The weather is a cruel fucking cunt who likes to play with you, toy with you. It makes it gloomy and cold and rainy, and then when you get accustomed to that, nearly getting sick in the process, along comes to the goddamn heat. So you open the window, try to get some air in. Then the neighbor's kid decides to start bawling because it didn't get the toy that he wanted or the chocolate ice cream he craved or most likely, he's just being an asshole, like most kids. So you close the window, bake inside, and try writing...this.
OMG I JUST SAW THE SCARYIST MOOOVIE EVAR!1 I CANT BELIEVE IT PARANORMAL ACTIVITY IS GONNA GIVE YOU DA NITEMARES!!!!1 OMGZ BRING YOUR FRIENDS DIS MOOOVEEE IZ BOMB1 I WATCHED WITH MY EYES CLOSED BOO! NO! AAAAIIIEEE!11!!
You're going to be seeing a lot of that in the coming weeks, and I wish I could be amongst that misspelling choir, I really do. Unfortunately, I came out of Paranormal Activity not feeling that way at all.
So we follow a young couple in San Diego, Micah and Katie, and they seem to be having a pretty decent life going; nice house, Katie goes to school (which means she doesn't have a job), Micah is a day trader (which means he doesn't have a job), they live in a good neighborhood and they have a big screen HDTV. In other words, I can't relate to them in any way and there goes any chance for sympathy.
When the movie begins, our lovely couple have been dealing with some weird noises and shit coming from the house, and Micah figures it's time to invest in a new video camera and some sound equipment to further investigate this activity of the paranormal variety. It's almost like Micah knew that this footage would one day end up transferred to 35mm, so he bought a big fuckin' high-end camera with a big mic and light attached to it. This cam looks like the kind of shit they probably filmed the last Robert Rodriguez or George Lucas film with, even though the image quality isn't as good as theirs.
In the bedroom, he puts up the camera and sets up the hard drive and his sound recorder, so off he and Katie go, off to slumberland. And that's when all the scary shit starts to happen -- or at least, the supposedly scary shit. Mostly sounds and doors opening of their own accord --
OK, just as I was typing that shit about scary noises, my cell phone BEEPED and VIBRATED and it scared the shit out of me, because things were really quiet for a while, aside from the clickety-clack of the keyboard. What just happened was 10 times scarier than anything in this goddamn movie. And that's the problem.
So yeah, our couple slowly starts picking up evidence of there being Something In The House, so they call up some psychic dude who actually comes off as the real deal. Just like a doctor, he senses something is wrong and rather than doing anything about it, he writes them a recommendation to see a specialist in the field and probably charged a shitload of money for it. The psychic tells them that his specialty is ghosts and shit, and what seems to be haunting their crib is a motherfucking Demon, and he isn't equipped to deal with that shit. He's like Dan Aykroyd's cameo in Casper; "Who you gonna call? Someone else!" and then he waddles his fat ass away in that ill-fitting Ghostbusters uniform and goes off to make another shitty movie.
Katie's like Fuckin' call that Demonlogist! but her husband's like Fuck That and I think part of his refusal to call for help is because of that unfortunate affliction most men suffer from, known as Inflated Testicles. Men usually suffer from a smaller case of IT in the form of not wanting to pull over and ask for directions, or refusing to call the plumber and instead wanting to fix the sink themselves, but Micah has a much more advanced and dangerous case.
He thinks he can deal with this Demon situation himself, a fuckin' day trader who loves to record everything -- banal conversations that mean nothing to anyone who isn't sleeping with either of them, brushing teeth, using the toilet, arts & crafts, dinner, more banal conversation, arguments, feet, stock portfolios -- everything EXCEPT sex, for which he grows sudden consideration about. Or maybe he knew if anyone else watched this footage, that shit was gonna look low-budget sex-wise and figured it was better to not record it, so then afterwards he can brag about what he and Katie just did was illegal in 13 states. What, necrophilia?
Another part of his refusal to call the Demonologist comes from being a Genuine Stupid Dumbass. Half the shit that his wife begs him not to do, he fucking does, and then he pulls that "You told me not to X, but you didn't say I couldn't Y" kind of bullshit. This guy is a douche, and looks like one too. If his wife wasn't such a drama queen nag, I'd hate the motherfucker.
I'm not fond of either one of these award-winners. I know her name's Katie, but I wouldn't be surprised if her full name was Katie Plus 8, because that's the kind of insufferable wench she is. She looks like Rachel Dratch shoved into the Telepod with Pam from The Office and later on, we discover that the Demon has a thing for the (not-so) little lady, and sometimes it comes off like she really likes the attention because it gives her the opportunity to piss and moan and be all ME ME ME even more than fuckin' usual.
Jesus Christ, lady -- that chick from The Entity was getting ghost-raped on, like, a daily basis and she handled that shit like a fuckin' saint and she was getting GHOST RAPED. Fuckin' Christine Brown kept her shit together better compared to you and that chick fuckin' KNEW she was getting dragged to Hell in three days. You're just dealing with the otherworldly equivalent of that perverted touchy-feely uncle everyone keeps the kids away from every Thanksgiving. Calm The Fuck Down and get yourself a reality series.
At one point, the Demon appears to fondle Katie's bare foot a bit while she's asleep, which convinced me that she was being haunted by, in fact, the spirit of Stuntman Mike from the extended print of Death Proof.
Listen, man, I'm not a hater (for the most part) and I'm actually a pretty positive guy when it comes to movies. I don't go into a movie expecting to dislike it, no matter if the trailers or reviews tell me otherwise. I want to like a fuckin' flick, and I'll give it all the chances I can give, all the benefits that doubt has to offer. Having said that, fuck this piece of shit.
This goddamn movie is getting hyped up like a mutha, and I dialed that shit down to avoid lofty expectations. I went in and asked for two simple things: 1) Scare me. 2) Entertain me. And I was more than willing to accept one out of two. See, I'm easy to please. But Paranormal Activity accomplished neither of those two tasks I so politely asked for. I was bored for the most part, and I couldn't give a shit about the characters involved. That's like Strike 6, if there was such a thing as six strikes in baseball.
It wasn't until the last ten minutes or so that things started remotely resembling the movie I paid $8.75 (EIGHT SEVENTY-FIVE! And that was a matinee discount!) to see. It wasn't until then that things got a little creepy, but you know what? Too fuckin' little, too goddamn late, Oren Peli. I'll give you this -- I'm proud that this shit put you on the fuckin' map and now you're the Big Man in Hollywood and Spielberg wants to produce your flicks and all that. Congrats, dude, I hope you kick ass in the biz and make some serious money. But it ain't coming from me no more, that's for fuckin' sure. I'll wait for your next flick on DVD, IF that.
Afterwards, I found out that the stuff I almost kinda liked at the end was spoiled in the trailers, so I'm glad I didn't see those beforehand, otherwise I'd have no positives left. Oh wait, I'm sorry, there is one other thing I did kind of dig -- the end credits, or should I say, the lack of end credits. The movie ends with some bullshit "So and So did this. So and So did that. This, That, and The Other were never this and that", followed by the 2009 Paramount Pictures All Rights Reserved screen, and following that, about a couple of minutes of Black Screen with creepy rumbling Paranormal Activity In The Hizzy sound. It made everyone slowly get creeped the fuck out, expecting something to happen. That was the best part of the movie. The only part.
Some people in the audience seemed honestly scared by this movie, a couple of them telling each other they would have problems sleeping that night. Wow. I hate being Larry David at the beach, but that's how I felt after watching this -- increasingly upset at not getting what other people are apparently getting out of it. Your Mileage May Vary is the saying, right? I don't know, man.
There's some shakycam cinematography, and while it's not that bad, it can still be taxing on some, like one of my friends. He eventually left halfway to get some air. We told him afterwards that he didn't miss much, and the more I think about it, the more I think he probably had a more entertaining time watching the people outside. Couples, people by themselves, families, cute girls, douchebag guys, fat ugly assholes like me. Probably overheard interesting things being said by passersby. That's what I think, anyway.
It's pretty apt to call this flick the Blair Witch Project of the 00's, in more ways than one. First off, it uses the same "found footage" approach in telling the story; in Blair Witch, we're supposed to be watching the film and videotapes left behind by the missing film crew and in Paranormal, there's an opening disclaimer thanking the families of the main characters for allowing them to present this video footage (and make a shitload of cash from). Also, it's a lot like Blair Witch in that motherfuckers are hyping the shit out of this as being the Scariest Movie You'll Ever See. I kinda liked Blair Witch, and never understood the hatred from people who didn't. After watching Paranormal Activity, I now understand more than ever.
2 days ago