ARE THEY REALLY
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
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