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Posts Tagged ‘ Paranormal Activity ’

Paranormal Activity 4

How is there a fourth one I hear you ask? Well as any horror series will tell you (Saw, Hostel, Halloween) as long as there is no definite ending then there’s no way the production company, Room 101 in this case, is going to turn down the possibility to steal more money from naive theatre goers (i.e. me). Whether it’s the right thing to do is another question. Yes there is jumpy moments and the usual suspenseful undertone we’ve come to expect from the Paranormal Activity franchise but there is nothing different here than any of the others. In fact, the scariest part of the movie was the reflection of modern-day capitalisation and the negative effects it is having on our culture. I mean a six-year-old kid watching cartoons on his laptop while having a bath! Society is doomed.

The plot picks up at the culminating events of Paranormal Activity 3 where demon-possessed Katie killed her siblings family, apart from her sister’s son, Hunter, who she can be seen leaving with at the end. A new family have just moved in to the house but we soon find out Katie lives just across the road with her own son Robbie. Hunter is nowhere to be seen until we realise  that he is here all along as he is the adopted son of the new family, renamed Wyatt. The “stars’ of this film are the teenage daughter Alex and her snoopy boyfriend Ben. Alex is the protagonist we follow hoping, or not, that her journey doesn’t come to a bitter end like every character previously in that role. The goal of these spirits is still confusing after four attempts at it. Katie needs to turn human vessels into dark spirits for Robbie to become one himself and needs Wyatt’s (Hunter’s) help to do so, or something along those lines,. The ending does give some hope in that it appeared to close the revolving door that is Paranormal Acterrible (see what I did there). Although having said that, if anyone could keep a series going it would be these writers. A court ordered cease and desist is the only way to be safe from this build up of waste encroaching further into our lives.

The special effects appeared worse than the previous ones as well and the film was generally just tedious and mundane. The novelty of an entire movie being made on hand-held and surveillance cameras  has definitely worn off and with the added spice of webcams for this one it merely appeared like an advert for Apple with the amount of laptops being brandished about. Maybe there WAS subtext and the film IS a cultural criticism of our reliance on technology…..or maybe it just is what it is, a cheap seasonal thrill with little creative effort put in. The fact that this falls into the horror genre and that it is coming up to Halloween is possibly the only reason I could safely give for going to see this film without feeling as morally bankrupt as the producers themselves.

My Rating: 1/10

(@rorytoal)

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Top 5 Genre Redefining Horror Films

Horror movies are churned out at a fast pace, rarely does a forth night go by in the cinema without a new one being released. They normally slip by our consciousness without much notice. Disposable entertainment to never be looked at again but on occasion the genre strikes gold. It makes a film that rewrites its own rules, causing a slew of copycat films made to cash in on its success. The films in this list might not be in your opinion the best of the genre but they most certainly helped redefine it. They breathed new life into a failing facet of cinema, helping horror live strong for many many decades.  So turn off the lights, lock the door and ignore that clawing sounds coming from the window outside….

1.  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Tobe Hooper made a little low budget horror film called The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for $300,000 in the summer of 1974. It went on to gross over $30 million in the American box office. Not only is there a raw rushed energy about the movie that will shake your central core (the dinning room scene must be one of the most terrifying pieces of cinema ever) but it basically invented the slasher movie genre. An iconic masterpiece that is as flawed as it is perfect.

2.  Scream (1996)

After The Texas Chainsaw Massacre the slasher genre began a slow decline. Lots of straight to video releases and trashy movies caused the Horror industry to loose its appeal but in 1996 a pop culture referencing, quick talking, tongue in cheek movie called Scream came out. It played all the right cards, a nostalgic throwback to the likes of Halloween and Friday 13th while never taking itself too seriously. The 90’s had found their horror icon in the shape of Ghost face.

3.  The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Spawning too many copycats to count (see Paranormal Activity) The Blair Witch Project helped pave the way for Mockumentary filmmaking. Using hand held cameras and the premise of a “True Story” it gave an added fear factor to the market. Playing on the idea that we associate home movies with real life it made the scares much more real, much more tangible. To really see this movies impact all you have to do is look at the amount of movies made using the same technique.

4.  Saw (2004)

Welcome to torture porn. Its gonna be graphic, its gonna be nasty, its gonna be about as gory as you can imagine and then maybe add another 10 gallons of blood. Saw uses the gross out technique to give the viewer a good scare and judging by the box office figures and numerous sequels it seems to have done the job. This franchise opened the door for the likes of Hostel and Captivity.

5.  28 Days Later (2002)

28 Days Later brought the scares in the form of zombies with the ability to run fast, very very fast. Gone were the days of the stumbling, doddering brain eaters, Danny Boyle had replaced them with sprinters ready to hurdle any obstacle you put in their way all just to spread their virus. Low budget cameras gave the film a gritty home hitting feel that brought the audience right into the middle of the action. Maybe not the best zombie movie of all but definitely one that broke a good few boundaries.

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