Quick post cause it’s late and it’s been a long, randomly weird day. Not bad randomly weird. Just randomly weird randomly weird.

Anyways, Day 6 movie!

Paranormal Activity – USA, 2007. Dir. & Screenplay Oren Peli. Starring Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat.

Oh Paranormal Activity. I really, really don’t like you. I tried, I really did. But I just can’t like you. It’s just not going to happen.

When the trailers for Paranormal Activity first hit, I was a bit skeptical but also hesitantly excited. Found Footage movies aren’t really my favorite but this one really did look like it could be cool. Solid concept, the Found Footage thing makes sense, scenes that looked like they could be genuinely frightening.

I was working crazy at the time so I wasn’t able to make to the theater but as soon as the DVD was available on Netflix I got it to watch. So it arrived, I turned off the lights, curled up on my couch, and hit play. I was ready to be scared. And was I? Well…

A little. But mostly? Mostly I just wanted to punch that Micah idiot in the face. And then I wanted to smack that Katie girl for staying with such a jerk.

But how about this time? My second viewing?

Yup, same reaction.

Look, we talk about characters doing stupid things in movies. Scream was an entire movie making fun of them. Sometimes it’s entertaining. Sometimes it’s annoying. And sometimes unlikeable characters can ruin the entire viewing experience.

Ugh, seriously. I find Micah to be so completely infuriating that by the end I’m just glad the thing is over so I don’t have to spend anymore time with him. The relationship between him and Katie is awful. He ignores her requests, makes fun of her concerns, won’t let her call for help out of some insane alpha male macho need to prove himself a man, and then completely disregards her pleas to stop antagonizing the force haunting them.

Really, that dude gets exactly what he deserves.

I feel a little bad for Katie but she stays through him through the whole thing and just kind of whines a lot so whatever. My sympathy goes only so far.

It’s a shame though. Because otherwise, Paranormal Activity is a really solid haunted house movie. It does a lot with very little. I even like how it’s shot. Not a lot of that shaky cam nonsense that people seem to think is necessary in this found footage genre. Yes, I understand little cameras shake when you’re just holding them. And there’s a time and place for that, it can be effective. But come on, these also aren’t amateur home movies. There’s no reason for a scene of people sitting in a car talking to be completely shaky gibberish nonsense.

Sorry, distracted. My point is that Paranormal Activity doesn’t do this. Even when they’re carrying the camera around the house, we can tell where we are and see what’s going on. I appreciate that.

I also appreciate a lot of the ghost scenes. The night stuff when they’re sleeping is particularly effective with the time stamp speeding by only to stop suddenly and return to real time speed. It’s such an easy, brilliant way to build the tension. We know once we see that time stamp slow down that something is about to happen. And we’re on the edge of our seat waiting to find out what it’s going to be.

I also really enjoy the scene when they go out for dinner, leaving the Ouija board behind. As soon as they’re gone crazy haunting shit happens and I think it’s really one of the best scenes of the movie. Although that could also be because Micah and Katie aren’t in it…

I know Paranormal Activity 4 is out this month and I’m probably going to see it. I have to admit that I’ve seen 2 and 3, I actually wrote about Paranormal Activity 3 last year as part of my 31 days. And I liked 2 better than 1 and 3 mostly better than 2. So I have okay hopes for 4? I guess.

The series is okay. It’s really not my favorite but it’s nice to see ghost movies doing well. And I’d much rather keep the Paranormal Activity series going than have more Saws or Hostels. So there’s that.

Also, this is my version of a quick post? I’m hopeless.