Monday, October 12, 2009

Paranormal Activity (2009)

Reviewed By: Billy & JM

On the way home from seeing the much-hyped new release Paranormal Activity, we decided to try to come up with some alternate titles that we felt better fit the movie. Here's what we came up with:

1) Blair Witch For Dummies
2) Witch-Bored
3) Chicken In The Attic
4) Normal Inactivity

As you might guess from these titles...this is the creepiest movie ever made. Oops...we mean crappiest.

Billy: Look, people...this movie is terrible. Halfway through, JM had to get up and take a walk around the theatre lobby because the hand-held camera was so sea-sickness inducing. I, meanwhile, fell asleep somewhere around the part where the two main characters were arguing, which pretty much happened every five minutes. This, sadly, left our friend Richie to shoulder the burden of this atrocity, and he's never talking to us again.

JM: Richie is actually the one that came up with Blair Witch For Dummies, and you know, he is 100% correct. This is the exact same movie. It even pretty much has the same ending. The big difference is, of course, the characters in The Blair Witch Project were lost in the woods. The reason we only get one location (the couple's house) here is that one dipshit psychic said to the haunted couple that it would not help them to leave... the demon, or ghost chicken, is attached to the female lead. So, I guess, they decided at that point to not worry about groceries or anything else and just "hunker down".

Billy: Now, wait a minute. Let's not minimize the importance of the psychic character.

JM: You mean character 3 out of 4?

Billy: Yes. The scene in which he walks in and freaks out, declaring: "I have to get out now! It doesn't want me here!" is one of the greatest in the movie. It almost makes it an enjoyable movie. Well...not almost. But I liked that scene.

JM: What do you mean by "scene"? There were no scenes in this movie. Paramount gave us the actual video footage of a true haunting... right?

Billy: OK. I guess that explains why there are no special effects. Except at the end when her face becomes digitalized. Or was that just a glitch in the video? I couldn't tell.

JM: I think we can agree that the friend with braces was a strong addition. I mean, there are only four characters in this movie and one of them is useless filler. What in the hell is that all about?

Billy: Speaking of useless filler...what was going on for 45 minutes of the movie's duration? This was a one-scene movie that was stretched out with several scenes of people in pools, people knitting, spiders in the bathroom, etc. This whole thing was filler. Nothing scary EVER HAPPENED! Except for the ghost chicken feet. That was creepy.

JM: I think you meant crappy. Again. The ghost chicken feet, by the way, are the demon's footprints... which look like giant chicken prints. We see them because the boyfriend decided to pour powder all over the floor. As he did this, he bragged that this was part of his plan to defeat the demon. Which makes no sense to me.

Billy: Right...because a demon would leave footprints, anyway. So, the point of all this is that this movie is really boring and we want our money back.

Final note from Richie: Great comedy! This plays like the lost episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm"!



  1. Haha, always love the reviews. I'm not completely sold on PA as well. Although I didn't find it to quite be the stinker that you did. You're right about the long, boring periods of the film for sure. Somebody could have definitely punched up the script - or, if you want to buy into the "it's real" schtick, that damn demon should have done something a little more interesting than bang on the ceiling or kind of maybe open the door a little bit.

  2. First off Blair Witch project for Dummies is an hilarious title. There are so many people who didn't get that movie. Um...Woa! I can't believe this movie is that bad!! I was thinking that this is a movie where the best scenes are in the trailer. Ghost feet?? Oh come on. Even some who watches Ghost Hunters knows that is ridicolous. If it is 45 minutes of filler too I'm glad I didn't see this because odds are i would have fallen asleep. Thanks for saving me $11 bucks guys!! =)

  3. I totally disagree with you kids but thats what makes horror movies so subjective. Don't remember the boyfriend saying that the powder was being used as a means to combat, i thought he was still skeptical at that point and trying to prove its existence.

    Anywhos, I loved it. Even when nothing happened the film still creeped me out. I think this is entirely different than Blair Witch. The notion of being vulnerable to ANYTHING while you sleep was enough to get to me.

  4. Hahaha. You know I completely disagree 100% BUT I knew you guys wouldn't like this movie. If anything, I figured you would be bored by it and I can definitely see why.

    This movie is only similar to Blair Witch in that it's a found footage movie involving supernatural elements. Even less happened in Blair Witch and they argued a lot more in that movie.

    Micah was just a dumbass, tough guy type who didn't know what to do, so all his actions just served as a catalyst. I go back and forth about him because he was stupid, but he did provide comic relief and did elevate suspense.

    Very funny review guys! Thanks for the dissenting opinion with style. :D

  5. I can't understand how anyone could find this movie remotely creepy, scary, or suspenseful. I suppose if you'd never seen another movie in your life, then maybe. But to me the only suspense was: when the heck is something going to HAPPEN? I don't buy this as an arty, clever, creative way to tell a story. It was a clumsy, pretentious, souless way to tell what could have been a wonderful, heart-pounding haunting tale. One hour and 39 minutes I'll never get back. Good review, guys.

  6. How can you deem a film with a 10k budget, filmed in less than a week pretentious? I'd say its pretty ingenious and anything but.

  7. Im glad to see that it isnt receiving 100% positive feedback finally, though many of the same comments were made in the past for Blair Witch and I loved it. Still looking forward to this one boys!

  8. In response to Planet of Terror:
    Pretentious does not exclusively refer to a pretense of money or budget...It often refers to a feigning or false representation of something, like, for example, a movie trying so hard to come off as avant-garde when in reality it is muffled by its own banality.
    To film this in less than a week is no great accomplishment when you consider the result is a 15-minute short story that is painfully stretched into a 1hr 39 min disaster.

  9. Your superfluous use of hyperbole is mind boggling. I hope in your example that you weren't actually referring to the film itself. Because this movie is anything but avant-garde. And most horror movies can be summed up in 15 minutes. Most are about the build-up and execution, but I digress. To each their own.

  10. Anonymous and Planet,

    In the words of Jim Stark, "You're tearing me apart!".

    Let's just relax and have some fun... Hey, remember that scene in CAN'T HARLDLY WAIT when the kid jumps up on a coffee table and sings "Paradise City". Great stuff.

    Seriously, thanks for the comments. This is the most fun I have had reading our page ever!


  11. I love lamp. LOUD NOISES!

  12. I KNEW you would hate this movie, it had to be overhyped, I'm avoiding it like the plague it is.

  13. Hey guys,

    I almost went to see this, but from everything I read, it sounded too 'Blair Witchy' to me, and I didn't find BW all that great, so I saw Zombieland instead. Sounds like I made the right choice!

  14. Here is a fun experiment! Pour some baby powder on the ground, now walk through it. Did the baby powder streak and scatter or did it make perfect stamped outlines of your feet?

    The funniest part of this movie has got to be the footage of said foot prints being made, hilarious!

    This is one of those movies where you have to use your imagination! Meaning, I hope you are prepared to "imagine" that you are watching something good.

    I don't buy the convenient "It doesn't matter if you leave" bit either...first of all, I would test that theory...and even if I was LOCKED inside my house I would...sleep on the couch, sleep with the light on, sleep with the door closed or really, just not go to sleep. You can't really say that they were not sure what was happening yet either...they had footage of the ouija board dancing around and catching on fire!

    I get that people are sick of slick Hollywood dreck and everything but this is not the answer!

    Actually I'm starting to like this movie for sucking so bad and yet still finding near unanimous praise, I'm now inspired to start a singing career.

    Anyway, thanks for cracking me up & making my day, you guys rule. -UnkL

  15. Haha! Couldn't agree more! The "scariest" moments were those spent in anticipation of the jolts that didn't occur. Lame lame lame. Fun to play a drinking game to, though!

  16. Kindertrauma and Meredith-
    I totally agree! Both of you make excellent points. As for the powder experiment, I tried it last night and I'm convinced this morning that there's a demon in my house with the EXACT same footprints of a Labrador Retreiver. Uncanny!!!

  17. Thanks, fellas, for the sobering counter-balance to the screaming "omigosh" praise that lotsa others have been tossing off; now I don't feel so bad for skipping this one for the time being. I might get around to it, but I no longer feel any urgency.

  18. I actually kinda enjoyed this one. I thought there were some genuinely creepy moments in the movie and I agree with you guys in that I found humor in the scene where the psychic basically says "fuck this, I'm outta here". I wouldn't necessarily call the movie "good" but I enjoyed it. Great review as always, guys.

  19. But this is the scariest movie ever made--Meghan McCunt--I mean McCain said so on Twitter, so it has to be true!!!

  20. I just discovered your blog, so I'm late to the party on this review, but I have to say that a) I love you guys and b) I couldn't agree more. This was the single most over-hyped, boring waste of celluloid in the history of film.