Fanfare for the Common Man: Paranormal inactivity

  • Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I watched three movies I said I’d never watch last weekend.
Those would be Paranormal Activity 1, 2 and 3.
This is what today’s generation calls scary, and I say, y’all are nuts.
When I was coming of age, the scary movies were Jaws, Poltergeist, The Shining, Halloween and The Amityville Horror. When I was a kid and I maintain this still, the scariest monster movie of all time was The Wizard of Oz. A witch, a tornado and flying monkeys, I’m hiding behind the couch.
But none of that holds a candle to what I saw in Paranormal Activity and I don’t know why. Well, yes I do know why.
When you are watching Poltergeist and even The Shining, as whacko as Jack Nicholson is (“Honey I’m home!” and “Heeeeere’s JOHNNY!”) you knew you were watching a movie, albeit a scary movie.
Not so with Paranormal Activity.
The cinematic tactic is to throw a video camera into the mix. The realism of the video camera, or the laptop webcam, or even the VHS tapes in Paranormal 3 presents the illusion that what you’re watching is real and actually happened.
How else can you get wigged out watching the woman standing stone still beside the bed and watching her boyfriend sleep for more than two hours than the high speed running of the video time clock?
That caused an F-bomb.
Or a shadow without an accompanying body passing along the wall? There’s another F-bomb.
When a door slammed, or furniture and pottery fell from the ceiling, I tossed out a few more. I lost count at 30 F-bombs during Paranormal 1 alone.
Then at the end when the demon-possessed girlfriend throws the boyfriend’s dead body across the room and into the camera I tried to hide behind the couch again.
I even screamed … around another F-bomb, of course. I heaved a relieved sigh when the Paranormal 1’s credits ran. I thought, thank goodness this is over.
Until I’m told, oh no, there are two more movies to watch. Three, if you count Paranormal Activity 4.
Here’s another thing I don’t like about today’s scary movies.
It’s when they (being the demon or whatever else has possessed the individual in question) make the human body bend in ways it’s not supposed to bend, like bending over backwards in half, … another F-bomb, and then you hear bones crack. .
I came back from Atlanta last weekend to my own quiet and not so creepy apartment. I had silence. No creepy noises.
The apartment next door had been empty for the last six months so I expected to hear silence from my right, but unbeknownst to me, over the weekend my new neighbors moved in.
It was about 11:30 at night and I was settling down to bed when I heard the squeak of footsteps walking up the stairs on the other side of the wall.
A dozen F-bombs flow forth. I thought I was about to experience my own real live Paranormal Activity. In the movies this is what preceded the arrival of the demon and the paranormal activity – footsteps.
I grabbed my baseball bat. I’ve got a couch and I’m not afraid to hide behind it.

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