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Thread: Getting freaky with 'Paranormal Activity'

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Cool Getting freaky with 'Paranormal Activity'

    Buzz Log: Getting Freaky with Paranormal Activity

    Ten years ago, moviegoers were scared out of their minds by "The Blair Witch Project." Will the newly released screamfest "Paranormal Activity" have the same effect? Early search interest points to "yes."
    The film is shot documentary style (but is scripted, like "Blair Witch"), and concerns a couple who may have a poltergeist in their home. They're dubious at first, but quickly change their tunes after "things" start happening. But by then is it too late? After all, horror movies have a tendency to punish doubters as much as amorous teenagers.
    One of the things that makes "Paranormal Activity" unique is its release schedule. Right now, the film is only being screened in a handful of theaters. However, if moviegoers make enough noise and bug the studio bigwigs, the film may get a wider release. Wisely, the filmmakers have made it easy for fans to voice their demand. A visit to the movie's official site leads to a form that goes to theater owners. Power to the people.
    And then there's the trailer -- "Paranormal Activity" did something unique in that the trailer aims the camera at a special sneak preview audience reacting to what they're seeing on screen. The moviegoers scream, jump, and generally turn into blubbering messes of terror. It's what every horror fan wants to see.
    Lookups on "paranormal activity" are up a whopping 450% this week, and related queries on "paranormal activity trailer" are also trending upwards. Feeling brave? You can watch it for yourself below...


    [YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_UxLEqd074[/YOUTUBE]

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    Silver Member AquariusMoon's Avatar
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    i wanna see it.. lol.. i love paranormal stuff

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    Elite Member sprynkles's Avatar
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    It's gonna be in my town, but I'll pass.
    I'm barely over The Blair Witch movie. I
    am so thankful I only saw it on video and not the
    giant loud theatre experience. Lol, it scared the crap out
    of the big brave bf too!

    Meryl doesn't even try anymore. She just calls Lanvin and asks for curtains with a belt.~Bitter
    Can we interest you in Leann Rimes? She has a nice little cadre of fans you'd probably enjoy.~ Pecan Pie

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    I LOVE movies and programs about the paranormal but at the same time am scared shitless by them.
    Warren Beatty: actor, director, writer, producer.

    ***** celeb

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    Quote Originally Posted by sprynkles View Post
    It's gonna be in my town, but I'll pass.
    I'm barely over The Blair Witch movie. I
    am so thankful I only saw it on video and not the
    giant loud theatre experience. Lol, it scared the crap out
    of the big brave bf too!
    I know! That dang movie scared me witless.

    I haven't ever heard of Paranormal Activity but I'd like to check it out.

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    "You Are Powerless"


    Paranormal Activity / Steven Lloyd Wilson

    Film Reviews | September 28, 2009 | Comments (21)
    Paranormal Activity cannot help but be compared to The Blair Witch Project. It was made on whatever is less than a shoestring (a sockthread?) for just $11,000, by Oren Peli, a video game designer with no previous film experience of any kind. Cast a handful of unknowns, make them film themselves with a single camera, pretend that the film is actual found footage, do the production work yourself on your computer, and all of a sudden you’ve done made yourself a real live movie. Most of the time this process results in something that looks like the amateur film project it really is, but every once and a while it just plain works. When the director holds up his end of the proceedings and manages to luck out with unknown actors who can nevertheless carry the film, the end result is a film like Paranormal Activity.

    The film begins with brief text explaining that the following footage was recovered by the San Diego Police Department, and then introduces us immediately to the two leads. Micah (played by Micah Sloat) meets Katie (Katie Featherston) at the door of their house, filming her with the video camera he just purchased in order to document the “paranormal activity” that they’ve been seeing. The film quickly establishes that this sort of thing has been following Katie for years, since she was a little girl, terrified of the dark figure in her room. This simple observation lets the film escape from that easy loophole of haunted house flicks: leaving simply won’t do any good, the problem is Katie, not the house.

    The film progresses from there, with a steadily mounting progression of paranormal activity, punctuated by gaps in the timestamping of the video footage. Something horrific might happen, followed by a night of minor disturbances, and then three days of nothing before something terrible happens again. It gets worse overall, but the unpredictability from moment to moment keeps the audience tense. Horror films typically are built on a sequence of horror, relief, worse horror, relief, etc. After each instance of horror the tension evaporates and the audience relaxes until it recognizes the build up to worse horror. Paranormal Activity doesn’t play by that rule book, the uncertainty never really allowing the tension to relax through the entire film.

    The two lead actors simply carry the film. If they weren’t top notch, all the tension and believability would drain immediately out of this film. They use their real first names, presumably in order to make the interactions feel more natural. They have an easy reparte, that comfortable humor and teasing of a real couple. From start to finish, there is an amazing amount of humor and nuance to the characters, even as the tension weighing upon them becomes suffocating. Katie and Micah fight more as the film goes on, but they argue the way a real couple does, the muttering under the breath, the irrational nit picking, the half joking barbs. They’re not too eloquent and smooth around the edges to be real people.

    Katie magnificently conveys a confident young woman who gradually slips further and further from sanity. She exudes a quiet dry wit, reminiscent of Pam from “The Office” but with more curves. As the film progresses, she swings wildly in her desperation, from sobbing to screaming to angry denial to passive aggressive sniping at Micah. Micah plays that guy who pisses you off in horror movies, the one who pushes all the wrong buttons and looks in all the rooms that he shouldn’t. But simultaneously, his response is so natural: it is his house, he will fix the problem, he will protect his girlfriend. He goads the invader, stands up to it, taunts it, dares it to show itself. It’s a clever underlying point that Micah’s defiance is the leverage that opens the door wider bit by bit.

    The faux documentary style of it is a little rough now and then, but evens out since most of the footage is taken when they set up the camera for the night looking out over their bed and down the hall, passively taking in the events. Even when they grab the camera to film throughout the house, it is rational from the point of view of Micah: no one will believe this unless it’s on film. Paradoxically, the more insane the activity becomes, the more important it is for it to be captured, for their own peace of mind. The continuous filming becomes a point of sanity for the characters. Several times, we watch them play back the previous night’s footage, watching over and over trying to figure out what’s happening.

    And what’s actually happening is terrifically dark. I’ll not spoil the film here, but suffice to say that the activity is not just increasingly obnoxious footsteps and lights turning on and off. There is serious psychological horror here, events that while not visually spectacular are emotional gut punches within the carefully constructed context of the characters.

    But let’s be frank, the same people who hated Blair Witch will hate this film. The crowd I saw it with was overwhelmingly positive when the lights finally came back up, but there were a few of those guys. “That was it? What was so scary about that? A bunch of noises? Come on.” I think that people who don’t get why films like this are terrifying are having a fundamental disconnect. Mediocre films rely on you thinking that what is happening on the screen is frightening in and of itself, that’s why they depend on those jump cuts where the camera pans and then jerks back because something is suddenly there that wasn’t before, never mind that if the character was real, he or she would have seen it on the first camera pass. Good horror relies on you empathizing with the characters, in other words, the events depicted would be terrifying if they happened to you.

    The noise from the other room, the door you swore you closed, that creepy feeling of being watched, suddenly waking up in the middle of the night certain someone was standing next to the bed. Those things scare the living shit out of each of us at some point. Sure, on the screen there isn’t much inherently frightening about the sound of footsteps, an odd gust of air and a moving sheet, but when you’re laying in bed tonight, half asleep with the lights off, imagine hearing the steps coming towards you, imagine that hot breath exhaling on your neck and the sheets sliding slowly off your legs. And when you yelp and lunge for the light and check under the bed and in the closet, whisper to yourself that a few bumps in the night aren’t that scary.

    Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at www.burningviolin.com.
    Last edited by Sasha; September 29th, 2009 at 09:27 AM.

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    I would totally see this even though it would freak me out for months. I'm not even gonna watch that trailer right now since I'm home by myself, but I can't wait!

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    My curiosity of this movie is so great but I don't think I could ever bring myself to watch it. I nearly had a heart attack and couldn't sleep for WEEKS after watching 'The Ring' (I know...weaksauce ) I had to sleep with my t.v. covered and the lights on. Some horror movies do nothing to me, like "A Haunting in Connecticut" or "Silent Hill" but the freakin' psychological ones or cheap 'jump scare' horror movies scare the ever loving shit out of me!

    Just simply reading about what others have to say about this movie or reading spoilers about this give me chills...and freak me out to the point where I need to turn my light on and have my t.v. blaring...this kind of shit freaks me out. I'd MAYBE see it high...because I've watched other horror movies high and that automatically turned them into comedies but this...I don't think even weed would make this any less scary/disturbing...

    The brain doesn't need blood. It just needs to be kept wet.

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    Elite Member sparkly's Avatar
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    I thought it was a documentary at first, before I saw the preview. TBH, it doesn't look all that scary to me.
    Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

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    i'm going to see this tonight at a preview so i'll report back tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MoodyJenny86 View Post
    My curiosity of this movie is so great but I don't think I could ever bring myself to watch it. I nearly had a heart attack and couldn't sleep for WEEKS after watching 'The Ring' (I know...weaksauce ) I had to sleep with my t.v. covered and the lights on. Some horror movies do nothing to me, like "A Haunting in Connecticut" or "Silent Hill" but the freakin' psychological ones or cheap 'jump scare' horror movies scare the ever loving shit out of me!
    Don't feel bad, I don't know anyone who wasn't at least a little freaked out by The Ring. Awesome movie.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Saw it!

    Even *i* got chills, and I laugh through everything. Everybody else in the theatre was screaming and losing their minds. On the way out, someone had puked on the carpet of the theatre, and some girl was CRYING she was so scared.

    AWESOME!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    fgg
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    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaGatorGirl View Post
    i'm going to see this tonight at a preview so i'll report back tomorrow.
    i ended up having to work until 3 am so i missed it! i've heard nothing but good things though.

    ETA: i just saw it and it was no where near as scary as i thought it would be and i'm a total scaredy cat. plus, the ending sucked.
    Last edited by fgg; October 11th, 2009 at 02:48 PM.

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    I saw it yesterday. Things like this usually terrify me, so I was excited, but I walked out pretty much unaffected, as was the rest of the audience. Even the young girls. A few scary parts, but overall nothing special. People actually laughed at the bad acting of the ghost specialist, which sorta takes you out of the movie. And the fact that the only demonologist in San Diego (or in the world, apparently) was "out of town".

    And the demon's chicken-shaped feet in the powder were silly--I felt like they had to make them that way because the boyfriend had a book that showed demons with chicken feet.

    Oh, well. It had potential.

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    I can't watch shit like this. My DH LOVES this kind of stuff though, so we don't usually watch things like this together.

    The Ring bitch (which I have called her since the movie came out) STILL haunts my nightmares. I screamed long and hard when that stupid alien came out of the bushes in Signs. I have had recurring nightmares about that movie Fire in the Sky. I watched the Blair Witch Project against my will and couldn't be alone for months. So, yeah, I don't watch that crap anymore. I can scare myself over some stupid creak in the house in the middle of the night where I'm up all night with a maglight in my hand, poking my DH every five minutes to get up and make sure all the windows and doors are locked. Yeah, a paranoid mess. No matter how good the movie, it's just not worth it for me.

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