Paranormal Activity

Hello, Spongey here

Well, it’s october once again. You know what that means! Yep…Columbus day!

And also HALLOWEEEEEEEEN!

Yep, it’s once again time for us all to watch great Halloween specials and bone chilling horror movies! But of course, they also means  more Halloween crap for me to review.

Back in july, I did some, so it cuts down my workload at least. So to start off the month, let’s look at a recent horror hit.

Horror has many sub-genres. So many that some have their own rules and are full genres of their own!

But there is one that has gotten some spotlight recently: the found footage movie. You know, a film done in the style of a dirty home video camera thing. The footage itself is normally lost somehow or something, and we are watching it…somehow.

This genre has been practiced for a while. Infact, the first one ever was “Cannibal holocaust”  back in 1980. But of course, we all know the one film that made it popular: Tthe blair witch project. The 1999 crowd loved it (I haven’t seen it, yeah I know) and was scared shitless.

Since then, many found footage films (and parodies) have popped up. Some weren’t even horror films. Remember Cloverfield?

Even now, we have Chronicle., which is awesome.   Anyway,. I’m sure this genre would have died it…if it wasn’t for today’s movie. This film made a huge impact, scaring people, and helped reintroduce the found footage film

But is it any good? I don’t know, I haven’t seen it yet. But hey, let’s watch it together.

This, is Paranormal Activity

Image

The film opens in the house of our camera holder, Micah played by….micah. I like it when that kind of stuff happens. Anyway, he walks outside to see his wife Katie played by…Katie. What, they couldn’t afford real names?

Anyway, she arrives home. He tells her about his new “giant ass” camera, which he got cuz why not. She heads in and they banter a bit. They talk about how much it costs and well I’m bored.

But hey, it’s only been like 2 minutes, can’t expect action right  off the bat.
“We’re just gonna film whatever happens to us, and if any weird shit goes on, we’ll be in the perfect position”

How convenient. They banter some more…than micah approaches the camera.
“You doing okay?”

Eh, I’m fine.  Just waiting for the plot.
“Are you happy?’

No. Yeah…he’s talking to the camera. Weird. So yep, he’s gonna record everything they do cuz why not. He also says he’ll have it in their room to….start a home-made –porn?

They also test the camera.

“Just talk”
Something you are both good at.

“Micah is the best boyfriend in the world, except for his weird fascination for electronics.”

Amen.
As they talk a bit, I see that we are 4 minutes in. But hey, it’s setup, I think the plot can roll now., right?

We cut to them hanging out, when they hear a noise and…it’s just the icemaker thing. I see they took suspense lessons from RL Stine.

Anyway, we cut to later in bed, where he is setting the camera on a tri-pod. But enough of that, how about more banter?

“This has gotta get old”
It’s already old.

Anyway, he sets it up on the tripod  and they head to bed. They fall asleep and we watch as…footsteps are heard. Then we cut to the next morning

Well…that was a thing.

They head downstairs, as Katie spots her keys on the floor…but she left them on the counter! BRB SHITTING PANTS.

I kid. I mean, a ghost can’t just kill willy nilly. But moving keys? Really?

“This is obviously evidence that a paranormal force has risen to move your keys”
Yay, a funny line from micah!

So anyway, now they are in their pool, as micah jokingly flips her the bird. Wow, the movie has literally flipped me off.

Whatever, so then Katie tells us that they have a physic coming. Oh come, can’t you read the script?

Wait…there was none, it’s improv. That explains a lot. Anyway, the physic comes in.  so they talk and I think we’re about to get real plot…10 minutes in.

Katie tells him this ghostly stuff started when was 8. She and her sister saw a creepy shadow figure a lot.  Since then ghostly stuff has happened wherever she went.  Okay, this is interesting. A girl stalked by what she thinks is a ghost.

Okay, we got an interesting idea. Don’t ruin it..

“These lights have been flickering”
Nah, it’s just the hash slinging slasher.

She says odd stuff like that happens, and she even hears a voice call her name. and thus, they got this camera. To see if the ghost is real. Okay, that’s a good reason, and now I might like this movie.

“Yhese hauntings feed off negative energy”
Well if the movie sucks, I’m screwed.

Anyway, the Physic thinks the ghost is attached to part of Katie, and that they can’t fully get away from it. Also, it might be a demon.

He wants to show them his friend, who deals with demons. Also, they should try not to fuck with this demon until they know what to do. How long until someone fucks with the demon?

So the dude takes his leave, and now Katie and Micah are alone.
“Could you try not being rude to him?”

Exactly!

Micah suggests not calling the demon helper guy because….uh….magic? Either way, she promises not to call him until the demon gets worse.

That night, they get into bed and he sets up the camera again but he turns it off and when it comes on…they have fucked. Sure, why not.

After that pointless-ness, we see the camera back on its pod, as they sleep.  This time…the door moves slightly.

Is this the most useless demon ever or what? All it does is move keys and doors. Geez, a real demon would you know, actually do something!
They wake up, and watch the footage, and see the scary door moving. Anyway, later on, Micah is hanging out, when Katie screams. He runs over to where she is…and she is screaming at a spider.

Hey plot, where are you? I miss you…

He gets rid of the spider. Later, micah is back in the room.
“Tell me what the point of this was”

No, tell ME. I need a point!

“Is this part of your master plan, to move the door?”
Don’t get self aware, movie!

Later still, they are talking about if this thing is a ghost or demon. They think it’s a demon cuz it feels inhuman. What, humans don’t like moving doors?

KATIE: I’m less excited than you, since I’m the one who is being terrified.

See, she’s likable. You are not.

She says this thing could be really bad, and that when it gets worse, she doesn’t want  to mess with the camera. Yay, logic! Sweet logic!
Ignoring her, we cut to later where they get ready for bed, and make sure every door is locked.  Thus, we return to the land where not much happens.

What happens? Katie wakes up screaming, having had a nightmare. Hey, at least SOMETHING is happening!  While they talk, they hear a loud noise somewhere.
They head downstairs with the camera. They see nothing and go back to bed. As dumb is that is, more is happening than ever before. We cut to the next day.

Katie is with a friend.
“We’re having very intense girl time right now”
Sex jokes I could have made: 1

He drags them over to a audio recording of what happened before they woke up. They hear an odd creature noise. They talk about it, and Micah promises not to buy any crap that might piss off the demon.

Cut to sometime later..

“Hey, we haven’t had anything interesting happen in a while”
Amen!

Seriously, we are now 30 minutes in and only around 10 of it is worth anything. This needs to get better. Fast.

Katie begs to him stop being a douche with the camera and go to bed. Now back to the land of nothing!

This time, Micah wakes up having heard something. He wakes up Katie as well. This time, they also hear a loud as hell noise, which could only mean the plot is here.

They head downstairs to see…nothing. Nothing happens.  Uh…what was the noise? How can a demon make a loud ass banging noise without…doing anything?
Wait…the chandiler  is moving by itself. So let’s recap: It turns on lights, moves doors, moves keys, and makes noises caused by moving a chandelier.

Boo?

Then they go back to bed like nothing happened.  Later, they are talking about how micah won’t  take the fucking demon seriously

“You’re not scared?”
It’s just a demon that can kill you both, no big deal.

So we cut to micah in the room..alone…with a mic, talking to the demon. He records it and listens to see if it caught any demon sounds.

He does hear something: a small little grunt. Does this damn demon do anything interesting?

Later on, Katie is bed, and suggests they watch a movie. Hey, watching anything other than this is a good idea. Sadly, they don’t do that. We cut to the land of nothing once more.

This time, Katie stands up. And…she just stares at micah. The tapes fast forwards and…she just stares. Boo?

She then walks out and we cut. Uh, yay? That was…kind of boring. And pointless. Much like the rest of the movie so far

Micah gets up and takes the camera to find Katie. Can’t this guy let go of the camera for one fucking minute?!

He heads to the backyard,, to find Katie on some swing thingy. She doesn’t seem to be doing much, and she simply says to leave her alone.
This, I kinda…like. I mean, it’s the first time I got a sense of mystery or suspense. I really want to know what her deal is, and I  feel the creepy-ness involved in what she’s doing. Sure, not much is happening, but at least it’s kind of interesting.
He goes inside to get something, when the TV turns on by itself. Again, this demon is lazy as hell.

“Eh, I could scare them. But this chair I’m sitting in is so comfy…I’ll just move this door. Yeah, that’ll scare ‘em”

Katie comes up and…she doesn’t remember anything about getting up. Okay, this is fine. An actual attempt at suspense and mystery. More of this please!

But wait….if the demon possessed her…all it did was make her sit in a swing. Again, laziest demon ever!

The next day, they watch the footage, and she still doesn’t remember doing this. We cut to later, as Micah has bought…a   Ouija board. Oh god…

Katie is pissed that he did this, despite promising he wouldn’t. See, even she thinks he’s a dick. Pissed, she and Micah go out and leave the board there.

So now we return to the land of nothing. This time. The plants blow around and the board moves a bit. Then…it lights on fire.

Finally, this demon does something!

Then…it goes out. God, this demon is…well you get the point. They get home to see that the board now has an odd, unreadable message. Katie is now really pissed.

“I don’t give a fuck what that thing says”
You go girl.

She actually drops quite a few bombs now, cuz that word will never go out of style, fucker.

He asks her what he has to do

“Turn off the fucking camera”

Please do so, I can’t take the nothing!

We cut to the room, where Micah swears to abide by katie’s rules. I think he’s telling us that he’ll stop being a douche. I hope.

So…what the hell does she see in this guy? He’s nothing but a douchebag!
The next  day, they look at the footage.  Micah has tried to find out what that odd message says. He gets nothing, and Katie doesn’t really care.

Later, Micah puts some white powder everywhere, so when the demons does it’s thing, I guess they’ll see it’s mark or whatever. Katie thinks this is bullashit, and wants to call that demon helper guy.

Why is Katie the only person who is saying what I’m saying? We can choose between a chick who uses logic, or a guy who makes any of the teens from Friday the 13th look smart. Hard choice!

“I’m gonna fucking solve the problem”

Yes, let’s put her fate in the hands of some douche and not the trained professional.  So they go to bed, and we return to the land of nothing. This time, the couple are woken by noises.

They get up to see…footsteps in the powder. So…why didn’t the demon just…step over it? There are spots to step over, or it could just…teleport, as not to be seen.
This demon is lazy AND stupid.

The footsteps lead to the attic. Micah, being an idiot, heads up there by himself…but thankfully, Katie stays and holds the camera.

Oh wait, she gives it him once he’s up there. Of course. Micah comes back, as he has found…an old picture of a young Katie. The problem? The pic was from the old house…which burned down.

Yay, another attempt at mystery and suspense! Glad to see the filmmakers actually trying.

Katie decides that they should call the demon guy. And we are now one hour into this movie and…nothing happened. Okay, some stuff has been neat, but out of 60 minutes, only around like half of it has meant something, and I feel like so little has been accomplished. This could have been told in like 40 minutes!

“If you think you’re in control, then you’re being an idiot”
EXACTLY!

“Not a single thing you done has helped!”
THNAK YOU!

She calls the demon guy…but he’s out. So she calls that ghost guy back. Then we cut to night, aka the land of nothing.

This time, the demon …flickers the light, then shuts the door. Why it was open in the first place is beyond me.

They go out and find, you guessed it, nothing.  But they do hear loud noises, which features more attempts at suspense. Yeah, a bit late to start being decent but whatever.
They wait until the next morning to check out the living room, since the demon is a night creature. They don’t see anything, so they live life as normal.

But later, they hear a sound and head upstairs. They see that a hanged  pic of them is cracked…but only Micah’s face  is scratched

So…the demon wants to kill Micah?
GO DEMON GO!

Later, the ghost dude from earlier returns. Then…he says he feels a sense of dread, and feels the demon hates that he is there.  He leaves.

So in other words..

“Screw you guys, Imma going home”

And then we cut to night. Guess they took that rather well. So now, back to the land of nothing. This time…the light from across the hall flickers and…there’s a shadow on the door for a bit.

Wow, that was epic. Yeah, they wake up cuz they feel something, and stuff. Micah comforts her and tells her it’s all okay. I love how something as small as that has riled her up.

Seriously, moving the door was a bigger deal. The next day, Katie is worried about how this demon is stalking her. They look at the footage and Micah finds a website, that tells of how some chick dealt with the same things…

And I mean all. From the house  burning down, to that other stuff. Micah thinks that this is the same demon she dealt with, and that the message on the board from earlier is referring to this chick somehow.

But Micah thinks tracking down more about this chick isn’t worth the risk of the demon pulling some crap, which kind of makes sense. I gotta say, this is another example of building suspense, but it’s kind of late. Eh, I’ll take it.

Katie walks off to just relax. She tells Micah to fuck off with the camer\. Seriously, it’s like I entered the movie…and became a woman somehow.
So then we cut to night, which means more land of nothing. Come on, that wasn’t even 5 minutes! Whatever, if it means more suspense, I’m in/

This time….katie is dragged out of bed by a force. Shit just got real!  They run out by minutes later, they run back in, hopefully escaping that force. Well, I admit that was kind of cool/

So yeah, I see she is shaken up by being dragged for a bit by the demon. They decide to just go to a hotel until they figure this out. I don’t see how it’ll help since the demons follows her, always. Whatever.

Later, he walks up to Katie and asks if she is ready. But…she’s sitting down..and not moving. She’s gripping…a cross. Tightly. So tightly that her hand is bloody. Okay movie, you got me.

This is neat. But I can’t help but feel that is …too little too late.
But you know,  at least it’s something,

“I’ve had it with this shit. Aggh!”
You can’t hear it, but to me it seems like, to quote the nostalgia critic…

“I’m acting!”

Pissed off, he burns the cross and the pic of young Katie from earlier. After that, Micah tells Katie to get in the car. But…she says it’ll be better if they stay.

“I think we’re okay now”

I should note her voice is a bit…different. Okay, movie. Stop pulling off some decent moments, it’s really not gonna work.

So they decide to just fuck it, and stay for now. With that, it’s back to the land of nothing, whose title is getting more mis-named than ever. Katie gets up and…watches Micah sleep again. Déjà vu?

She walks out and SCREAMS BLOODY MURDER. I said it loud cuz FUCK DA POLICE. Micah runs out and…there’s a noise. Than silence. A long silence.

Katie walks in, silent. With a knife. She walks up to us…and cuts herself. And then-

*the end*
…What?

She just cuts herself, and it’s over? Right as the movie gets decent, it just..stops?
Well, I looked it up, and as it turns out, the torr-I mean legally acquired copy …has an alternate ending. Yes, this isn’t even the real ending. There are two others, the theatrical, one and the OTHER alternate ending.

In the original ending,  she still screams, but she kills Mich (PRAISE THE LORD) and throws the body at the camera. She smiles at him, then lunges to the camera. Then her face takes on a demonic appearance as the screen cuts to black. An epilogue text states that Micah’s body was discovered by the police, and that Katie’s whereabouts remain unknown..

That’s….pretty awesome, but it still has the movie end when it gets good.

The other ending, is actually the one originally made, but the execs changed it to the above. In this one, when she comes back with the knife,. She just sits rocking until the next day. When that friend comes over. She sees micah’s body and runs.

The police show up and find it as well. Katie wakes up, not remembering anything. Shit happens, and a fright makes the police shoot her by mistake.  They check the camera,  which is still running. Then…there’s a dedication pic to the two, and it ends.

Again, not any better. More fitting I guess, but still feels like a cheat. Well, now let’s head on the ..

Final Thoughts:

This movie was…okay. Not good, not bad. Just…okay. First, the bad things. Micah is a dick, an idiot and an asshole. He brings nothing but trouble and is never at any point likable or interesting.

The plot moves like a snail, with filler bits that add nothing and are annoying as hell. The demon doesn’t do shit til the  end, there are long stretches of nothing, and just as the movie gets good it ends. Leaving a very empty experience.

On the plus side, the last 20 minutes or so are decent. We have good suspense, and a sense of dread as the situation gets worse. At that point, wed get atmosphere and some nice pacing…then it ends.

Of the three endings, I enjoy the  theatrical ending. Sure, it’s not much but at least it gives an impression the demon did something. Also, MICAH DIES PRAISE THE LORD.

The other endings feel empty, though the police one was alright. The movie’s main problem is that it gives us so little. Using suspense  and not flashly stuff is fine. Many great movies do it. But there’s a difference between suspense and slow placing.

Most of it just kinda goes slowly without much happening. It’s not til the end where it really gets fine, but then it ends. There’s no climax, nothing is explained, it just ends. Sure, it was interesting to see a movie not take on the usual formula, but it felt odd and kind of dull.

But I can’t call it bad, since the acting was mostly fine, and the parts I liked made it watchable. It’s better than most of the crap I review. But I can’t call it flat out  good due to the poor pacing and boring scenes.

Even before the ending, it’s…not unwatchable, just boring.

They did try, and it does seem like it wasn’t a complete waste of talent. After all, it was a big hit and everyone loved it. For me, it was dull and just wasn’t too scary, but if you like it, fine. I’m sure some of you will attack me going YOUGOTITALLWRONGFRTHTHTN but I don’t care.

This movie spawned two sequels, which I may get to someday. But for now, naw.

Grade: C+

See ya.

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About Spongey444

I'm 20 and I'm a slightly below average man who can barely spell. I mostly spend my time watching TV and movies, hence why i ended doing a blog all about those things. I tend to have weird tastes, but I like think I'm just fair on things.
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