Tag Archives: Paranormal Activity 4

Three Creepy Stories the ‘Paranormal Activity’ Franchise Should Explore Next

Paranormal_Activity_The_Marked_Ones_PosterSince Paranormal Activity arrived in 2009, the plan seemed to be for the franchise to take Saw’s place and churn out a new installment each Halloween. Trouble is, even though Paranormal Activity 5 was announced and given an October 25, 2013 due date almost immediately after film four hit theaters, that didn’t end up happening.

In July of 2013, news broke that Paranormal Activity 5 was uprooted from that original release and plopped back down in January 2014. A move like that was alarming considering Paranormal Activity seemed to have been making the push to turn the films into a Halloween staple, but at the same time The Devil InsideTexas Chainsaw 3D and Mama all recently proved that January was prime time for horror. Well, it turns out, the Paranormal Activity series wants to reap the benefits of both debut dates.

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The Best Worst Movies of 2012

BestWorstMoviesZero Dark Thirty, Les Misérables, Lincoln and more may be soaking up the awards season spotlight, but there are a bunch of other films that hit theaters this year that deserve some recognition not because they’re fantastic cinematic achievements, but because they’re so bad, they’re actually good.

Best worst movies come in all sorts of forms – those that benefit from being part of a franchise, the ones that manage to pull off a cliché, some that stir up excitement for all the wrong reasons and more. All of these films have a cloud hanging over their heads for one reason or another, but that doesn’t stop them from conjuring up a ray of light bright enough to make them surprisingly enjoyable, disturbingly memorable, oddly admirable or all of the above.

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Review: Paranormal Activity 4

The sun goes down, everyone goes to bed, that low rumble kicks in and the demon comes out to play. The first “Paranormal Activity” was entirely new territory. In the second, the plot thickened and scares still felt fresh. By the time we hit the third, we were well aware of what was coming, but quality character development kept us firmly invested. While “Paranormal Activity 4” does achieve a degree of success, franchise quality is clearly starting to crack and give way to the gimmick.

New town, new family. In round four, the “Paranormal Activity” franchise ditches California for Nevada and puts the focus on Alex (Kathryn Newton), her parents, little brother Wyatt and boyfriend Ben (Matt Shively). They’re a loving family, living in a beautiful home in a quaint suburban neighborhood – minus the weird little boy that lives across the street, Robbie (Brady Allen). When Robbie’s mother is rushed to the hospital, Alex’s parents are kind enough to take him in for a few nights. Cue the traditional “Paranormal Activity” “Night #” labels.

Initially, the idea of having another “Paranormal Activity” without Katie and Kristi at the core was a little disconcerting, but Alex is sweet, charming and believable enough to win you over in minutes, and the same goes for Ben and her family. After quickly reminding viewers of the horrors of 2006 and that Katie is still at large, the film cuts to Alex’s point of view, offering a look at the new family dynamic. Thanks to a well-established norm, Robbie’s arrival is as jarring for the audience as it is for Alex. The concept of the creepy kid next door letting the demon in is both eerie and, thanks to Ben’s commentary, quite amusing, but it does slowly fizzle out.

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The Best – and Worst – Movie Promos of the Week

New York Comic-Con is here and new promotional material is slowly being rolled out in honor of the event, but the posters for The Last StandTexas Chainsaw 3D and Pacific Rim (see them in our weekly poster roundup) didn’t come close to cracking this week’s top three.

The Best Stuff

1. Paranormal Activity 4 Audience Reaction Trailer: The audience reaction trailer is aParanormal Activity tradition, and a good one at that. The films do play well at home, but there’s nothing like sitting in a theater packed with shrieking fans. For those who enjoy a good scare, this trailer makes it look like the folks featured are having a blast, so you’ll want to have one, too.

2. The Man with the Iron Fists Posters: Whether you’re into the style, violence and carnage of RZA’s The Man with the Iron Fists or not, there’s no denying that this film has one of the most impressive poster campaigns of the year. The marketing department kicked things off with this black, white and pink gem, and now EW’s got 16 new designs all of which are either appropriately striking or pure works of art.

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‘End of Watch,’ and How to Keep the Found-Footage Genre Fresh

The found-footage genre has come a long way since The Blair Witch Project back in 1999, or perhaps I should say since Cannibal Holocaust from 1980. But it was really Blair Witch that kicked off the filmmaking craze and made it accessible for moviegoers. That film, about a trio of film students who head out into the woods to make a documentary about the Blair Witch, arrived with the premise that the students went missing, but their footage was found. Thus, the found-footage genre (as its come to be known) was reinvented for the masses.

Why are you filming yourself?

After attempting to make my own mini-found-footage film while running through The Walking Dead Escape at San Diego Comic-Con, I can confirm that it’s absolutely impossible for someone to run from a witch or any kind of monster and still manage to shoot watchable footage. Your life vs. camera stability? I wonder which you would pick. But hey, this is the film industry we’re talking about — it’s okay to bend the believability rules a bit.

However, it’s not okay to 1) give a character a lame reason to be filming him or herself, or 2) offer absolutely no reason for a character to be filming him or herself. The documentary angle is generally a good play. It works in both Blair Witch and Troll Hunter. On the other hand, the excuse of needing to show people how something is really going down can be absurd. Cloverfield is lucky it’s so enthralling, otherwise I’d seriously be questioning Hud’s judgment. Then again, that concept does work a little better in REC and Quarantine. Something terrible is happening, but the people who are supposed to rush in and save the day are leaving victims to die in a nightmarish apartment building. Something isn’t right and the public has to know.

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‘ParaNorman’ and ‘The Tall Man’ Lead Our Best and Worst Movie Promos of the Week

I like sports, but I wouldn’t say I was particularly excited to watch the Olympics. However, now that the event is underway, I can’t stop watching! Assuming quite a few of you may be indulging in swimming, gymnastics, beach volley and more, I can’t help but wonder why ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph are the only two features seizing the marketing opportunity.

While those two reap the benefits of airing between high-stakes Olympic events, the The Paper Boy and Killing Them Softly try to consume Web-based viewers via Web-based trailers. Both generate a great deal of intrigue courtesy of big name players and riveting visuals, but neither cross the barrier into truly alluring material that leaves you wanting more. Bachelorette and Taken 2 take steps in the right direction; Bachelorette earning more laughs courtesy of red-band privileges and Taken 2 looking less like a desperate attempt at earning a buck by milking a successful concept and suggesting there actually is some room for this story to grow.

The Big Wedding trailer looks like one big, fat star-studded flop while Anna Karenina dazzles with a new featurette showing off its grandiose setting, costumes, characters and more. The worst and best of the week? Close, but not quite. Check out what made the cut below.

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