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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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

Wouldnt It Be Awesome If Paranormal Activity 4 Was About…

October 25, 2011 at 7:54 am

Wouldn't It Be Awesome If Paranormal Activity 4 Was About... | Movie Blog

[MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD]

LET THE SPECULATION BEGIN

Paranormal Activity 3 scored the highest opening weekend in the fall AND highest of any pure horror film… EVER. So after netting 54 million dollars, its safe to assume that we haven’t seen the last of Katie, Team Grandma and… ahem… Toby.

So whats in store for Paranormal Activity 4

Lets start at the beginning…

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY

The first film showed us the chilling footage of a demon terrorizing Katie and her man Micah. The film was packed with scares but thin on story giving us little details on what started the paranormal events. In the end, the only answers we knew for sure was that it was a demon attached to Katie and it had something to do with her past. Ultimately, the demon takes over Katie spelling doom for poor Micah.

Click here for my review.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2

The sequel/prequel introduced us to Katie’s sister Kristi and her family. In the film we learn that both girls have experienced activity before and the whole thing was related to their grandmother. Unfortunately, rampaging Demon Katie arrives to claim what the demon is after. Kristi’s son Hunter.

Note: Is wealth really worth an invisible demon with hooves who enjoys slamming doors shut and roaming under sheets?

Click here for my review.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3

The third film brought us back to 1988 when Katie Kristi were children. Were introduced to Toby, Kristi’s imaginary friend who also happens to be the evil entity responsible for keeping me up at night on numerous occasions. The demons mission appears to be straight forward. It will scare the crap out of everyone in the home until they head to… GRANDMAS HOUSE!

This reveals a lot more as we meet an entire team of elderly women who are seemingly obsessed with cults and sadistic rituals.

NOTE: Don’t these people have neighbors

NOTE #2: On nights when their isn’t a need to summon evil spirits do you think they play cribbage together?

Click here for my review.

XTRA | Find out what I thought Paranormal Activity 3 would be about…

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4

What we know…

  • Katie Kristi’s grandmother and her friends are pretty much responsible for everything.
  • Toby was after Hunter and he succeeded after possessing Katie. Hunter Katie/Toby = MIA
  • Ali survived.

What we don’t know…

  • What happened to young Katie Kristi?
  • What has the grandmother been up to since then?
  • Who are the other old women and whats up with their families?
  • What do those symbols mean?
  • Whats happening with Hunter and Katie?

What we don’t need to know…

  • I don’t need an explanation for Toby. Whatever it is, its evil and that’s enough for me. I don’t want to to know what it looks like or where it came from. What matters is that its invisible and every time its around I have a panic attack.

WHAT WILL PARANORMAL 4 BE ABOUT?

When I speculated on what Paranormal Activity 3 would be about I figured Ali would be searching for Hunter and stumble across tapes from Katie & Kristi’s past. (Or at least some hint that sends her on a path to more Toby terror) I’m essentially recycling this idea again. I think that the fourth film could go back and forth between 1988 and the present.

I think it will all lead up Ali discovering the old woman’s secrets and the meaning behind the symbols and rituals. I think her search will seriously piss off Toby who will probably slam some doors and drag her around a bit. In the end, her search will lead her to Hunters location and a face off with Katie and Grandma.

Part of me likes the idea that the other old women have families that were affected as well. Perhaps one of them has a strapping young grandson about Alis age who is a budding filmmaker? (Too easy?) I still have questions about the past regarding the old women and how they got together in the first place. Regardless, I think its time we found out what happened after Katie pulverized her way through that house and stole Hunter. The demon didn’t get its hands on the infant, walk outside the house and mumble:

What now?

They went somewhere… To Grandmas house perhaps?

One thing that confuses me is how the Grandmother would react if she learned of Hunter and Katie’s disappearance. (Would she be relieved that the price was paid? Was it even paid?) She didn’t seem too concerned about the consequences after the events of the third film. Was she possessed too? The thing is, at the end, Toby is clearly not inhabiting her body so are there multiple Tobys? Whats her end game or is she just an evil entity’s slave?

If the Grandmother is in fact, dead in the present. That opens up a whole new batch of options… If tha’ts the case, I still want Ali to find her house and the secrets within.

What I love about this series is the little bits of information you get in each one. The Paranormal Activity films are about the fun of watching horror films. So the fourth installment better raise the bar to new heights. The fan cam in particular was a fantastic addition to the franchise and I’m hoping for more creative filming techniques to keep the found footage theme alive. Everyone keeps expecting the style of the films to change but why bother? Its working isn’t it? Bring on the found footage!?

We wont get any definitive answers for a while but I’m assuming well hear an announcement soon.

Until then, what do you think Paranormal Activity 4 will be about?