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Old October 24 2009, 05:29 AM   #31
Starbreaker
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Re: Paranormal Activity

Night 20 scared the crap out of me. I rarely get scared, but I had chills all over my body.
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Old October 24 2009, 08:10 AM   #32
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Re: Paranormal Activity

Wolvermouse wrote: View Post
Lookingglassman wrote: View Post
It sounds interesting, but what I dont understand is why dont they just leave the house? I never understood that about folks who live in a "haunted house".

I own a home, but if creepy stuff started happening, the bank can have it. I will live out of my car before I stay another night in it.
I'm guessing you haven't seen it.

Somehow Paranormal Activity gets away with some incredibly amateurish scripting because it doesn't look like it's a movie.

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Old October 24 2009, 10:30 AM   #33
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Re: Paranormal Activity

Actually according to stuff I've read...much like Blair Witch Project...there wasn't a script for the actors...they had cues and notes from the directors and that's pretty much it. I am planning on seeing the film in theaters by the way.

It's explained why leaving the house would be pointless...in the spoiler code provided a few posts ago, they talked about that with Amber and concluded it would have just followed her to her house and caused problems there. In some ghost haunting cases I've read and heard about people have had similar situations like Katie where the entity for several years and changing the location doesn't do anything to help the situation. I do agree that searching for alternative help would seem logical, although I think there was a scene where Katie is looking for a demonologist in the phone book and says that they one the pyschic told her to call was the one closest to them. Micha also points out that finding these types isn't like searching for another doctor...
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Old October 24 2009, 08:52 PM   #34
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Re: Paranormal Activity

Admiral_Young wrote: View Post
Actually according to stuff I've read...much like Blair Witch Project...there wasn't a script for the actors...they had cues and notes from the directors and that's pretty much it.
It's got a screenplay credit though I can believe it wasn't much of one. The whole thing is a meandering mess.

It's explained why leaving the house would be pointless...
I know and I stand by opinion of it: it's a stupid, flimsy excuse. The filmmakers put it in there because they needed to keep the action on their set (understandable) and they couldn't think of any interesting way to do it (lazy).

In The Shining they're snowed in at a hotel. In The Blair Witch Project they're lost in the woods. In [Rec] they're quarantined in an apartment building. And in Paranormal Activity they don't leave because some crazy guy told them it wouldn't help (even though Katie's own dialog contradicts that). Hell, they don't even think to invite anyone - friends, news crews, ghost hunters, skeptics, whatever - over.

In some ghost haunting cases I've read and heard about people have had similar situations like Katie where the entity for several years and changing the location doesn't do anything to help the situation.
Doesn't mean much to me since I don't believe in supernatural phenomena.
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Old October 24 2009, 09:07 PM   #35
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Re: Paranormal Activity

I know and I stand by opinion of it: it's a stupid, flimsy excuse. The filmmakers put it in there because they needed to keep the action on their set (understandable) and they couldn't think of any interesting way to do it (lazy).
It's called suspension of disbelief. They needed the characters to stay in the house so they came up with a reasonable reason why they couldn't leave, or why leaving wouldn't serve them any good. It's a reason that makes sense in the context of the movie we're even given an "expert" in the movie to verify it for us (it doesn't matter that they didn't check with other "experts" the movie served us one and we're supposed to take what he says as gospel.)

Sometimes when people watch movies they take it too much into real life. In real life, yes, one would probably call other psychics or "experts" to fix their situation we don't have that luxury in a movie. All the movie needs to do is present its audience with a reason why the characters cannot leave, this movie did that. They told us right out why leaving wouldn't be of any help to them and they gave us an in-universe "expert" to verify it. The movie did its duty to suspend the disbelief.

If it didn't work for you then maybe you expect too much. I, for one, wouldn't have enjoyed this movie as much if it was more about them talking to various "psychics" to solve their problem or felt that if they left now the "demon" for the first time in 20 years would leave the girl alone.
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Old October 25 2009, 03:40 AM   #36
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Re: Paranormal Activity

Wolvermouse wrote: View Post
I know and I stand by opinion of it: it's a stupid, flimsy excuse. The filmmakers put it in there because they needed to keep the action on their set (understandable) and they couldn't think of any interesting way to do it (lazy).
It's called suspension of disbelief. They needed the characters to stay in the house so they came up with a reasonable reason why they couldn't leave, or why leaving wouldn't serve them any good. It's a reason that makes sense in the context of the movie we're even given an "expert" in the movie to verify it for us (it doesn't matter that they didn't check with other "experts" the movie served us one and we're supposed to take what he says as gospel.)

Sometimes when people watch movies they take it too much into real life. In real life, yes, one would probably call other psychics or "experts" to fix their situation we don't have that luxury in a movie. All the movie needs to do is present its audience with a reason why the characters cannot leave, this movie did that. They told us right out why leaving wouldn't be of any help to them and they gave us an in-universe "expert" to verify it. The movie did its duty to suspend the disbelief.

If it didn't work for you then maybe you expect too much. I, for one, wouldn't have enjoyed this movie as much if it was more about them talking to various "psychics" to solve their problem or felt that if they left now the "demon" for the first time in 20 years would leave the girl alone.

In real life there'd probably be a carbon monoxide leak somewhere in the house causing them to have delusions and the camera would have videotaped hours and hours of nothing but them sleeping. I agree, I didn't have any problem with the explanation and it made perfect "scary movie" sense.
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Old October 25 2009, 07:47 AM   #37
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Re: Paranormal Activity

Wolvermouse wrote: View Post
It's called suspension of disbelief.
It's not suspension of disbelief. It's a horrible, clunky plot device. I don't have any problem they had to keep them in the house. I have a problem they did it so god awfully.

You can advance a plot without resorting to a completely transparent character. The second time we see the psychic the guy comes in, gets Katie and Micah worked up into a complete lather about the presence (even though he said not to feed it negative emotion earlier), then promptly runs away.

The scene is all to prove THE SITUATION IS REALLY SERIOUS, in case you hadn't noticed that from the Ouija board spontaneously bursting into flames. It's silly and violates one of the most basic rules of fiction. The movie has a good premise that just can't escape its lousy writing and poor plotting.
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Old October 25 2009, 12:36 PM   #38
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Re: Paranormal Activity

I agree with you Ryan that it was a flimsy excuse to keep them inside the house...in some ways I wouldn't have minded if Katie and Micah had agreed to go to Amber's house anyways just for one night and have the hauntings continue there. It would have changed the complexion of the film i think but proven the psychic was right in his assessment.

I have this idea for a post Paranormal Activity one shot that focuses on the police investigation and they interview the pyschic and ask him if he feels any guilt in his part in this, for not helping them further when they practically begged him (or at least Katie did on the last day).
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Old October 25 2009, 01:25 PM   #39
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Re: Paranormal Activity

Good grief... just because you "don't believe in paranormal" doesn't mean that the plot is bad. That makes no sense. I don't believe in transporters, but Star Trek plots don't bother me. There are documented cases of ghosts following people from house to house, so the fact that they used that scenario makes sense. And also, do you not realize how stubborn Micah is during this whole movie? It's his house and he wants to fix things and be her savior or whatever, and that's eventually his own undoing.
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Old October 25 2009, 03:46 PM   #40
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Re: Paranormal Activity

Katie herself says it's about her, not the house...remember, it burnt down her childhood home? Remember Micah getting pissed at her for not mentioning this before she moved in? Remember the burned photograph of her when she was 8? Criiiiiipes. Cut the $11 000 dollar movie an ounce of slack.
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Old October 25 2009, 08:21 PM   #41
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Re: Paranormal Activity

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
Good grief... just because you "don't believe in paranormal" doesn't mean that the plot is bad.
I'm not sure if that's aimed at me or not but my problem isn't with the premise but the plot. At one point they have the psychic say filming everything will only make the demon more aggressive. Think about that. Rather than giving a reason to keep the camera rolling they're giving one to turn it off as the haunting gets worse. Why the hell would they put that in their movie?

The Evil Dead wrote: View Post
Katie herself says it's about her, not the house...remember, it burnt down her childhood home?
Yes, it was another plot hole. The demon manifested itself while the sisters slept and burnt down their house. Then they moved and it did very little besides making bumping noises. Despite what the psychic said the demon wasn't consistent in its haunting.

When a movie's low budget I'll give it a pass on camera work and SFX but I won't give it a pass on plot and acting.
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Old October 25 2009, 08:49 PM   #42
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Re: Paranormal Activity

Ryan wrote: View Post
I'm not sure if that's aimed at me or not but my problem isn't with the premise but the plot. At one point they have the psychic say filming everything will only make the demon more aggressive. Think about that. Rather than giving a reason to keep the camera rolling they're giving one to turn it off as the haunting gets worse. Why the hell would they put that in their movie?
Because when he doesn't stop filming, having said it helps Micah to develop into the stubborn, d-bag character he was apparently meant to be. It's called character development, one of those writing rules you went on about earlier.

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Katie herself says it's about her, not the house...remember, it burnt down her childhood home?
Yes, it was another plot hole. The demon manifested itself while the sisters slept and burnt down their house. Then they moved and it did very little besides making bumping noises. Despite what the psychic said the demon wasn't consistent in its haunting.
Except in that she was always a target of the haunt, whether the haunting was intense and in rapid succession or mild and stretched out over years. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.

When a movie's low budget I'll give it a pass on camera work and SFX but I won't give it a pass on plot and acting.
This movie doesn't need your pass. The actors did perfectly fine with the material they were given and the effects were solid enough. If neither satisfied you, it's your problem, not the movie's.
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Old October 26 2009, 12:50 AM   #43
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Re: Paranormal Activity

Well, plot problems aside, Paranormal Activity went on to gross $22 million over the weekend, putting it at #1 at the domestic box office. The film has the chance to become the most profitable film of all time for Paramount Pictures, the film's distributor, which only spent $10 million in advertising.

Paranormal Activity was independently financed and produced by writer-producer-director Oren Peli for about $15,000. It has earned over $60 million since hitting theaters, and the L.A. Times is projecting it will reach the $100 million benchmark.

The film beat horror mainstay Saw VI, which earned $14 million, less than half of the previous openings for the four installments (Saw V opened at $30 million last year). It's the first sign of diminishing returns for the juggernaut horror franchise.
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Old October 26 2009, 12:56 AM   #44
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Re: Paranormal Activity

I'm going to agree with Spoony and say that "Saw" isn't a "horror" movie.
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Old October 26 2009, 01:13 AM   #45
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Re: Paranormal Activity

It's torture porn. I think true horror movies are films drenched in atmosphere and a slow burn sense of dread a la John Carpenter's Halloween or Alfred Hitchcock's Pyscho (which is admittedly more of a thriller, but has many horror genre components). The first Saw was actually very atmospheric with a clever premise. Every subsequent sequel since then has devolved to just plain formula.

For all its mistakes and amatuerish traits, Paranormal Activity is drenched in atmosphere and a slow burn sense of fear and dread. To me, that's categorically a classic horror movie. It might not be on the level of Halloween or Pyscho, but I'll take true genuine scares over cheap shock thrills and gore any day of the week.
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