'Paranormal Island' didn't have a bad idea. Not a novel one, but it sounded creepy and cool and deserved execution that would match that. Lance Henriksen has been in a lot of bad films but, regardless of how well he's used or not, he can be one of the least bad assets of them.
Sadly, 'Paranormal Island's' interesting idea was executed pretty poorly and the problems are apparent straightaway, this is not one of those promising opening sequence films unfortunately. The asset that comes off least badly is the acting, which on the most part considering the material is not bad. That is with the exceptions of agreed Ben Elliott and Tony Valle, both downright awful in disastrously written (in every sense of the word, elaborating would be pointless as one wouldn't know where to begin) roles, especially Valle.
Briana Evigan in particular is an agreeable lead and Henriksen does his best with far too little to do, there is a demeanour about him that makes him interesting to watch. While the characters were not particularly interesting ones, they aren't annoying either or do things that makes one frustrated by them. The scenery has some nice atmosphere.
However, the production values, scenery apart, don't impress. The special effects are especially pathetic, have not in a while seen cheaper-looking paranormal effects, and any promise that the opening scene could have had is completely ruined by being shot in so amateurish a way it makes one physically ill. The photography and editing in general are not good, but not to the same extent as with the opening. The music at best is forgettable, not exactly intrusive or obvious as such but it adds very little to what's going on and is pretty dull.
Dull is the best way to describe the story (especially in the middle which grinds to a halt), with nothing tense, suspenseful, surprising or scary. It's also very silly, sometimes to a ridiculous degree, doesn't always make sense with too many things left vague and nothing unsettles or surprises.
The dialogue is awkward and tends to ramble and the pace and characters are even more lifeless often than the villain. For all the actors' best efforts, the characters are underdeveloped and bland.
Overall, pretty poor. 3/10 Bethany Cox