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

November 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

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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?

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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.

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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

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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.

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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…

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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.

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Wouldn’t It Be Awesome If Paranormal Activity 3 Was About…

November 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm

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[UPDATE] July 22, 2011. The first trailer for Paranormal Activity 3 has arrived!

Paranormal Activity 3 is coming!

On October 21, 2011 we will get a second unlikely follow up to one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen in theaters:  Paranormal Activity

The first installment was my favorite film of 2009 It was the most fun I’ve had at a screening in years. The entire theater loved it and the atmosphere was incredible.  Well done Oren Peli.

Paranormal Activity 3 preview 2011

Really?  How creepy is that look?  Especially when you are already terrified.  I loved the first film.

I was really hoping the Paranormal Activity 2 would deliver and thankfully it did.

Click here for my full review and the story of the first time I told someone to shut up at the movies.

What will the third film be about?  Here is what I think would be awesome.

Paranormal Activity 3

[Warning Full Spoilers Ahead]

I loved how they tied the second film in with the first. Now they have built an entire mythology around the demon that haunts Katie and her family.

There is a history that dates way back to their grandmother.  A woman who makes a deal with ‘something’ in exchange for wealth.

Obviously the grandmother is long gone but I think it would be sweet to tell that story.

Many people are saying the series should ditch the found footage approach.  I kind of disagree.  It would certainly provide more options to the filmmakers but isn’t the low budget look of the films a plus?  I think it’s a lot scarier when you aren’t dealing with crystal clear color corrected film.  Maybe it will be a hybrid and mix styles.

I think the third film should follow Molly Ephraim’s Ali. Have her search for her baby brother and aunt Katie.  During her search have her uncover videos and such from the past.  Home movies that Katie and her sister Kristi made when they were younger.

Hauntings. Ooooooo.

Maybe she could dig further and discover a REALLY old tape from the 40’s that shows the grandmother’s encounters with the demon.

What I don’t want is a prequel.

Wouldn't It Be Awesome If Paranormal Activity 3 Was About...

We HAVE to find out what happens to the baby.  When was the last time you had a horror film where the bad guy wins and gets away?  What’s the demon going to do now?

Perhaps a new deal?  An exchange? I want answers!

Maybe another family is being haunted by Katie and Ali seeks them out.  She could be documenting the whole thing with a friend.

You could easily mix footage from today, 10 years ago, 20 years ago, 50 years ago and probably beyond in the third.

They left it open enough to go anywhere they want with the third film.

I hope they stay small.  Keep the story ‘realistic’.  I never want to see that demon.  What scared me in theaters was the unknown.  What is it?  Why is it there?

Paranormal Activity 2 provided some fantastic answers but posed a lot more questions.

My worst fear is an entirely new storyline where some random people are haunted and have to deal with it.  Stick with the mythology.

I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

I don’t even care if I’m right.

I just want it to be good!

Paranormal Activity 2 Was Awesome AND I Told Someone To Shut Up!

October 24, 2010 at 9:07 am

Paranormal Activity 2 Was Awesome AND I Told Someone To Shut Up!

The original Paranormal Activity was my favorite movie of 2009.

Why?

It was the most fun I had in a theater last year.  Plain and simple.

Click here for my review.

My hopes were high that the sequel wouldn’t be a complete dud.  It didn’t have to be better, I just didn’t want it to be stupid.

I went into the theater with an open mind.  I was so excited.

Then a group of 14 year old punks entered the room laughing loudly and basically being idiots.

You guessed it.  A movie lovers worst nightmare.

They sat down one row behind us…

Why?  WHY?

I always get nervous when people talk during the trailers.

Will they shut up?

I hope they aren’t jerks.

Why won’t they just shut up?

They didn’t stop.  The movie started and they kept chatting away completely oblivious to the people sitting around them.

Yes, I get it…  It is filmed just like the first movie.  Fantastic observation losers!

Paranormal Activity 2 was awesome and I told someone to shut up

How can people be so inconsiderate?  I’m a little more forgiving if their stupid comments are somewhat funny but these morons were not funny.  That…  Is unforgivable.

People kept blatantly staring at them.  Practically begging them to stop talking.  Tension was high and no one around us was enjoying the movie.

Then it happened…History was made…

“Shut up!!!!!!!!”

That’s right I said it!

You hear that sound?  That’s the sound of applause!

Okay, no one actually clapped but they wanted to and more importantly, the losers listened!

It gave me a sense of pride knowing I intimidated them.

I smiled and returned to the movie…  Or at least I tried.

Paranormal Activity 2

If you loved the first film, you will definitely love the second. It’s definitely a worthy sequel to one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen in theaters.

On the other hand, if you hated the original, the second probably isn’t for you either.

The movie doesn’t reinvent the format by any stretch.  It’s basically another hour and a half of handheld insanity but that’s exactly what I signed up for.

Again, I found myself jumping with my eyes wide open while smiling ear to ear.

But…

Something was different this time around.  I wasn’t having as much fun as I did one year ago.

It was the audience.  They shifted at the wrong moments and laughed during some of the bigger scares.  A lady nearby was texting constantly.

Dear Text Lady: Covering the screen of your phone slightly doesn’t mean we can’t see it!  It’s still glowing!

Two guys in the front row were literally pointing out everything on the screen that referenced the first film.  Something would start moving and these two would point at the screen and discuss it.

“That thing is moving!”

“I know!  Thanks for pointing though because I almost missed it!”

“I’m just paying you back for the time you pointed earlier.  This movie is awesome!”

“It really is.  Hey we should ask my mom if we can have a pop tonight with our sugarless candy!”

“No way, you know how mad she got the last time!”

“I’m asking!”

“Oh man, I can’t wait to see the look on her face!  Best weekend ever!!!!!”

It’s distracting and I’m sorry to say it completely ruined the experience for me.

The movie has a fantastic story that ties in well to the first, the scares were more intense without being over done and I even laughed out loud a few times.  You can’t ask for much more than that.

Oh wait…  You can ask for an audience that respects the fact that I paid 10 bucks to see it.

PA 2 was a perfect way to follow up the first.

Yet the crowd in our theater killed the effect for me.  Movies like Paranormal Activity depend on crowds to sell the illusion.

Having an idiot yell:

“That looks fake!”

During the final few moments of the movie DOESN’T sell the illusion.

However, the fact that I still loved the sequel says something about the effort the filmmakers put into the story.  This didn’t feel like a studio cash grab.  It was a sequel I’m happy they made.

Paranormal Activity was an 8.6 out of 10.

I’d give the sequel an 8.5.  Not too bad except it becomes a 6 or 7 thanks to some inconsiderate jerks.

Thanks everyone.

PS: We saw the same punks outside the theater and my girlfriend fired off an awesome burn.  Nice one hunny!

PS #2: I looked back and caught them smiling about it and they stopped.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought… Shut up!”

PS #3: I’m not actually intimidating…  It’s a sad truth I faced long ago…

Will Paranormal Activity 2 Deliver?

October 2, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Paranormal Activity 2 Hype

The sequel to my favorite film of 2009 is right around the corner.  Paranormal Activity is one of the most entertaining theatrical experiences I’ve ever had. Watching it in a packed theater was the very definition of popcorn movie.

It was a blast.

Yet due to films like Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows and the never ending Saw franchise, a lot of people are skeptical about Paranormal Activity 2.

Some sequels just don’t deliver.

Can it possibly deliver on the incredible originality of the first?

Will it be as frightening?

I think Paranormal Activity 2 will be everything and more.  At least I hope it will.

I’m not saying the film will DEFINITELY be among the greatest horror films of all time but I’m not in it for awards. I just want it to be as entertaining and suspenseful as the first.

When I was sitting in that theater clinching the arm rest, the entire crowd had the same mind set.  Every time the shot of their bedroom graced the screen we all squirmed in our seats.  Something messed up was about to happen.

That amazing level of anticipation throughout made it a classic in my eyes. I had a huge smile on my face the entire time.

I’m sincerely hoping that the second chapter can achieve the same level of terror.  I was afraid to be home alone for weeks and I lived by myself at the time!

I want to be frightened like that again and the second trailer certainly helped feed my craving for more.

Of course, there is a chance the film won’t capture the same magic.  In fact, it’s almost impossible with the amount of hype the first film had behind it.

The way I see it, as long as they don’t simply rehash the same types of scares or go too over the top, I’m good.

Why do I think it will be a worthy successor?

The baby alone shows the studio is willing to ramp up the suspense.  You know people are going to cringe when they see those scenes.  (As long as they aren’t so unbelievably over the top that they become humorous.)

I think horror fans in general have been let down a lot over the years with sequels that basically cash in on franchises that begin with so much promise.

I adored the first saw film.  I gave up after part 4 but that’s the point.  I still showed up for 3 more before I needed something new come Halloween.  The sequels felt rushed and forced but that’s exactly how they were made.  Rushed and forced onto the silver screen with little thought on how to make them better.

I’m always going to root for original horror films rather than sequels and remakes.  It’s always more fun to discover something new.  However, there is also a unique ‘fun factor’ in rediscovering worlds that you love.

I’m putting my faith in Paranormal Activity 2 this year.