“Paranormal” the Egyptian jewel of Netflix

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“Paranormal” is without a shadow of a doubt the best Egyptian product available on Netflix. An incredibly successful series with horror colors capable of bringing this genre even to the banks of the Nile


After finding himself in a series of unusual events, a skeptical hematologist reluctantly becomes an authority on paranormal phenomena.

The plot

Set in the Egypt of the 60s, in “Paranormal” we will follow the story of Refaat Ismail, an Egyptian hematologist who, suddenly, sees strange and mysterious events appear around him. of a very particular detail concerning Refaat’s life: as a young man he became engaged to a spirit.


The latter will return to haunt his ancient love, pushing him to increasingly exhausting clashes with monsters and other supernatural creatures; leading him to discover something unexpected and that will affect his life forever.

The hand of the master

The series, we say it immediately, is a jewel. For a long time, in fact, an Egyptian product that could compete with the US has not been observed on Netflix, with this they have succeeded and finally you can observe something of a level appropriate to the historic Egyptian cinema. “Paranormal”, in particular, rests its foundations on the texts of one of the greatest novelists of contemporary Egypt: Ahmed Khaled Tawfik, whom we have already had the honor of dealing with this year. The series, in particular, is the film adaptation of “Ma Wara ‘al-Tabi’a”, a collection of 81 novels that were written from 1993 to 2011, becoming one of the most popular works of local literature.


As in the case of Utopia, even in “Paranormal” we see a little magic, the trademark of the great narrator: to merge American-style fiction with Egypt. The concept is not easy to put into words but it is at the heart of this writer’s greatness. His works, in fact, are very reminiscent of Yankee literature, without however going to copy it in any way. When you read or see Tawfik, in fact, you have the impression that you have already come across something similar, but, at the same time, you are sure that what you have in front of you is absolutely Egyptian. It is not a copy and it is not a translation, but a work that, precisely because of its absolute level, recalls its best sides, reminding Egypt of its monsters and its past.

What a beautiful series

Beyond the text, however, the whole Egyptian cinematographic movement is also highlighted, which in the Arab world is comparable, in terms of level, to the American one. Ahmed Sayed Amin, who plays Refaat Ismail, is perfect from every point of view and manages to perfectly blend Egyptian irony with the horror atmosphere, thus resulting in an absolutely credible and prominent element throughout the entire series. Other notes of honor on the interpretation are then for Razane Jammal, in the series “Maggie Mckillop”, and Reem Abd El Kader, or Shiraz, the protagonist spirit of the first season.


A little discussion should also be opened with regard to the image and the places, aspects that may appear marginal but here manage to show their potential. The colors of the shots, in fact, will bring us back to an atmosphere typical of those years, resulting decisive in scenes in which the dark will risk having the better of the dear Refaat. The centrality of the Khadrawy house inevitably puts an accent on the locations, but I must say that, from this point of view, I appreciated even more the 4th episode, the one set in the Mansoura countryside. We are always used to observing Egypt through Cairo, but its soul is mostly fluvial and peasant, which will appear more than ever in that episode, the most Egyptian of all.

In conclusion

“Paranormal” is without a shadow of a doubt the best Egyptian product of Netflix, so much so that it can even aspire to a comparison with its most acclaimed products. Of course we are talking about something born to entertain and pass the time with pleasure, however, thanks to the very high level of Tawfik, it would not be a blasphemy to draw some interesting reflections. If you are a lover of “soft horror” and are looking for something different, you have found what is right for you.

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