Wouldn’t It Be Awesome If Paranormal Activity 5 Was About…

November 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

Paranormal Activity 5 Preview Plot Details | Wouldn't It Be Awesome If Paranormal Activity 5 Was About...

THE FIFTH PARANORMAL ACTIVITY MOVIE IS COMING

Spoiler Warning

Since the second film’s release, I’ve been writing reviews followed by my wishes for the next installment.

It turns out, I’m wrong a lot and that’s okay as long as the movies deliver the scares.  I’m a huge fan the Paranormal Activity franchise but the latest chapter was a big disappointment.  It simply didn’t add anything new to the mythology.  Or at least anything we haven’t seen before.  The creepy women cult (CWC) was introduced in the third but nothing was added except that the group still exists with more members.  When it comes to Hunter, we already knew the demon ‘Toby’ was after him after the events of Paranormal Activity 2.

Here is an image from the end of PA2.  Was the ending of 4 any different?  Really?

Paranormal Activity 5 Preview Plot Details | Wouldn't It Be Awesome If Paranormal Activity 5 Was About...

Now the chase is over.  Toby presumably has Hunter in his possession (pun intended) and a fleet of demon faced women at his disposal.  But what does it all mean?  That’s what was missing for me.

Still, I’m thrilled that another chapter is on the way.  But I’m also concerned about where we might go next.  For me, the scariest part of these movies has been the uneasy feeling that something is in the room.  The demon is around and you never know when something crazy will happen.  I feel like we are getting dangerously close to having visible villains like Katie (and Hunter?) running the show.  (And who and/or  what the hell was Robbie?)

My first wish for Paranormal Activity 5?

MORE TOBY

Toby drags people out of beds and throws them across rooms.  He picks up children by their hair.  He’s angry but he’s also mysterious.  I don’t have to know exactly what Toby is aside from the fact that he’s not a ghost.  But Paranormal Activity 4 was full of fake outs and false alarms.  The fifth movie needs more legitimate encounters with the demon.

Paranormal Activity 5 Preview Plot Details | Wouldn't It Be Awesome If Paranormal Activity 5 Was About...

I GIVE YOU WEALTH, YOU GIVE ME BOY.

That was the deal.  So now what?  The girl’s grandmother started this but it appears as though ol’ Toby got his payment.  What’s next?  What else was the Grandmother into?  Who are all those creepy women?  Does Toby have deals with all of them?  Is that where Robbie came from?

There are so many questions and that’s a good thing.  But we didn’t get any real answers in Paranormal Activity 4.  The fifth chapter has to be better.

THE APPROACH

Paranormal Activity  Preview Plot Details | Wouldn't It Be Awesome If Paranormal Activity 5 Was About...

I didn’t like that we followed an all new family in this story.  Since Paranormal Activity 2, I’ve always thought they should follow Ali and the search for her brother.  Police had to have been involved at some point right?  Make Ali a documentary filmmaker now that she’s a little older.  Have her dig up old tapes from Paranormal Activity 3.  This could reveal so much about her families dark past.

This also gives her a legitimate reason to film everything and the found footage theme can continue.

While you’re at it, bring back Alex and have them team up.  They are looking for the same child and demon after all.  You can throw in a twist at this point, what if Alex is now a full fledged member of the CWC meant to find out what Ali knows.  I think this premise gives us tons of potential for answers and Toby Terror.  Of course…  I’m wrong a lot.

Go back to Grandma’s house.  Have Ali learn about the rituals and how these women summoned Toby in the first place.  Or did he find them?  You can simultaneously learn about how it started AND where it’s going.

Paranormal Activity 5 Preview Plot Details | Wouldn't It Be Awesome If Paranormal Activity 5 Was About...

THE STORY

Something needs to set Toby on a rampage.  Let’s piss him off.   Have Ali try and join the cult.  He’ll see right through her. (Irony?)  Or have Ali find her brother and take him away.  Imagine how upset Toby would be if someone interfered?  Ali could be on a mission to provoke him in order to find her brother and then set up cameras to capture it all.  Toby is frightening enough before you provoke him.

Screw it, have the police catch Katie in the process.  Can you imagine demon Katie in a holding cell?  Imagine what it would be like to have Ali on one side of the bars with a camera and Katie on the other.  What would that conversation be like?

Hi Aunt Katie…  Soooo…   You’re kind of a bitch…

Paranormal Activity 5 Preview Plot Details | Wouldn't It Be Awesome If Paranormal Activity 5 Was About...

THE END?

For the last two movies, we’ve witnessed large groups of women approaching innocents with evil intentions.  I’d like this event to occur again but continue instead of ending abruptly.  The women should appear with 30 minutes of run time left for mayhem to ensue.  Again, I’m not looking for tons of answers.  Just a few.

BUT…  I don’t want a leader.  No CWC president who sits down and spills all.  That would be awful.  These women are possessed by a powerful and angry demon so lets leave it at that.  But why?  What is the ultimate end game?  We don’t have to see it but it would be fantastic if the filmmakers hinted at something bigger.  Something we can hold on to until the inevitable Paranormal Activity 6.

BUT KEEP IT SMALL

I say I want them to hint at something bigger because, I feel, the franchise has lost the element that made the first so terrifying.  The home.  People are supposed to feel safe in their homes and Paranormal Activity screwed it up for everyone who enjoyed the film.

Ali’s search for answers should ultimately lead Toby to her home.  While she puts her clues together, he’ll be waiting and we’ll be at the edge of our seats.

DEAR PARANORMAL ACTIVITY…  DON’T BECOME SAW

To me, Saw was done after part 3.  It was a great trilogy that told the horrific tale of a man on a mission to inspire/torture his subjects.  Everything was wrapped up nicely.  If the other 4 didn’t exist, you would still know the whole story.  Paranormal Activity 4 felt very much like Saw 4-7 but I believe there is a lot more story to tell.  I’m more than willing to line up year after year but I have some conditions:

  1. More scares.  Less false alarms.
  2. New scares.  Give us something we haven’t see before.  (The Fan-Cam in PA3 was awesome)
  3. Tension.  Nobody cares about the new family in PA4 so when they go down it’s just not that gripping.  Bring back characters we care about and then create some new ones.
  4. More Toby.  The center of it all shouldn’t take a back seat like he did in PA4.  Katie and Robbie are creepy characters but I’d rather have invisible demon moments.  (Although that final Katie chase in PA4 was pretty sweet.)
  5. More scares!  That’s what we loved about the first.  Go back to the intimate and vulnerable moments that made us afraid of our own homes.

Paranormal Activity 5 is coming whether we like it or not.  The possibilities are endless.  This is just my theory and it’s probably way off.

XTRA | 10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons

Click here for more on Paranormal Activity including past reviews.

Paranormal Activity 5 Preview Plot Details | Wouldn't It Be Awesome If Paranormal Activity 5 Was About...

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons

October 30, 2012 at 8:57 am

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts | Scary Horror Movie Villains

The Exorcist, The Shining, Poltergeist, A Nightmare On Elm Street…  Classic movie ghosts and demons have terrified us for decades.  But what about the new ghouls and spirits that haunt our nightmares?  Since The Blair Witch Project, there have been tons of horrific entities that have terrorized big screen audiences around the world.

Here are 10 of my favorites:

DEAD SILENCE
MARY SHAW

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

Angry old women always make good ghosts don’t they?  Mix in creepy puppets and you’ve got a recipe for terror…  Just don’t let her hear you scream.

THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSE
SIX!?

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

I can handle movies about possession.  There are plenty of great ones out there especially when you include legends like Pazuzu in The Exorcist.  In terms of recent movies, this movie has always stuck with me because Emily Rose is plagued by 6 demons including Lucifer.  It’s a terrifying scene when they finally reveal their identities…

So you get Lucifer, Legion, Belial and the unnamed demons who possessed Cain, Nero and Judas.  I was already scared of 3:33 AM and The Exorcism of Emily Rose made it worse.

Is it just me or is that a lot of demons?

THE OTHERS
THE OLD WOMAN

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

I suppose this “ghost” is debatable.  I don’t want to ruin the movie but if you’ve seen it you’d understand why.  Still, that grey eyed woman was creepy.

THE ORPHANAGE
TOMÁS

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

This movie sat on my shelf for years and I never gave it a shot until recently.  I sincerely regret waiting so long as The Orphanage is an extremely emotional and tense tale featuring the lost souls of children like Tomás.

INSIDIOUS
LIPSTICK

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

How could you not be horrified when Demon Darth Maul is chasing you?  Not to mention another ghastly old woman.

XTRA | Insidious Review

THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT
ELLY KEDWARD

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

She’s the witch that kick started an entirely new genre of found footage horror films.  Was it real or not?  That’s the question we all asked ourselves when the TV spots and trailers began appearing.  Admit it, the thought of being in that basement facing a wall scared you.

SINISTER
BUGHUUL

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

Bughuul caught me completely off guard.  I was expecting a scary movie but Bughuul instantly became one of my favorite horror villains.  The mere suggestion of his presence is creepy and the damage he ’causes’ in those 8mm films is absolutely brutal.

XTRA | Sinister Review

THE GRUDGE
KAYAKO

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

Okay… Meowing children is one thing but lifting up your sheets to find a horrific wide eyed ghost?  Classic.

THE RING
SAMARA

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

Samara is an extremely violent yet misunderstood ghost who terrified audiences in 2002.  Plus she crawls out of televisions…

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY
TOBY

10 Horrifying Modern Movie Ghosts & Demons | Scary Horror Movie Villains

The first Paranormal Activity introduced us to a ruthless invisible demon who enjoys dragging people out of their beds while they sleep.  Watching this unseen evil was a blast to see in theaters.

XTRA | The Paranormal Activity Experience

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Want To Know More About The Paranormal Activity Demon Toby? Me Too…

October 27, 2012 at 7:09 am

Want To Know More About Paranormal Activity's Demon Toby? Me Too... | Paranormal Activity 4 Review (2012)

Spoilers Ahead…  Seriously I like to avoid spoilers but this review has plenty.  You’ve been warned.

The Paranormal Activity Franchise has been a part of this blog since day one.  The original was one of the first movies I reviewed and it also happens to be the first movie I saw with my wife.  Since then, I’ve seen every sequel in theaters with her and we’ve been frustrated by rude audiences that ruined the experience.  I’ve written a lot about the importance of a good audience in films like Paranormal Activity.  The franchise depends heavily on atmosphere.  Part 2 & 3 were fantastic follow ups but it wasn’t the same because people wouldn’t shut up.  Would Paranormal Activity 4 follow the same trend?

XTRA | The Paranormal Activity Experience

THE PLAN

For Paranormal Activity 4, we decided to catch a 5:35 show.  The theory was simple: Movie idiots see later movies when it’s ‘cool’ and their witty banter will be heard by the maximum amount of people.  So we went to see the movie first and THEN went out to dinner.  We also waited a week to see it to avoid the initial rush of idiots.

The plan worked!  The theater was practically empty and we didn’t hear a sound throughout the entire movie.  Finally, we were able to enjoy a Paranormal Activity movie in peace.  (It only took 3 years)  However, right before the movie began I was a little sad.  A packed and interested audience is the reason why I loved the first experience.  I suppose you can’t always get your way.  I’d rather have an empty and quiet theater then risk sitting next to chatty people.

The stage was set.  We had great seats and silent surroundings…  Only…

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 WASN’T VERY GOOD

Want To Know More About Paranormal Activity's Demon Toby? Me Too... | Paranormal Activity 4 Review (2012)

We can’t win!  The movies we liked were ruined and when we finally get a quiet audience the movie doesn’t deliver!?

Paranormal Activity 4 almost felt like the filmmakers were stalling to drag out the franchise as much as possible.  In fact, the first hour of this installment felt like they were stalling until the final ‘actually scary’ moments unfolded.  These movies are all about the tense lead up to terrifying finales. PA4 definitely has frantic and memorable final moments but the scares leading up to them just didn’t work.

“Is there going to be somebody behind the fridge door THIS time? No?  Okay that’s fine maybe Night #8 will scare me.”

WHERE IS TOBY!?

Each of the previous films added something unique to the mythology of Toby and his quest for a host.  The first film established that he wasn’t a ghost.  The second established that his goal was to take a little boy.  The third established that Toby was summoned by Katie’s grandmother who is part of a cult of creepy women.

The fourth?  Well…  The fourth really doesn’t add anything.  Katie returns and tries to help Toby possess Hunter once and for all.  But non of that happens until the film’s creepy final moments.  If they would have moved up the ending about 30 minutes and left room for more story, this had potential to be the best in the series.  You can’t just rely on the same gimmicks and then end the movie without bringing anything new to the table.

Paranormal Activity 4 plays on what you expect to see but doesn’t deliver any surprises.  Most of the suspense can be credited to our own imaginations because of scares we’ve all seen before.  That fridge door keeps opening and we were all ready for something.  Then the door closes and nothing happens.  A knife flies away and we all assume it’s not going to end well once it reappears.  Except nothing really happens when it does.  The biggest ‘scare’ moments are mostly false alarms.  And several are the cat’s fault.

Want To Know More About Paranormal Activity's Demon Toby? Me Too... | Paranormal Activity 4 Review (2012)

What’s Toby’s plan if he does possess Hunter?  The creepy women cult seems to be a well organized force.  What’s that about?  I’m not saying I want hidden cameras in their meetings but give us something.  If you aren’t going to give us new scares then give us more story.

Who was Robbie?  Why bother with the adoption twist?  Also, is Toby able to possess women easier?  What’s going on with Katie’s super strength?  There is a clear set of rules when it comes to possessing Hunter but he’s possessed Katie multiple times.  Is that why only women are allowed in the CWC? (Creepy Women Cult)

Are all these women in debt to Toby?  Has he brought them all wealth in exchange for first born sons?  What are they gaining from this?  Better still…  Why isn’t anyone looking for Katie and Hunter from previous films?

THE ENDING NEARLY SAVED THE DAY

… Nearly. Remember the first time Toby dragged Katie out of her bed?  That was awesome…

The first movie didn’t lead to much but it delivered the scares and little details like Toby’s feet.

Want To Know More About Paranormal Activity's Demon Toby? Me Too... | Paranormal Activity 4 Review (2012)

The final 10 minutes of PA4 definitely raise the tension but it happens too late and leads to nothing.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 5?

I love this series but here’s what scares me the most.  If Toby won.  Is that the end of the invisible haunted madness we all know and love?  With all those women, it can’t be his first victory right?

The point is, none of these movies are heavy on story but each of them added something to hold my interest until the next release.  I didn’t get that feeling with 4.

But all of that is somewhat forgivable if the movie delivers the scares.  Let’s face it, this franchise will never be around on Oscar night but that’s not the point.  We saw Paranormal Activity to be scared and it worked.  The second and third films delivered the scares and a little story to enhance the experience.

Unfortunately, Paranormal Activity 4 delivered neither with the exception of the final minutes.  Paranormal Activity 5 needs to raise the bar when it comes to Toby and the CWC.  I don’t want answers to all my questions.  The mystery surrounding these events must be preserved but at least provide an answer one or two!  The next film will most likely be better than 4.  I’m not saying it’ll be the best in the series but people pay attention.  The reviews aren’t positive and the box office reflects that.

With my luck, it’ll probably be great and we’ll be sitting next to idiots once again.

The search for the Paranormal Activity Experience continues…

Click here for more reviews.

Want To Know More About Paranormal Activity's Demon Toby? Me Too... | Paranormal Activity 4 Review (2012)

The Athletic Nerd on Paranormal Activity | Paranormal Activity Horror Movies

Bughuul Rule 1: Don’t Move In To SINISTER Houses

October 18, 2012 at 9:36 am

Rule 1: Don't Move In To SINISTER Houses | Sinister 2012 Review

SINISTER IS A SOLID HORROR MOVIE
… AND DEPUTY SO-AND-SO IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT

So… Bughuul exists in my brain now…

Rule 1: Don't Move In To Sinister Houses | Sinister 2012 Review

It’s rare that I go into a movie without at least seeing one trailer.  But I’m happy that was the case when I sat down to watch Sinister.  It’s nice to go into a movie with a clean slate.  Especially a horror movie.

I’ve been complaining a lot about the lack of Paranormal Activity Experiences lately.  By that I mean, a horror movie that truly scares me and an audience that doesn’t ruin everything.  We sat in the theater last night with no more than 30 other people.  It was completely silent except for a few jumps and laughs after a big scare.  Usually at the hands of an extremely creepy demon that enjoys home movies and eating children’s souls.

Rule 1: Don't Move In To Sinister Houses | Sinister 2012 Review

From a filmmaking stand point, I thought Sinister was great.  The movie evolves almost repetitively with new little bits of information every horrific night.  These scenes are accompanied by a fantastic score featuring repetitive beats that intensify relentlessly throughout Baghuul’s crazy terrors.

At it’s core, Sinister is about a true crime writer named Ellison who is obsessed with regaining his former fame.  So he moves his family into a house with hopes of writing the story of the horrible events that occurred in the back yard.  Soon he discovers a box of 8mm films.  All of them depict a different family being brutally murdered.  This movie is very deliberately paced.  The more movies Ellison studies, the crazier things become.

At one point, he’s about to watch a movie called ‘Lawn Work’.  My wife immediately whispered:

“I don’t want to see lawn work…”

She was scared.  So was I.  That’s a successful horror movie in my book.

Rule 1: Don't Move In To SINISTER Houses | Sinister 2012 Review

What I love about Sinister is how well they established Bughuul as a truly sinister force.  The more you learn, the more you dread his appearances throughout the movie.  I loved that learning about Bughuul didn’t feel forced.  Ellison is a writer and research must be done after all.  Bughuul is developed well enough that I searched to see if he’s based on a real demon.  He’s not but it was worth a look.

I’m also a big fan of Deputy So-And-So.  He’s a fantastic supporting character who shows up sporadically and says EXACTLY what the audience is thinking.  Why the hell would you move into a house 9 months after a family is brutally murdered?  Makes perfect sense.  The Deputy adds an unexpected humor element to the movie that’s needed between Bughuul sightings.

Rule 1: Don't Move In To SINISTER Houses | Sinister 2012 Review

All in all, I thought Sinister was a great entry into the supernatural horror genre.  Right down to an ending that doesn’t feel like a Hollywood cop-out.  For example: I thought Insidious was an awesome horror movie but it lost me in the end when.. the sleeping adventure occurs. (I’m trying to be spoiler free)  However, I did love that villain. (aka Demon Darth Maul)

Sinister is everything I loved about Insidious without the slight cheese in the end.  It has a really creepy looking villain who shows up just enough to keep you guessing.  That’s all you can ask for in a horror movie at this time of year.  Big scares.  Believable story.  More scares.

Welcome to my nightmares Bughuul.

Click here for more reviews.

Bughuul Rule 1: Don't Move In To SINISTER Houses | Sinister 2012 Review

The Paranormal Activity Experience

September 27, 2012 at 11:42 pm

The Paranormal Activity Theater Experience | Paranormal Activity 4 Preview

ENHANCED OR DESTROYED BY THE AUDIENCE

I’m a big fan of the Paranormal Activity franchise.  If you buy into the mythology and the found footage approach, they’re a ton of fun.  The original remains one of the best theatrical experiences I’ve ever had.  The sold out crowd followed every beat of the film as one.  Everyone jumped simultaneously and EVERYONE was quiet when the infamous ‘bedroom shot’ appeared at night.  We all knew something crazy was about to happen and when it did, the energy in the room skyrocketed.  It also happens to be the first movie I saw with the woman who is now my wife.

When Paranormal Activity 2 was released, we went with a group of friends on opening weekend.  I was hoping for another amazing experience but sadly, a small group of idiots ruined it for us.  The second the movie began these teens wouldn’t shut up.  We theorized that Mommy dropped them off and they were nervous.  So they… Discussed…  Everything! It was the first time I ever told someone to shut up in a theater.  To this day, it remains the only time I had to do something like that.

The thing is, I thought the movie was fantastic.  It was a great way to continue the series.  It’s just difficult to get into a movie when losers are making obvious observations behind you.  Yes…  We are all aware that something is going to happen.  You don’t have to announce it!  …  And we certainly don’t need a recap afterwards.

We were cautious when Paranormal Activity 3 was released.  Our second Paranormal experience left us bitter so we waited a few weeks before seeing the film.  It was the only way to limit the amount of idiots we encountered.  I knew the theater wouldn’t be packed and there was no chance of recapturing the magic of the first.  It was disappointing but at least I could enjoy the movie in peace right?  Wrong.  This time, the idiots were female and they were sitting right beside us.  Another Paranormal Activity experience was ruined.  Shame.

After that, we vowed to wait until Paranormal Activity 4 was available to watch at home.   At least it gives us an opportunity to watch the others marathon style.  I just wish I was excited to line up on opening day.

Two straight experiences were ruined by inconsiderate morons who didn’t care.  They’ll never know how much we were looking forward to it.  How we went out to dinner and talked about the other films beforehand.  How we waited for a theater with assigned seating so we could be strategic in selecting our seats.  They’ll never know that they shattered the dream the original Paranormal Activity inspired years ago.

THE PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 EXPERIENCE

XTRA | Wouldn’t It Be Awesome if Paranormal Activity 4 was about…

So… The fourth installment of the franchise is just around the corner and we have a decision to make.  Do we risk sitting next to someone else who doesn’t care?  Do we brave the crowd hopelessly searching for silence?  Will Paranormal Activity 4 be accompanied by a crowd that WANTS to be scared?

I’m not so sure.  On the other hand, it definitely won’t be the same watching it at home.  However, these movies are made so you question every sound you hear in your house at night.  Perhaps it will be a completely new experience watching a NEW Paranormal Activity at home.  But am I really willing to wait that long?

  • Amazing Packed Theater vs Intimate Screening at Home
  • Risky Audience vs Longer Wait

It’s a tough call.  Even if we get a good audience, the movie may not even deliver. After all, people know what to expect now.  We all know the scares are coming.  Perhaps that’s part of the problem.  Movie fans are always searching for a perfect theatrical experience.   I’ve been a part of tons of great audiences since then but the first Paranormal Activity truly memorable.  I’d love experience that again.  If not, I’ll keep searching.  That’s the beauty of movies:

THERE ARE ALWAYS NEW EXPERIENCES

XTRA | Here’s a handy Paranormal Activity Timeline courtesy of Dredd Central.

The Paranormal Activity Theater Experience | Paranormal Activity 4 Preview