about the film


by William Denbrough

A visceral descent into depths of a depraved mind, Paranoid takes the viewer on a dark trail into the roots of insanity where only fragments of reality remain to color the desperate existence of a tortured woman.

"Last night a dark man with no face crawled through nine miles
of sewer to surface in my toilet, listening
for phone calls through the cheap wood
with chrome ears.

I tell you man, I hear." *

Originally appearing as a 100 line poem entitled "Paranoid: A Chant" in Stephen King's 1985 short story collection Skeleton Crew, Paranoid - the film - is a short adaptation done by Los Angeles-based director and cinematographer Jay Holben.

Opening in a dilapidated motel room crouching deep within the seedier parts of an unnamed city, we slowly venture inside to the last refuge of a troubled woman. With the meticulousness that seems to be only afforded to the deeply disturbed, she carefully catalogues each infinite detail of her nightmarish existence in hundreds of composition notebooks as waitresses replace salt with arsenic, old ladies place electronic suction cups on their floor upstairs to send out rays through light fixtures and They send puppies with radio cobwebs in their noses to keep track of her. Everywhere she turns there is another ominous shadow following, listening.

We can only watch helplessly as a besieged soul desperately cries out for help. We can witness the strengths of her deprived delusions and wonder - what was that sound outside?

They are out there, you know.

Listening. Watching. Waiting.

It's only a matter of time before They pounce and when they do - will you be ready?

Did you remember to lock the door?

* Excerpt from "Paranoid: A Chant" 1985 Stephen King. All rights reserved.


© 2000 Adakin Productions
Paranoid: A Chant © Stephen King. Used by permission.
All rights reserved.
Last Update 30 Nov 2000