Extremely Shallow Film Reviews: Paranormal Activity

First of all, I should tell you that I am a person who believes in ghosts. I do! I believe in ghosts! I'm sorry! So sue me! I'm a person who believes so much in ghosts, in fact, that if you are not a person who believes in ghosts and you say, out loud, "I am not a person who believes in ghosts," I will actually get worried for you. "Don't say it out loud!" I will hiss. "The ghosts will hear you." In my mind, you see, there is a certain sort of hubris involved in saying, out loud, that you do not believe in ghosts. That's just asking for a poltergeist to toilet paper your living room, as far as I'm concerned.

I say all this so that it serves to highlight the gravity of what I am about to tell you next. Which is this: you know that movie, Paranormal Activity? Man, what a load of old crap that was!

(I just had to check behind me to make sure a ghost didn't hear me type that. I mean, whatever, there was a weird noise RIGHT AFTER I WROTE IT.)

I'd been looking forward to Paranormal Acvitity for months. I love a good ghost movie--I still maintain that the scariest one I ever saw was The Others (and not just because of Nicole Kidman's botox)---and this one seemed so promising. I had firsthand evidence that my brother Luke, after seeing it in the cinema when it first came out, had been so frightened by it that he and his (male) roommate had shared the roommate's twin bed that night so that neither of them had to be on their own. The trailers seemed frightening. The buzz was strong. We Netflixed it and settled in to be scared to death.

And eh. It was about demons. Demons? Whatever, I don't want to know about demons! Give me some proper ghosts!

Of course, I said all this to Sean as we were getting ready for bed that night. Pah, I said, I wasn't frightened by that movie at all! I fell asleep scoffing at how unscary the movie had been. And then, in the middle of the night, I woke up to an enormous crash.

(If you haven't seen the movie, by the way, this would be a good time to tell you that the couple in the film spend a lot of time waking up in the middle of the night to an enormous crash. Also, they are haunted by a demon. As you can imagine, the two are related.)

I froze. I checked the alarm: just after 3am. Suddenly, in one fell swoop, every frame of the movie came back to me. I wasn't scoffing anymore. Oh my god, I thought. The ghosts totally heard me say how unscary Paranormal Activity was. Worse, the DEMONS did.

For some reason, it seemed like a good idea to creep into the kitchen, and so I crept into the kitchen. (You'd think I'd never seen a scary movie in my life. YOU NEVER CREEP INTO THE KITCHEN.) And there, on the floor, was the source of the enormous crash: a pan was lying in front of the stove, all by itself.

How about that? A PAN WAS LYING IN FRONT OF THE STOVE ALL BY ITSELF. A pan! On the floor! At 3am!

I mean, yeah, sure, I suppose it could have been knocked to the ground by one of our overzealous cats, but I'm pretty sure it was a warning from the demon community to shut the eff up and stop publicly slating their awesome new movie, am I right? I mean, if that's your agenda then a saucepan on the ground at 3am is surely more effective than a polite email---or even a sudden cool breeze or a sinister half-opening door. Nope, a saucepan on the ground at 3am shows you mean business, my friends. Suddenly, I am compelled to tell you that Paranormal Activity was excellent.

1
Anna
Apr 22, 2010

I feel that I should second your endorsement of this *excellent* film, as after I saw it I went into the bathroom to find the sink taps on full blast for no apparent reason. The demons definitely favour my support, as the taps are now fine.

2
Cathy
Apr 22, 2010

Are you kidding? That movie scared the poo out of me! Not literally, of course. Although it may have been close.

The only way I could watch it was on the plane, so that I could press pause when it all got too much. Take a few deep breaths and get reassurance from my boyfriend.

And, somehow, being on a plane helped psychologically - in that the ghosts and demons or poltergeists can't get into a plane that's flying thousands of feet up in the air.

Twisted logic? Maybe, but it kind of worked. Although I STILL didn't watch the final couple of frames.

I really do hate horror films.

3
Kelsey
Apr 22, 2010

I've heard really great things about that movie in terms of its lingering effect on viewers. I definitely should netflix it soon.

4
A'Dell
Apr 22, 2010

I can't even watch scary movie PREVIEWS.

You mysterious pan will give me nightmares tonight. I'm sure of it. CREEPY.

5
Cy
Apr 22, 2010

I just saw this movie last weekend with a couple friends and completely agree. When it was over we all concurred, "well, that was disappointingly lame," but in the dark in my bed four hours later when the house is creaking? NOT SO LAME.

6
Kavita
Apr 22, 2010

I'm sooooooo brave that I refused to go watch it with my friends who thought it was a pretty decent film. Does one actually describe "horror" as "pretty decent?"

Moving on,"The Exorcism of Emily Rose" was the last horror film they managed to drag me out for. For a week or two after, I'd wake up faithfully at the witching hour, scare myself shitless by just opening my eyes(shadow play was all it took) and then work on scrunching my eyes shut till my brain finally succombed to my willpower and allowed me my 2nd round of shuteye! Quite the hopeless case really, which is why the sadist in me is happy to note that you're now compelled to tell us that the film was excellent! ;-)

7
Erika
Apr 22, 2010

The last scary movie I saw was The Ring. It scare the piss out of me. Literally. I was seven months pregnant at the time. And when I got home, my husband had to stand right outside of the shower so he could protect me in case that scary girl came out of the toilet or something.

8
Maren
Apr 22, 2010

Yeah...I am in the camp of not being able to even watch scary movie commercials. Mostly due to the fact that in high school a friend and I were discussing scary movies, ghosts and demons, when (on a perfectly clear night) the power went off, then on, then flashed regularly for about 30 seconds while we discussed whether we should yell for my mom. As soon as we did yell for her, the power went off completely (so she had a hard time believing us about the flickering and duration of said flickering...) Don't mess with demons.

9
Camels & Chocolate
Apr 22, 2010

Wow, you don't strike me as the ghost-lovin' kind. I'm constantly learning things about you, Burnsy. I, on the other hand, am such a chicken, I watched Stepfather last week ON AN AIRPLANE, with my blanket covering one eye.

10
Lis
Apr 22, 2010

I feel compelled to tell you that 1) the movie scared me more than any movie before... and I am a horror movie buff. 2) I STILL have not watched the last scene (you have to watch the Spielberg ending, not the "alternate ending" when Spielberg tells you to do something DO IT! GAH!) and 3) in the middle of the movie my fiancé paused it to inform me that HIS DAD DOES THAT STAND UP FOR HOURS WATCHING YOU SLEEP THING ALL THE TIME!!!!! I need to call off the engagement right??

11
Amy
Apr 22, 2010

I didn't find Paranormal activity to be scary and I have yet to experience any mysterious crashes, so I am led to believe that the demons are afraid of me.

12
Sharone
Apr 22, 2010

I think The Others is one of the best ghost-y movies there is. Although as far as scary demon children kind of things, I was so terrified after seeing The Ring that I left the place I was house-sitting (conveniently full of old, creepy things--why?? did I pick that night to see that movie?) and camped out at my best friend's apartment for two days. Um, yes, I am an excellent house-sitter, why?

13
Linda_M
Apr 22, 2010

HA-HA-HA-HA-HA! Now my husband wants to know why I'm laughing at the computer:-)

14
Sarah Brown
Apr 22, 2010

Cathy's totally right: no ghosts on airplanes. It's science fact. I love that someone else thinks like I do on these matters.

(Scary monsters on the wing don't count.)

15
Locusts and Wild Honey
Apr 22, 2010

Okay, no kid who grew up going to church three times a week in the deep South should see this movie.

Sometimes bible camp was a lot like Paranormal Activity, what with all the discussions of demons.

And people wonder why Southerners drink so much...

Get thee behind me, Satan!

16
Katie Alender
Apr 22, 2010

People who say no scary stuff on airplanes need to go back and watch their "Twilight Zone."

I don't believe in ghosts OR not believe in them. But one night I was home, working downstairs, and I heard my husband come home upstairs and walk around, and sit on the couch and turn on the TV. After a little while, I decided to go say hi, and I went upstairs and there was nobody there. I actually thought he'd gone to bed, that's how convinced I was that somebody was in my house.

So.

17
suzrocks
Apr 22, 2010

I'm not allowed to see scary movies anymore. My heart rate can't tolerate it and my sleep suffers greatly for nights after.

Of course I just tell people I don't like scary movies. It has nothing to do with what a pathetic wuss I am!

18
Pinkie Bling
Apr 22, 2010

Oh, HOLLY!! That would have scared me to death after seeing that movie. Despite the ending, I was entirely creeped out by it. I saw it with my brother's girlfriend - we had driven separately to the theater, and we had to talk to each other on our cells the entire drive home...to my house, by the way, where we slept on the living room couches.

A pan on the floor at 3 am? Would have sent me screaming into the night.

19
Moose
Apr 22, 2010

I'm still frightened by a horror movie I saw in the seventh grade where dolls killed people. Little porcelain dolls in frilly dresses. Their eyes would start rolling, they'd creep into the kitchen for a butcher's knife and suddenly the hitchhiker in blue spandex pants and very tall bangs would be dead.

Suffice it to say, I don't watch scary movies any more. Because I am a complete wuss.

20
bohemianbailie
Apr 22, 2010

Yep going to a Catholic elementary and then a Christian high school I get scared even thinking of the word demon alone at night!!

21
whoorl
Apr 22, 2010

I have no clue about that movie nor any scary/horror movie for the past 35 years because I squeeze my eyes shut, plug my ears and hum "Mary Had a Little Lamb" at any commercial/preview/trailer involving such scariness. *shudders*

22
Manda
Apr 22, 2010

See if I posted this blog the only thing I would have to be scared of would be my brother after I said he was scared of someone and couldnt sleep alone lol

Im a total wuss. All movies scare me, even the cheesy scary movies

23
Connie
Apr 23, 2010

One night when I had insomnia I watched "From Dusk to Dawn" on pay per view. It was so scary that I couldn't fall asleep. So I watched it again :snort: After that it was light outside and I was able to fall asleep with no lasting ill effect.

24
MomZombie
Apr 23, 2010

Delurking (even THAT sounds scary after this post) to comment on ghosts. I am a total believer. I kept it to myself until last year. I started posting about things of the paranormal nature happening to me and got a lot of response. "The Others" is my favorite movie of that genre.

25
Patty V
Apr 23, 2010

Moose, I saw that movie too! or something like it...can't stand those porcelain dolls now. Scariest movies ever for me - The Exorcist and Nightmare on Elm Street. My daughter saw Paranormal Activity and was scared for weeks. I won't watch it, waaay too chicken for that stuff now.

26
beyond
Apr 24, 2010

oh gosh! i could not even watch the previews of that movie. I cannot handle scary movies. i just cannot.

27
Roze
Apr 24, 2010

I couldn't find the link to leave a comment about the pearl earrings, but: on this beautiful, bright, non-ghost weather morning, I got goosebumps. *shivers*

28
Terrell
Apr 24, 2010

Ok, I hardly ever comment on blogs, but this is too weird. I had a similar experience after watching PA. My boyfriend and I watched it one night and at the end we were all, "LAME! There's 90 minutes of our lives we will never get back."

AND THEN...

During the night, a shelf fell off the wall in my office and onto my Mac. As I was cleaning the mess in the morning I joked that it must be connected to us bashing that awful movie. Right after I said that, a framed pic of my boyfriend and me slammed face down on my desk and startled me, so I spilled hot coffee all over myself.

So yeah, that movie ROCKS.

29
elz
Apr 24, 2010

I won't watch Paranormal b/c I get super freaked/scared by scary movies. I have never admitted it, but after I watched "Interview with a Vampire," I slept for months with my covers pulled tight around my head, like the extra duvet was going to impede a vampire's toothy fangs digging into my neck. Don't even get me started on those freaky floaty demons in the Buffy episode where everyone loses their voice-shiver.

30
operation pink herring
Apr 25, 2010

Even so, I'm going to skip it. I had nightmares after watching the trailer AND I have a cat prone to pushing things over in the night. I believe, demons! I believe!

I love that you believe in ghosts.

I don't know why exactly.

Maybe it's because I believe in 'spirits'. All my spirit contact has been on the nice variety, so maybe I should begin publicly defaming ghosts to see if they get all riled up and approach me with some misplaced cookware.

I am quite interesting in this topic hope you will elaborate more on it in future posts.

33
saggsab
Jun 13, 2010

The movie was a total waste of time & money. Reminds me of a story I heard once upon a time - a movie was hyped up so well that everybody was convinced that a movie was going to be great. Those that went to see it told others how great it was and that they should go see it. It was better to let someone else see it than admit to having wasted money on seeing the movie. Misery loves company.

The writing / actors / movie all sucked... No common sense. Worse than even Blair Witch Project.

34
vibram fivefingers
Jul 01, 2010

I am very interested in your article!

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