Skip to main content

Another one!?!

In 2009, the low-budget supernatural horror film Paranormal Activity burst onto the scene. Made for an astonishing $15,000.00, the movie chronicled the story of a young couple, Katie and Micah, who are experiencing strange happenings around their new home in Carlsbad. They set up a video camera in their bedroom and around their home to capture whatever is causing these disturbances. Katie sleepwalks over to a sleeping Micah. The sound of footsteps fill the silence as they sleep. A slow rumble grows louder and louder each passing night. Each setup builds and builds as the audience grows anxious and more spooked with each nighttime diary becomes more and more terrifying until we a brought to the climax and writer/director Oren Peli plays his final hand for maximum effect when the audience can sense that the big scare is coming and we are gripping our armchairs (or dates) out of anticipation and dread. That's why the first film worked so well: Peli wisely doesn't go for the jugular earlier on and instead uses the time to get the audience emotionally invested in the story and the characters. He wants us and the couple to be pushed to our psychological breaking point before he reveals the big scare.

When I first saw this, not only was I freaked out and scared shitless, I thought this man did the genre a huge favor: Ever since horror movies such as Eli Roth's Hostel and James Wan's Saw came out and the Hollywood suits saw the returns, said movies have taken a page out their respective playbooks and amped up the scenes of sadism, blood, gore and torture, because that's what they believe their audience wants to see more of, regardless of the quality of the story or whether or not we give a damn about the characters. By skipping the blood and gore, Peli showed that a tense atmosphere and practical effects in a confined space can be just as effective and as scary as a maniac about to rip some poor bastard apart limb from limb.

But, like Hostel and the Saw film series, Hollywood saw the returns on Paranormal Activity, and not only did Paramount Pictures order more sequels, but it gave way to the "found-footage" craze that would be the basis for films like the J.J. Abrams-produced monster movie Cloverfield, The Last Exorcism, Chronicle and The Devil Inside. This leads us to present-day, as Paramount released the new trailer to the next installment to the PA franchise, titled Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.

I'll give this one credit: it's ditching the stick cameras around the house and capture things that move cliche from the looks of the trailer, but I'm still skeptical about the whole thing, especially since it's being released in January, the month where studios dump out all their crappy movies that would, otherwise bomb horribly in any other year, so they can get something of a decent return on them.  For the most part, I'm just not tired of seeing this franchise, point blank. They had a really great thing with the first PA movie, and they should have stopped there.


Popular posts from this blog

Lost in Translation

I think it's fair to assume that a lot of us were very skeptical upon hearing that Masmure Shinrow's cyberpunk manga Ghost in the Shell was being updated for mainstream audiences, in the form of a live-action film. We've seen how this business has handled manga/Anime properties in the past, and the track record, outside of the Wachowskis' Speed Racer, has been dismal, to say the least. When it was revealed that Scarlett Johansson was chosen to play Major Motoko Kusanagi, the Internet went ablaze, the cries that studio suits were whitewashing a beloved Anime character, as well as petitions making the rounds to remove the actress from the role in favor of an Asian actress to carry the role. When the first trailer dropped in mid-November of last year, I think most of us were blown away with just how, on a surface level, it looked like the live-action version might do the original source material justice.

Then, the actual film was released.

It's hard to talk about the …

Spare Me

Sometimes you find something so incredibly stupid and so utterly irresponsible on social media that you have to address it. Last weekend was the Peoples' Summit in Chicago, where a coalition of Sanders supporters and left-wing activists flocked to a three-day event to discuss about where the movement, which started back in 2016 behind then-candidate Bernie Sanders, would and should go in the Trump era, including whether the Democratic Party can be (or should be) saved, or if the time has come to abandon the party and start a new People's party instead. Enter The Young Turks correspondent Nomiki Konst and her thoughts on why the Democratic establishment should accept and embrace independents who don't lean either with the R's or D's in primary battles.
"No open primaries for Democratic Party equals voter suppression and racism with young independent voters" @NomikiKonst#PPLSummit — Holly Mosher (@FilmsForChange) June 10, 2017
*Rolls eyes HARD for several m…

The Worst of 2017 (So Far)

I can't very well talk about some of the most rewarding films of the year without putting my $0.02 cents on the ones which rewarded the least; the ones that left a bitter taste in the mouth, months after first watching them on the big screen.

Transformers: The Last Knight - I was going to review Bay's latest toy commercial during a week-long retrospective on each of the installments of the Transformers franchise (and I will end up finishing said retrospective soon, I promise...), but here's the cliffnotes version on what I've got to say for movie no.5: It's still the same mindless junk he's put out since the surprise 2007 hit, just even more tedious and uninteresting than before. I'm tired of Optimus Prime and his cohorts, the Autobots, in yet another attempt to tell us stupid humans that the Decipticons are bad news and that they'll never leave our world alone unless they work together to stop them; I'm tired of the unrelenting obnoxious comic relie…