So in the last two weeks me and my wife and a few friends have gone to see these two movies. I put them together because, quite frankly, they are extremely similar in tone and scope. Both are suggesting that they are “real” and both are shot by indie filmakers, and both deal with strange and unusual happenings. I would avoid this post if you want to avoid spoilers, but frankly you may want em.
I will start with Paranormal Activity. Shot guerilla style it pretends to be a movie shot by a couple as they try to figure out what is going on in their home. The premise is quite cool, but the actual movie itself bored the crap out of me. Furthermore I found both characters to be really freakin stupid! The guy kept going “I am gonna protect my house!” against a freakin spiritual entity, and when given the option of getting help refused as if he could actually do something. I hate that sort of stupid. The girl in the movie had never told her man that she was being haunted from an early age either. That would have been a helpful nugget of info for a person to know dontcha think?
As for the actual filming style it falls under the catergory, for me at least, of Shakey Camera. Because its supposed to be a home movie, the camera is quite shakey. Also, I don’t think I know of anyone who films THAT MUCH OF THEIR LIFE! I could understand it if they were filming things like their discussions of the haunting or the actual haunting itself, but when the guy is being stupid and filming them eating breakfast or the time before the potty thats a bit much. Now, as for the good stuff. The way the haunting is actually handled impressed me. Rather then use cheap “jump scares” the way everything was setup was much creepier. The atmosphere of the night filming was damn freaky. There is one jump scare though, and its kinda…well cheesy. Its at the end of the movie. The scene in the previews where a body comes flying through the door? Thats the ending sequence. Yea.
Now, as to the 4th Kind… That movie was totally average. It once again takes the premise of “This shit is real!” and even has the actors TELL YOU that its real and they are just doing a reenactment. Furthermore, they tend to show “real footage” throughout the movie side by side with the reenactment. This would not be so bad save when they have 2 sections of reenactment showing 2 scenes, and then 2 different “real footage” scenes at the same time. The filming style was crazy and very distracting. You could also easily tell that the real footage was fake as the guy who made the movie was the dude doing the interview with the doctor. To be honest, by the end of that movie I was ready to go. It should have been a made for TV documentary or something if it was real, and watching it felt like I had paid $10 to see just that: A made for TV movie. Despite all the big name actors.
Both movies were average, and neither was, in truth, very scary. I would see them at your own risk.