Sunday, November 01, 2009

Paranormal Activity

Scariest new movie I've seen in a long time. Really well done. Probably could have been 20 minutes shorter, but that's a pretty minor complaint. Not for those with a low tolerance for hand-held camera effects.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about 20 minutes too short??? Right when something cool actually happened (when she was pulled out of bed), the movie ended in like 10 minutes. They could of had a few more days in there. I think it clocked in at around 85 minutes, which is pretty short by today's standards (even scary movies).

Also, the ending was lame. They should have gone with the original (see wiki).

1:05 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

That's basically the strength of the movie. If you want a movie with a nice CGI demon or something, this isn't it. The scariness of the movie depends on the understatement throughout--the suspension of disbelief is easier since, in most cases, what you're being asked to buy could have a natural explanation. That, combined with the suddenness of the final scene, is what gives the movie its punch, I'd say. I don't see anything better about the original just contains some gunshots. I think they were right to go with the ending they used. I mean, look: there are a million movies that let you see CGI monsters cavorting all over the place. No need for that in this one.

I do realize the movie is short, but I found it dragging about 3/4 of the way through.

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it just me or did the boyfriend get stupider and stupider as the film progressed? He also deserves a bad boyfriend award for being such a shithead.(Although I guess his bad behavior does get its reward--as is the case in most films in genre.)

8:28 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, on the one hand, I was like: has the BF ever *seen* a horror movie? He was basically going out of his way to do all the sheet he'd been *told* not to do. On the other hand, I was like: I could see myself doing the same things because I just wouldn't really believe that this was actually something supernatural. But given how obviously terrified they both were, it was pretty frustrating watching him insist on doing everything wrong. I think writers and directors like that stuff. It generates tension in the audience or something.

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In reference to the second comment - I'm not sure why you think I was hoping for a CGI demon in this movie. All I said was there was room for a couple more days in between the end and her getting pulled from bed.

Also, if you don't think the jumping at the camera ending is hokey, well...well, I don't know what to say.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

You're absolutely right, A. That was a really uncharitable interpretation on my part. My bad, my apologies.

I thought the movie dragged there toward the end, but this is a really subjective judgment supported by no reasons or knowledge of film-making.

Jumping at the camera: unequivocally hokey, but kinda worked for me.

One proposed ending had her throw Micah's body, then stand there and slit her own throat. Too brutal for most audiences, apparently, and perhaps too brutal for me, but a good idea.

I liked her animalistic posture while sniffing Micah's body at the end, and, cheap though it was, the distortion of her face in the last quarter-second did it for me...but I've not got the most discerning tastes...

6:16 PM  

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