Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Challenge: Paranormal Activity 1, 2, & 3

Paranormal Activity (2007)
Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)
Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

I wanted to save these for a last.  Glad I did because they do live up to the hype.

PA1, the first has this great charm about it.  You really feel like this is something that has been going on for a bit and just now they (Micha & Katie) have deiced to something about it.
It starts out slow.  Maybe too slow, but I love the build up and payoff was great.
This movie is a very, very effective mix of "Blair Witch Project", "The Exorcist" and any number of good haunted house movies.  My only complaint really is the Ouija board scene. It seemed a little over the top compare to the rest of the movie.  I think if it had just spelled out the name and not caught on fire that would have been better.  Some of the creepiest scenes are also some of the most understated ones.  Shadows and noises you can hear in any house  at night.  I LOVED the scenes were Katie would get up and just stand there starring at Micha for 2-3 hours at a time.

Of course the biggest issue was also why not get more people into the house with you to help.  After all that video evidence I'd be calling everyone to help out.  Well that doesn't serve the script/movie at all of course.

I'll talk about 2 & 3 together since they share some similar positives and negatives.
I kinda wish I had done my research more on these movies, it might have been fun to watch them in reverse order, but chronologically correct for Katie.  The sequels (or prequels rather) are more polished and go for the faster scare. Unlike the sequels to "Blair Witch" and the "Exorcist" these do add something to the mythos of the movies.  The biggest issue of course is why wasn't information from movies 2 and 3 mentioned in the respectively later movie 1?  Well we know why, of course.  For me, I also suffered from Paranormal Activity fatigue.  After a few hours I was wanting to see something a bit more.  That is more due to me though than the movies I think.

I liked 3 a little better than 2, but 1 was the best.
I am going to say this though, while I have not seen PA4 yet (and I will), I think this well might be dry.
To do something else or even to take it up another notch will make the movie more like the Exorcist really.
You can only jump at so many shadows and creaks.  I am reminded of a scene in Tom Hanks' movie Big.  When his character as an adult is scared of all the noises outside his apartment, many scenes later the same noises are occurring but he only gives them curious glance and goes back to eating chips and watching TV.  That was me, except sitting in front of my computer typing this.

I beat the Challenge! So far I watched one extra movie, but saw one less new movie over last year.
Though I still have one more I can watch and I might even have the time to get it in.

Tally: Watched 32, New 23

What are you watching?


Timmy Crabcakes said...

I agree that the first one was the best. The mystery was new, subtle (except for that Ouija board) and creepy. The best creepout for me was finding that lost photo in the attic crawlspace.
#2 started to clumsily explain everything... and #3 (I saw it for the first time last night) reduced the spook to a pet... 'Here Toby! Good boy Toby! Have a biscuit!'

I'll probably watch #4 at some point but yeah, I think it's run its course... unless it changes into something altogether different.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm feeling guilty because I turned off The Skeleton Key before it was finished. And I did that because I cheated. I got a sense that things were not going to get better for Kate Hudson's character, Nurse Caroline, so I checked online. Just a peek. I know that terrible and now I feel rotten. So, as punishment I'm watching the new version of The Exoricist, [not sure what editor's choice means here] without popcorn. I know, that alone will ruin the experience.

Happy Halloween, Timothy!

Tim Knight said...

There's a new version of The Exorcist?!?!

Timmy Crabcakes said...

The 'Directors Cut'? With the spider crawl on the stairs put back in?

Anonymous said...

This series is horrifying. The movies kept me up at night. I believe they need to stop making them, though, since nothing beat the first one.