"Paranormal Lockdown" premiere reviews by Team Nick Groff
I think that the first time I’ve ever heard Nick Groff mentioning a new show of his was the time I interviewed him almost exactly one year ago. And I have been waiting about this show to come out since. In his interviews, he often talked about “Paranormal Lockdown” calling it “a second baby” and I can tell that it really felt like that for me as well. Day after day, month after month, it was like he was about to deliver an actual baby and I was pretty excited and nervous for him. Now the baby is here and it’s perfect, as we were all expecting.
I won’t go into a detailed description of what I did, said and thought about “Paranormal Lockdown” before its premiere episode, only that my expectations weren’t disappointed at all and that the time I spent on it wasn’t wasted. Not even a minute. I’m sure that it’s the same for Nick, Katrina and everyone who ever took care of its creation. Because sometimes things get so tough, difficult and unbearable that you ask yourself “Is it even worth it?”. Yes, it is.
The first time I shouted “Shut the front door!” it was when I saw the opening. I genuinely thought I was watching “True Detective” (maybe “True Paranormal Detective” in this case?). I’ve never seen an intro so well made and intriguing in a reality tv show, paranormal or not. I smiled when I saw Nick being closed inside the morgue. I totally expected something like that from him, the first clear touch of his we’ll see in this episode set in the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, WV.
Then I had the pleasure to see Katrina Weidman’s touch for the first time. I admit that I had never seen her investigating before, she was a breath of fresh air for me as much as the entire concept of the “Paranormal Lockdown” investigation was. The best comment that comes to my mind is: it’s like she and Nick have always worked together. She brings the real emotional element to the investigation and fully connects with Nick. I was almost expecting them to finish each other’s sentences at one point! They actually speak the same language, in every sense. This happens when you share something you’re passionate about with your closest friends.
Not only there was no prevailing narrative voice, but also the fact that the both of them shared their own point of view throughout the episode felt surprisingly good. Like a story told by all the characters, through their own eyes and words. I think that it helps the viewer to understand better what’s going on, both with the investigation and inside Nick and Katrina.
I can’t really write anything exhaustive on the most technical side, as I’ve always had some problems on recognizing the functions of the devices used in the paranormal investigation. I basically understand just the night vision camera and the digital recorder. I don’t know how many different kinds of devices they are gonna use throughout the series, but I was glad to see that, at least in this episode, there were just a few. Less confusing, in my opinion. These new night vision cameras that they’re using are awesome. I’m not surprised that, besides of the crew of this show, only the military have them. Nick confirms his being the master of the communication with spirits through digital recorder. The geobox is cool too. May I say that it looks like an old time radio with futuristic functions?
Another time I smiled recognizing Nick’s touch was when he arranged his cot in the middle of a hallway filled with rooms with OPEN doors behind him and went to sleep. So typical of him! I personally felt a little connected to his fear when he explained he tried to stay calm thinking “Stay down, it’s alright”, because that’s the same thing I tell myself when I have sleep paralysis attacks. Sometimes, the only weapon you have is your logical mind. But it was Katrina’s experience in the morgue that gave me chills. I can’t imagine the terror of laying inside a morgue in total darkness and hearing footsteps approaching. That one is a tough girl!
The visit of Amy Bruni and Adam Berry was a pleasant break for the two poor “recluses”. Not only they shared their own past experiences in the location but showed great interest and surprise in Nick and Katrina’s investigating method. I think that scene of Adam trying to replicate Nick’s experience in the hallway, the trust that Amy had of his courage (“I give him maybe 5 minutes”) and the enthusiasm for the “Hello, Adam” EVP (the boys screaming more loudly than the girls) will make history.
I advocate Rob Saffi, the cameraman. Not only he noticed the “thing” on the camera, which means he’s an expert of what he does, but he tried his best not to overreact. That’s admirable. I’ve seen experienced paranormal investigators running away for less. I must say that it took me a few replays to see what they saw. At first, I thought it was a black shadow, therefore I observed the black parts, but saw nothing, of course. It was white, instead, but I had thought it was some sort of “stain” of the night vision. Then my eyes caught, in a split of a second, like, a white misty pseudo-human figure crawling on the floor turning into an unclear form slithering away one second later. This is exactly what I call “groundbreaking”! I suspect that Nick kissed his new night vision camera after it had captured this big evidence.
Before you realize it, the 72nd hour of confinement has arrived, the episode is over and you’re like “Wait, what? So soon?”. Because it’s highly captivating, believe me. It lasts one hour and you feel the need to have more. The formula of the three days of confinement, as they present it, makes total sense once you see it. The more you live inside the location, the more the spirits accustom themselves to you, equals more paranormal activity to capture, both in daylight and nighttime.
But, for me, it's not only the formula of the investigation that matters, or makes the difference, it's the genuine passion and dedication that Nick and Katrina puts into it. The chemistry between them, between them and the location, their professionalism, serenity and patience whilst risking serious physical and mental breakdowns, incidents and attachments… For me, that’s the most enjoyable and mind-blowing stuff about the show.
Can’t wait to see the next five episodes!
It started out already with a magnificent intro. The music chosen for the show was great and Nick and Katrina are a perfect team to start a show like that together. To reveal the unbelievable in a 72hour lockdown is just pure insanity. It would push anybody to the absolute limit. They call it “666 square feet of hell”. 2400 patients including mentally ill, criminal insane and neurological damaged souls. It was sad when Nick was not on TV for over a year, but the time off to create something new, something special, and never seen and done before, made it all worth the wait. Nick is back, and along comes Katrina, under the both of them, there is a mixture of an unbelievable power, which will help immensely to reveal the amazing evidence of the unknown.
Beth a former employee entered the building and told her story to Nick and Katrina. It was giving me goosebumps and my eyes filled up with tears of sadness, to hear the story about the two patients who were murdered.
At the point when they went upstairs, you could see in Nick’s face the fear and how uncomfortable he was being up there. That was where he had an experience in 2009. I think the EVP he got on his question up there, when he asked: “Are you afraid of the dark?” and the answer was “yep” was just mind blowing to me.
It was as also crazy to see how uncomfortable Nick was feeling when he was laying on his cot and he heard a big bang behind him. He said he had the feeling that spirits were all around him, as a viewer you could feel that through Nick’s body language and facial expression.
It was great when star guests Amy Bruni and Adam Berry came in to go through with Nick and Katrina and a great addition when Adam received that class A EVP of “Hello Adam”. The guys were so overly excited about it.
At almost the end of the show, I was blown away, when the camera-man, started saying, to stop moving, that something came up behind Nick and Katrina and only the camera-man was able to see it. This was amazing, shocking to me, but at the same time scary. Scary to know that there is so much more of “paranormal” things around us what we cannot see with our own eyes. Unbelievable evidence of the unknown! Incredible show!!! I cannot wait to see the next episodes!