By Lawrence Griffin | firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t you love shaky camera movies? They force the directors to be so creative and innovative — and I do not mean in the stories themselves.
I mean in the excuses they create for why the cameraperson is holding the camera, and how what he or she films ends up being a whole story in itself.
That takes talent, folks. Unfortunately, in the case of Hollywood’s latest slow-moving cinematic vomit bag, “Paranormal Activity,” all of the talent went into trying to cover that up, rather than into constructing a good movie. Sound enticing yet? I didn’t think so.
First, some background: The hype of this film skyrocketed; people called it “the scariest thing ever,” or something else equally hyperbolic. People were allegedly walking out of the theater, completely mortified. The whole package was so inviting that I just had to check it out, even though now I think that they walked out because it was such a lame movie.
Now that I’ve seen it, I am disappointed. There were parts of the film that were unrealistically terrifying and unbelievably scary, but then there were parts that were unrealistic and unbelievable. But, I have to be fair to this movie: there were some really horrific parts.
The directors had some honestly fantastic ideas on how to scare their audiences. They are very subtle in their delivery. For example, they include an ear-piercing scream after the heroine walks off camera. Also, the angles, lighting and shadows in scenes heighten plot development.
It might not sound all that tense or creepy here, but ask most viewers and they will agree. Also, the acting from the female lead was impeccable, truly astounding in every aspect, and I would actually recommend seeing this film for her alone, especially if one is studying to become an actor or actress and is interested in the horror genre.
As for the rest of the film, I don’t know what they were thinking at some points. There is one scene where the lead actress is scared by a spider in the bathroom, and I still do not know what to make of that. There are also some scenes toward the end where she has been lulled into a near catatonic state by her fear. Due to a lack of elaboration, this does not succeed in being compelling. Were they just trying to fill up the average ninety minute run time?
The more I think about this movie, the worse it looks. Basically, the story is that the girlfriend has been haunted periodically since she was a child, and nobody ever tried to do anything about it before now.
The boyfriend is apparently so dumb that he would rather film experiments with Ouija boards and powder on the floor than call an exorcist or someone else to help.
It is not like this movie is some kind of intricate drama. It is a ghost story. It is not supposed to be complicated, so why are there so many plot holes?
The ending is the worst part, as it is contrived as all get up. It is hammy, it is corny and it just does not make sense. It’s a complete contradiction to everything the movie established before.
The audience actually laughed at this ending; it was that bad. They even had the gall to put an epilogue screen at the end explaining that the bodies were never found and all of the other usual clichÃ©s.
The only thing missing was the movie being billed in bold letters as a true story. The theater was filled with derisive laughter as the lights came back on.