PARANORMAL ACTIVITY Review Comments - Mania.com



COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

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ThunderG0d 10/12/2009 10:19:39 AM

First off, Rob Vaux is one of Mania's premiere contributors, and this piece was another fine addition to his burgeoning resume of excellent articles.  Strong points and excellent prose made for a pleasant read.  I wish I could agree with the assessment however.

I found the movie to be tiring and devoid of sincerity.  There was'nt anything about this film that I found even remotely creepy.  It seemed very staged, although the loose plot points held together well with the natural dialog of the characters.  This may have worked better as a stage play than a 'docu-drama'.  The movie had many opportunities to capitalize on the anxiety they were attempting to establish in several scenes, to then let it deflate in front of our eyes. 

Primarily. the story was far too linear to be believable.  It begins innocently enough, and each day brings a slightly more intense plot point than the last.  Regardless of what seemed to be happening to Katie (primarily), Micah always seemed to be more concerned about capturing it on film than actually attending to her and the situation.  This coupled with the fact that each night a new, slightly more elevated 'creeepy bedroom experience' suggests this was nothing more than a poorly written story.  I doubt that a 'demon' would follow such a structured path of activity, especially after being with Katie for so many years.  Why would it choose to ratchet up the scares in such a progressive fashion, simply because Micah chose this 30 day window to film what was going on?  And the fact that Micah was so concerned about taking the camera with him everywhere he went in the home (even when searching for Katie, or hearing her screaming from elsewhere in the house, or half-heartedly attending to her while she bled, or setting up for 'what can we dream up for our next bedroom scene' antics, or ...), makes it even more unbelievable.  It simply lacked ... sincerity. 

I know that my opinion will not win praise from most who see this film, and maybe my aversion to reality TV is what is preventing me from buying into the premise, but it was more boring than fascinating to me.  I agree with Peak37pt about 'Pandorum'.  An outstanding Sci-Fi creepfest well worth the price of a ticket.  'Paranormal Activity' was a complete let-down when compared to the hype. 

Jaysaw 10/12/2009 11:11:38 AM

***SPOILER ALERT***

ThunderGod, obviously you have the right to your perception of the plot development, but in strict technological terms, the script actually did a great job of explaining the motivations of the demon and why the bedroom events were escalating night after night. It was clearly set up from the start that:

a) the demon had always been following Katie but had only recently "reappeared" not very long after Katie and Micah moved in together (hmm, jealousy perhaps?).

b) the demon's interest seemed to be that, according to the paranormal psychologist, it was after nothing more than Katie

c) based on the research the characters did and the opinion of the psychic, the demon was said to feed off negative energy...and as events progressed the relationship between Micah and Katie became increasingly strained and negative

d) it was also established at several points that the demon was intelligent (the actual meaning of the word demon comes from the greek word "daimon" which means intelligence) and it enjoyed screwing with their heads

e) attempts to communicate with the demon were described as "opening the door" which was not a smart move, according to the psychic

f) most importantly, the characters mentioned at several different points the fact that the camera, ouija board and other efforts to intervene in the demon's business would be perceived as only making things worse...in essence, the movie's entire point was that they meddled with something that they were powerless over and the evil spirit paid them back dearly for it.

Anyway, long story short, I think the screenplay set up events well. Anyone looking for a movie that is realistic and life-like, will enjoy PA. But if you are looking for a movie that makes you actually think it happened, well then, ahem, you might be a little too old to be believing in the boogeyman...

needaname85 10/12/2009 6:55:22 PM

It's actually not in KC...had to drive to the shit state of Kansas to Olathe. About 45 min from the city.

Muenster 10/13/2009 6:23:17 AM

HOLY SH*T!!! That was the most boring non scary movie I've seen since Blair Witch Project. There were about thirty people in the theater with me when the film started. Not that it mattered, because within 20 minutes people starting talking, texting, and cracking jokes.(My favorite heckle was when some gay sounding guy said, "Oooo I wonder if Paris Hilton is going to be in this?") Another 10 minutes later people were yelling obscenities at the screen, and cursing as they walked out. Nobody complained when my friends and I started up our own MST3K session. I surely would have hated to be working at that theater's Customer Service Desk. By the time the "big scary climax" for which I had heard so much about was upon us, the film stopped and the lights came up. An usher came in and then quickly radioed to the manager that there were still people in "Paranormal". He apologized and the the film restarted.

Sure am glad it was a free ticket or I would have walked out with the rest of the suckers, but we all agreed to see it through to the bitter crappy end as a form of punishment for optimistically holding out hope for some kind of scare that might redeem this experiment in patience. Given this film's severely low budget, complete lack of special effects, and the obvious foreshadowing, the end came about as I thought it would... Possession and Murder.

As we left the auditorium, we were greeted by the manager who gave us all passes for the interruptions and dissatisfaction with the film. "And that's when he said it, "Ya'll Fell for one of those audience reaction commercials huh? ... One of them was actually taped at our other location.". To which I responded, "Any chance I could get a second pass?" He just laughed.

That was 99 minutes of pure media hype and fake marketing I'll never get back. Despite having a new free pass and not having to shell out any money other than the cost of a box of Raisinettes... Sheesh, to have endured such a rank display of film making left me feeling as though I had just done something dumb.

God Da*n it! I am actually getting pissed off that I've devoted additional time venting my rage at being talked into seeing something I figured would be total garbage. 

 I just don't get it. The reviews are all so good and word of mouth is rampant. (Hmmm, "This must have been what it was like to be one of those hype driven slobbering Obama supporters.) Honestly if this is what people find scary now, then I can only imagine the future of suspense is that of the mundane. Guess, I'll have agree with JAYSAW, about the Boogeyman thing. Sometimes it's refreshing to see a new artists' work and to give them a shot at the big time, however this film was not entertaining at all, and is nothing more than a scam to line the pockets of some very dishonest people. Bah! 

Finally, SHAME ON YOU Spielberg! Your complicancy in this fraud will not be forgotten.

avidfan 10/13/2009 1:47:15 PM

I am inherently suspicious of these "reality" type horror movies.  They are basically offering amateur actors, a simplistic script, if any, and zero production budget while asking me to pay the same price as a 100 million movie with solid actors, story, and effects..  I read books to "use my imagination."  I go to the movies to see somebody else's.  http://www.persona-non-grata.com

Muenster 10/15/2009 10:15:24 AM

avidfan, what you wrote is the most poignant staement I've seen in this whole thread, and truly hits the mark reagarding this, this, this... "homevideo".

DayDrumFour 10/24/2009 11:14:41 PM

Now try to name a 100 million movie that was scary...

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