Monday, 31 October 2011

My love/hate relationship with Paranormal Activity

Since it's Halloween, I thought I would explain something about myself - I have a bit of a complicated relationship with the film franchise "Paranormal Activity".  I'm not a huge fan of horror movies in general.  I don't hate them, but I don't love them either.  Usually I'm pretty meh on them.  But in 2009 I started hearing about a little movie called "Paranormal Activity".

Do you remember the first time you heard about it?  I do.  See, I read Entertainment Weekly's website pretty much constantly.  One day, I read about this movie that was made for practically no money that was making a huge splash.  People were leaving the theatre because it was so scary.  There was a "Demand It" campaign where you could vote to have it be played at a theatre in your town.  But best of all, the trailers showed the audience reaction.

Seeing the audience reaction made it impossible for me to not want to see it.  How could a movie really be that scary?  How could it affect that many people?

Then I saw it.  And immediately regretted it.

That movies stayed with me for weeks.  I just kept thinking about it.  There's something so terrifying about the simplicity of it that just got to me in a way that very few movies ever have.

Eventually, I worked up the courage to watch it again.  In broad daylight, of course.  It wasn't quite so terrifying the second time around, but it was still effective.

When the second movie came around last year, I was more reluctant.  I don't know if you've seen Paranormal Activity 2, but the main focus of the movie is a baby.  For some reason, I decided to go see it when I was about 8 months pregnant.

Terrible idea.

I still haven't seen it again.  It was bad enough that I was still thinking about the first movie, but now with the addition of the sequel?  Bad news.

Over the course of the last 11 months with Vivian, I've gotten up at least two or three times a night.  And let me tell you, I still think about those movies every single time I get up.  Every time I have to walk across the hall to tend to Vivian, I have to peek at the living room to see if there's anyone there.  I can't sleep with my feet out of the blankets anymore, because I might get pulled down the hallway by some unseen being.  Shadows, creaks, bumps in the night - my first thought always goes back to Paranormal Activity.

So of course, I thought it would be a great idea to go see the third movie yesterday.

I think the third one scared me the least out of all of them.  Don't get me wrong, it still offered plenty of scares, but it just didn't cut to the core of me like the other two did.  I'm wondering if it was because we saw it in a relatively empty theatre.

Call me a glutton for punishment, but I do love seeing these movies.  I especially love seeing them in the theatre.  Half of the fun of them is hearing everyone else jump and scream and react to every slammed door and unidentified shadow.  Sure, I pay for it later, but it's worth it for the scare.

And isn't that what Halloween is all about?  Getting a bit of a scare?

Happy Halloween, everyone!

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