distribution (US): Wescott Marketing
Director(s): Matt Mitchell
Producer(s): April Kruger, Amy Mitchell, Matt Mitchell, Tiaan Kruger
Written by: Tiaan Kruger
Screenplay by: April Kruger, Amy Mitchell, Matt Mitchell, Tiaan Kruger
Cinematography/Camera: Tiaan Kruger
Film Editing: Tiaan Kruger, Matt Mitchell
Casting: Amy Mitchell
Viewed on Cross Shadow Production DVD

Paranormal is akin to the caliber of most Hollywood horror films that use a theme of evil but on a lower budget. It is not a family Saturday night flick. But that is just my opinion. It indeed acknowledges the Gospel and Jesus' power and does so without counterfeiting them to serve a story. And the script is as accurate as I understand regarding demonology but definitely has an evil theme. Though the film is not rated (NR) the label on the DVD claims it is recommended for 14 years old and up but I would not recommend it at all except for parents to evaluate for themselves before deciding whether it is fit for their little ones. By the way, "little ones", as Jesus used it, is mikros, which means younger, less by birth. All of your children are younger than you, they are each "less by birth." By definition, "little ones" then includes at-home teens, the most easily negatively influenced, morally malleable age stratum on the planet. Note also that "less" in "less by birth" does not mean lesser in importance or value. It means less in stature or size and development.

As I was viewing the DVD and even as I was entering the findings data into the CAP Analysis Model I thought for sure this was going to be a hard R-equivalent film. But the objectivity of the CAP analysis model (the Findings/Scoring section) could not care less what I think or about my personal feelings about a film. Because of the fewer assaults on morality and decency found by five of the six CAP content investigation areas relative to the unholy content noted by the Offense to God content investigation area, the film content earned a 13-NR final score of 67 out of 100, meaning while it is not rated it presents content equivalent to most PG-13 films in terms of overall assault on morality and decency.

Teams of paranormal investigators - the Paranormal Investigations Inc. - investigate the East wing of the Apex County Sanatorium for claims of strange sounds and events. This segment of the film was clearly just a device to incorporate the paranormal investigators into the story because after finding nothing more than a prank perpetrated by team members for the benefit of a new team member, the film jumps to five days earlier to bring into the story Greg Evans (John Rutland), a best-seller author at home trying to come up with another best seller where his Christian wife, Brooke (Regina McKenzie) tries to get Greg to talk to their son, Ryan (Stephen Schaefer) about his experimenting with the supernatural by participating in Ouija Board séances with his friends. Greg decided to go with his son to one of the séances to check it out for himself. Greg's intent was to refute and prove all this paranormal stuff was not real. It was there the first "paranormality" happened. Greg saw the board spell out M-E-G-A-N, the name of his now dead daughter (Addy Miller) and her age. Greg also heard the voice of his now dead daughter.

From there the story builds the typical construct of evil and demonology and mixes with it some Truth. Some of the Truth is that demons are real since they are angels cast out of Heaven: that spirits of dead people don't haunt the living like Hollywood spooks do; that a Spiritual war underway; that church attendance is down because people do not want to hear from the pulpit about sin and redemption or anything not happy-happy and shiny. It was encouraging to hear that last part in a Christian film because I remember trying to preach that warning some years ago: that so many men of the pulpit shy away from talking about sin to avoid invading the comfort zone [Ref: Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged and You Make All Christians Look Bad].

I am not going to itemize the story and plot as I sometimes do. I want to hurry into the truth about the content.


Following are brief discussions of the content per individual content investigation area. As always the Findings section of this report is the best source for discovering the full accounting of the content of this film.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 48 out of 100
This film is not all that physically violent (with no criminal activity noted) but presents some material of the violent nature such as fright and horror content; a tale of gore in the slaughter of seven mental hospital patients; a child injury aftermath; the accidental death of a woman (unseen); a near motor vehicle collision; an ominous figure appearing during a fright factor; panic from fear; planning an abortion.

Impudence/Hate (I) - 89 out of 100
The only matters of impudence noted in this film include lying and a teen planning to take advantage of a school program that enables teens to get an abortion without parental knowledge.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 81 out of 100
Sexually immoral content includes a few matters such as a man in a shower (which means he is nude though the nudity is unseen); camera angle to force the viewer on private parts; talk of sexual favor by two married characters (while the performers are not); teen conversation about immoral sex leading to unwed pregnancy; inappropriate touch of a female by a male. A note about the teen unwed pregnancy, the child is certainly not immoral but the behavioral choice of the parents is. [1 Cor. 7:1-2]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 93 out of 100
The only matter incorporable by this content investigation area was a scene of abuse of prescription or over-the-counter medication. No tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs were noted.

Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
This is the investigation area that found a plethora of incorporable items, far too many to even summarize here. Please look to the Findings section for a complete accounting of the findings.

I will, however, call attention to Deut. 18:9 - 12. In these verses God warns of communicating with or having anything to do with the dead, making it a sin to do so or try.

Murder/Suicide (M) - 89 out of 100
While there are no murders found in this film, the pregnant teen girl appears as talking dead with a gunshot hole in her head - a suicide.



If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.


  • 1 Cor. 7:1-2 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband. ["Not to touch..." God is wise to rationalizations of man. "Touch" is haptomai {hap'-tom-ahee}; to touch; of carnal intercourse with a woman or cohabitation.]
  • Deut. 18:9 - 12 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
    -- abomination [to`ebah {to-ay-baw'}: a disgusting thing, abomination, abominable; wickedness]
    -- divination [qecem {keh'-sem}: witchcraft, false prophets]
    -- observer of times [anan {aw-nan'}: soothsayer, sorceress, enchanter (one who practices divination), to make appear, control weather, conjurer, spiritism, unholy magic]
    -- witch [kashaph {kaw-shaf'}: sorcerer, soceress, one who practices unholy magic]
    -- charmer [chabar {khaw-bar'}: to unite, join, bind together with charms (voodoo)]
    -- consulter with familiar spirits [owb {obe}: necromancer, one who evokes/communicates with the dead; ghost, spirit of a dead one; one who has a familiar spirit]
    - - wizard [yidd@`oniy {yid-deh-o-nee'}: one who has a familiar spirit; a familiar spirit; soothsayer; necromancer] [God sounds so serious about embracing evil that it seems He would include embracing evil even in and as entertainment since it has been proven in so many ways that entertainment can and does influence deeply and contaminate values. Even God agrees with that. (see 1 Cor. 15:33).]
  • 1 Cor. 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty [power of choice] of yours become a stumblingblock [that over which a soul stumbles i.e. by which is caused to sin] to them that are weak. [In the example portrayed by Greg, he choose to influence his undecided friend to go into worldly ways which led his away from Christ. Greg became a stumbling block for his friend.]

    Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry

  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend what is vile, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it.]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [let no sin rule over me].
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Paranormal (2009) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 48 out of 100
  • scene of accidental death of woman
  • panic from fear, repeatedly
  • near motor vehicle collision
  • ominous figure appearing during fright factor
  • planning abortion
  • horror/fright factor, repeatedly
  • tale of seven patients mutilated
  • child injury

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 89 out of 100
  • lying, repeatedly
  • teen planning to take advantage of a school anonymous program to get an abortion

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 81 out of 100
  • camera angle to force viewer on private parts
  • talk of sexual favor (characters married, performers not married)
  • inappropriate touch, male on female
  • man in shower
  • teen pregnancy by immoral sex

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 93 out of 100
  • abuse of prescription drugs

    Offense to God (O) - Zero out of 100
  • trying to communicate with the dead, frequent
  • unexplained sounds/action/events/voices, frequent
  • searching for spirits of the dead
  • unplugged phone ringing
  • making light of dabbling in the occult
  • fully equipped organization to try to locate and communicate with the dead
  • teens dabbling in the occult
  • using a Ouija Board to communicate with the dead
  • portrayal of contact/communicating with the dead, repeatedly
  • unexplained presence, repeatedly
  • unexplained writing on bathroom mirror, twice
  • appearance of dead daughter, dead mother, dead acquaintances, repeatedly
  • portrayal of dead daughter calling to "daddy", repeatedly
  • dead daughter being dragged away and screaming
  • unexplained force keeping a man on his bed
  • embracing the paranormal, repeatedly
  • agitated sequence of a man being blamed for being a stumbling block to another man's salvation [1 Cor. 8:9]
  • demonic voice, repeatedly
  • appearance of demon/devil, repeatedly
  • unholy control of lights, repeatedly
  • demon lifting man to the ceiling by his throat using unholy power

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 89 out of 100
  • scene of suicide victim with gunshot hole in her head

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    * CAP Equivalence to MPAA Rating Scale:
    Please note our new manner of indicating a film's Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating in comparison with the CAP equivalence such as "PG-13 [R-13]." The first term is the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) rating. The second term [in brackets] indicates that which the film earned under the CAP analysis model. In the example, "PG-13 [R-13]" indicates the MPAA rated the film PG-13 but the film earned a CAP final score in the scoring range earned by R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. Other comparative terms used might be "PG [13-PG]", "G [PG-G] or even 'PG-13 [PG]" as was the case for Alien vs Predator. I doubt there will ever be a "G [R]" used, but only time will tell. The CAP analysis model is Rock-solid. The MPAA is not.

    The current CAP to MPAA** nomenclature is:

    For G rated Films with
    G equivalence: G
    PG equivalence: PG-G
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-G
    R equivalence: R-G<
    For PG rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-PG
    PG equivalence: PG
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-PG
    R equivalence: R-PG
    For PG-13 rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-13
    PG equivalence: PG(13)
    PG-13 equivalence: PG-13
    R equivalence: R-13
    For R rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-R
    PG equivalence: PG-R
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-R
    R equivalence: R
    For NR rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-NR
    PG equivalence: PG-NR
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-NR
    R equivalence: R-NR
    ** G, PG, PG-13 and R are registered trademarks of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).

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