Movie Defense Force: Paranormal Activity

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Paranormal Activity

Defending the Twilight of horror movies.

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But Jim, Paranormal Activity 1 and 2 are good movies. 3 is one of those take or leave, some like some hate. 4...I can't like it. It had some unique ideas but the protagonists have reached too dumb to live territory.

Jump scares are fine if the atmosphere is built up. They're better if they don't have that loud shrieking music along with them, and that's where Paranormal Activity has a big advantage. It's when the only scare is jump scares that problems arise. Don't even get me started on the Pop-Tart in Silent Hill: Revelation.

PA1 is great, especially the original ending, which is actually trying to be subtle. The rest of them however...

I wasn't aware that the first 2 needed defending? LIke Vausch said, 3 is take it or leave it, but me and my group of friends that went to see it left the theatre happy. Of course it was 1AM and we'd been drinking beforehand, and during- but it was definitely enjoyable.

Jimothy Sterling:
Paranormal Activity

Defending the Twilight of horror movies.

Watch Video

The hidden footage / low budget handheld ones are my kind of bag too :)
What did you think of Quarantine? That would could probably use a Movie Defense Force mobilization.

I thought Paranormal Activity was pretty well received and successful? All but one of the critical reviews on Metacritic are positive, for example...

Given your love of found footage films are you planing to defend Troll Hunter?
Does it need defending?

I love Paranormal Activity too, though I was disappointed with #4. The story just didn't make sense in context to the others. I'm still interested to see what they do with Paranormal Activity 5 though. It's supposed to be out this coming January.

Blunderboy:
Given your love of found footage films are you planing to defend Troll Hunter?
Does it need defending?

There is nothing needs defending about Troll Hunter. That film was just glorious in every sense of the word.

What i hated about PA were the two characters. i Hated them so much. All i wanted was for them to die and the movie to be over.

Paranormal Activity is an unpopular movie? Huh. I don't think I've ever heard anyone criticize it.

Why did you not do Halloween 3 as your halloween episode Jimmy?

Blunderboy:
Does [Troll Hunter] need defending?

No,it's debatable the best found-footage movie ever.

I think you may be defending against the wrong arguments here.

My complaint about PA as a franchise is that it's boring. It's not that the scares are "cheap" or what have you. It's just dull. The core of the issue seems to be that they're shooting it like an episode of Ghost Hunters which (while that show has never ever been scary either) mainly pulls its horror from the idea that this is really happening, but that doesn't work in PA because we know that this is a movie. Waiting through 20 minutes of pointless conversations between boring characters and watching them go to a barbecue and all that other stuff, just to wait through two full minutes of them sleeping in a dark room, all for the big payoff to be that THE DOOR SLIGHTLY OPENED BY ITSELF isn't even a jump scare. It isn't even really startling. It's just dull.

Can you imagine the theme park ride for paranormal activity? Where you like ride in a little car through a rich person's house and admire their cabinets and stuff and then kinda near the end there's like a knocking sound?

TERROR.

- J

Indeed, the original PA was popular with both critics and real people. It's pretty much the only found footage movie that isn't total shit. (except chronicle if that counts)

Agreed with you all along in this series, but not this time...
It was just too boring for me, sorry!

Only watched the first one, obviously, so no clue if the next ones make it more involved.

I do agree that jump scares arent really cheap and a good jump scare takes alot of work and effort to pull of right. Although personally I dont really enjoy jump scares, so tend to avoid movies that reely heavily on them.

Yeah, I don't think at the very least the first movie is in need of any defence. The general opinion seems to be that it was, if nothing else, a serviceable film.

I still really enjoy the first Paranormal Activity movie but the fact that it's gotten the Saw treatment is what bugs me more than anything else, especially as it was the movie that unseated Saw at the box office in 2009.

Does this movie really need a defense force? I thought it was quite popular in the first place. Now if you wanted to defend any of the sequels, be my guest.

I'll just echo other sentiments: I'm pretty sure that the first PA was pretty well received. I know I found it legitimately unsettling (particularly with a good stereo system, as my laptop didn't pick up a lot of the subwoofer hum that comes during moments of tension).

Now, as to your assertion that the rest of the series isn't bad: BUNK, I say. They did the classic horror mistake of over-explaining everything. The thing that made PA1 so enthralling for me is that it's not explained what's going on and why the paranormal is picking on these people. The sense of helplessness is palpable throughout and really climaxes when the paranormal professor/medium shows up. In most movies, he'd be the guy with answers. He may be killed to emphasize a hopeless situation, but would reveal some crucial facts about the paranormal event in question. In PA1, he shows up, but only adds more tension, as he abandons the couple to the fate he dares not mention without so much as coming into the house. That was the real shining moment of the movie, IMO.

Blunderboy:
Given your love of found footage films are you planing to defend Troll Hunter?
Does it need defending?

No, that movie was positively recieved. 'Ironic appreciation' is not necessary.

I like the concept of the Paranormal Activity, and I forgive the flaws of the first film because of its extremely stripped down approach. However, if I view them with perspective, they strike me as lackluster haunted house rides. There's virtually nothing to keep you invested other than the occasional 'BOO!' Seriously, I've seen one of them in theaters, and it's fascinating! People talk during the entirety of the non-scary, and as soon as it gets creepy, they shut up. Then, something scary happens, they go 'AHHH,' and then they go right back to talking. It's ridiculous! Guys like Sam Raimi know how to keep you entertained enough so you actually care, and that's something the PA films kind of lack.

Yeah, Jim, I'm pretty sure the general consensus on this one is "swing and a miss" purely because - for the most part - the first one was pretty well received. As I recall it's actually one of the most profitable movies of all time considering it took like $5K to make it and yet it made MILLIONS of dollars at the box office. Shoulda gone with one of the sequels.

P.S. I always thought the chick in this move was hot. :3

P.P.S. Come on, Jim, when are you going to do Aliens vs Predator? Or how about it's sequel? >:(

I didn't think anyone disliked the first paranormal activity, I thought it was the other 20 installments...
Same goes for SAW I suppose

This is the strongest case of "This needed defending?" I can think of.

I've only seen the first film (the very fact that they made sequels was enough to put me off of them) and, if I'm frank, I think it's one of the greatest achievements of atmosphere in new age horror movies. Near perfect.
Would've been perfect if not for the male lead. He became so outlandishly stupid and dickish towards the middle and end of the film that it almost ruins the whole thing and you're (I was) HOPING something kills him.
Which is bad cause this is not a slasher flick.

So is twilight going to be done as well then? Though I'm going to be in it seems vocal agreement, PA1 isnt really bad at all.

I haven't seen Paranormal Activity or any of it's sequels, but I didn't think it needed defending. After all a movie that got 5 friggan sequels couldn't have been that unpopular.

tangoprime:

Jimothy Sterling:
Paranormal Activity

Defending the Twilight of horror movies.

Watch Video

The hidden footage / low budget handheld ones are my kind of bag too :)
What did you think of Quarantine? That would could probably use a Movie Defense Force mobilization.

I preferred Rec myself, if you haven't seen it, it's the movie Quarantine is a remake of. Not sure why it needed a remake exactly, the Spanish one, Rec only came out a year before. They're both fine, but Rec being in another language (so you will have to read subtitles) made it that bit more scary/unfamiliar I guess.

Okay, I was a bit worried about this one. All I could think was "People dislike this movie?" But it seems pretty much everyone does like this movie, going by the comments.

I only have watched the first one (not that big into horror) but I liked it. So, if I am some kind of film sinner, so be it. I'll simply have to burn in Hell for liking this one.

keep bein' awesome, sterling.

OT: i've never seen the movies, but i'd probably feel the same way. i'm not much of a hater, so i have a very high tolerance level for consensually sub-par entertainment.

I didn't think that the jump scares were cheap or that there is anything wrong with found footage films, I just thought the movie wasn't scary or interesting. The characters (especially the "boyfriend" character) were unlikeable and dull, there are too many plot holes, the majority of the movie is just plain boring conversations about boring things with boring people and the actual "scares" range from meh to just plain silly.

Saltyk:
All I could think was "People dislike this movie?"

Yeah me. It just wasn't interesting or tense at all for me. Just boring

PA1 is pretty good. PA2 is alright. I loved PA3. PA4, however, did nothing for me.

The unending list of "not as bad as everyone says they are" films out there... and he decides to go with THIS ONE!
Ugh...-_-

OT: I thought the movie was dull, boring and over hyped.
Young Frankenstein had more scares in it than this.

Im with Jim on this one, first one was great. Can't really defend much of the later ones.

piinyouri:
This is the strongest case of "This needed defending?" I can think of.

Yea truly, my first thought at seeing the video's image link on the front page was that before even starting the video. I mean the movie has an 83% score on rotten tomatoes. The highest score prior to this one was, I think, Transformers one with its 57%.

After a second look though, this movie does have surprisingly low audience approval for its critic score at 56% and has a surprising amount of negative user scores on metacritic. So I guess there's some reasoning for the need to defend it, however vestigial it may seem.

I thought the first one was okay. Not "blow my socks off", not "this is revolutionary film-making that will show the way for modern horror", but... okay. Competent. At times, pretty well done. At times, effectively scary, and better, effectively creepy, which can be harder to pull off. Getting people to tense up isn't really that hard, but getting them to take the scenes seriously enough over time for an ongoing sense of dread to be created... that takes some work. And while you can prepare yourself for a "jump scare", you can't stay tense all the time, which is when an over-arching sense of doom becomes really effective.

But they kept making them, and while I've only seen bits of the sequels, everything I've seen has the term "diminishing returns" stamped all over it. At a basic level, once something is documented- which is what "found footage" films amount to- you need people to start having some basic awareness of the situation they're in. Otherwise, it's much harder to build that sense of doom for the need to roll your eyes at the people who keep showing stupid judgment.

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