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Monday, May 21, 2012

MORE Paranormal Activity OR the Attack of the Sequel!

Okay, not too long ago I wrote a blog about a movie I watched, Paranormal Activity.  Go read the blog first so I don't have waste a paragraph summing up.  See Paranormal Activity OR Why Demons/Ghosts/Supernatural Thingymabobs Never Possess Fat Women.

Now for the funny part.  So I was lying about yesterday, having been decimated by painting, Girl Scout drama, mama drama, moving issues, possible new house foundation problems, and the fact that my brain had melted into primordial goo, and I flipped through the On Demand movies from Starz.  (Think it was Starz but who really cares?)  There was PARANORMAL ACTIVITY....wait for it....2!  Not PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (No number - pretend this isn't here) but PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2!  OMFG!  MORE paranormal extravaganza!  I looked at the description, not really interested except in a what-the-hell-else-am-I-going-to-watch manner, and it said the events in this movie take place four months before the first one.  This, of course, intrigued the writer in me, which is always trying to dissect other writers' works.  (This also ruins movies for me so I try not to do it.)  So I watched a little of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2!  Then I went ahead and watched the whole thing.

Why?  Why, why, why, you ask.  I was wondering where their plot could go considering that PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 is a prequel to PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 1.  (I added the number for clarity.)  (Also you ask why must I italicize the movie title and put it in caps AND make it red?  Because it amuses me.  Also I think there's a rule about movie titles being italicized.  Then I just made up a rule about all supernatural related theme movies being in RED.  I would have it dripping in RED but I don't feel like doing that many illustrations.)  Where was I?
See, dripping in redness.  Redity, red, red for all the imminent horror to come.
Ah yes.  I need to warn those of you who haven't seen PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 1 or PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2, because I intend on spoiling the holy-living-heck out of it.  I'm going to be snide.  I'm going to make subtly denigrating comments and I'm going to tell you what happens to the last bloody bit of film footage.  So here's the warning:

There, no one can say they haven't been warned.  Well, they can say it, but it ain't true.  In the first movie, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, we've got Katie and Micah who live together and have a little supernatural fun with a demon.  There's a camera that Micah loves to film with (and without there would be no film), there's revelations about Katie having a par-ree-nor-male friend as a child, and there's baby powder on the floor which reveals something walking through it while the couple are sleeping on the bed next to the door and the floor where the baby powder is.  Let's just say nothing good happens in a movie where the supernaturalness is not presenting flowers and chocolates to their human cohorts.  (No sparkling g**d**n vampires running around that house.)

Okay, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2.  It starts all black screen and thanks the Police Department and the families of the dead people and is supposed to be pseudo real.  It says it happens FOUR MONTHS before PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (1).  This time it's Katie's sister, Kristi, who's house is the focus.  And we've got lots of people with camcorders galore.  In fact, Kristi's step-daughter, Ali, has got one.  Kristi's husband, Daniel, has got one.  The only one who hasn't got one is their year-old-son, Hunter (and that's probably because his is made by Tonka).  Early on, something happens to the house and all the rooms get messed up except HUNTER'S, because we wouldn't want to point a flaming finger at any possible victims of the movie, would we?  This becomes a plot device to have Daniel hire a security guy to install cameras all over the frickin' house.  (This way, we get to watch all the camera angles AND the camcorders AND the camcorder plot device doesn't become old and trite.  Think of Micah from the first one following Katie into the bathroom and her not clobbering him with it.)  (If HIM followed me in the bathroom with a camcorder I would have stuck the camcorder where the sun don't shine.  The proctologist would have to remove the camcorder.  End of business.)

So we start seeing stuff happening.  Doors opening by themselves.  Pots falling without anyone touching them.  Kristi getting freaked out.  Ali getting freaked out.  Ali and her boyfriend in the hottub getting freaked out together.  There's a guest appearance from Katie and Micah, who haven't been possessed and murdered yet.  Katie and Kristie throw out hints about a "strange" set of incidents from their childhood.  The photograph of Katie from the first movie appears.  But the following isn't a photograph of Katie.

And most importantly, the cinematic viewer gets a whole crop of would-be victims to choose from.  We have the nubile step-daughter, Ali, who luvs her brother, but also luvs to think about various theories on why demons choose to hang at their house.  (In fact, it is she who determines that some ancestor made a deal with the devil in exchange for a first born son, and there wasn't any sons until Hunter.  Her theory was a little weak and lacked evidence but it's a horror movie, so we're stuck with it.)  We have a nanny, Martine, who warns all of the family in Spanish, because if she had spoken English it would have been a really short movie.  We have the dad, Daniel, who basically pooh-pooh's every one's supernatural suspicions.  ("No, people, there is nothing going on.  It's an electrical confluence of metaenergy.  Or swamp gas.")  We have Kristi, who looks like she's having post-post-post partum depression and really isn't happy about anything.  We have Hunter, the cute little baby who talks to the nonseen entity just off camera.  (Hunter was having a good time.  I suspect his real mommy was waving Cheerios at him.)  And we have a dog.  A German Shepherd named Abby, who is a big, fat, flaming target walking around woofing and eating doggy biscuits.  (You know that everyone in the audience is going, "Poor damn dog.")

Of course, paranormal adventures are about to ensue!  We've got things happening.  A burning pan in the kitchen that no one owns up to.  Mysterious thumps in the night.  The pool cleaner climbs out of the pool by itself.  (I think the entity had something against a clean pool.)  The nubile step-daughter has a boyfriend over, who may also be a would-be VICTIM!  In fact, I'm pretty sure his t-shirt said, "Kill me, I'm a horny teenager." on it.  (Hey, they were in the hot tub together at one point in time and that's like an automatic, thou-shall-die-wretchedly-if-you-do-this rule they just broke.)

It's halfway through the movie before anyone remembers that they've got cameras up the hooha and that they're recording everything.  ("OMG, don't we have cameras around here?  I can look at the footage!")  Yes, Virginia, there is a bogeyman in the house.  Actually, the bogey's hanging out in the basement with frequent fortes up to the second floor to play with Hunter.  (They're simpatico and the entity has Cheerios!)

Meanwhile, I wanted to play the who-gets-killed-first game.  Nubile step-daughter was top of my list.  Then the boyfriend, and the dog, followed by the nanny, and then mom and dad.  I needed a scorecard to keep up.  But the dad fired the nanny for being all superstitious and wafting incense around and the nanny got away so I had to scratch her off.  (No pun intended.)

Things started getting interesting when Kristi the mom was dragged down the stairs and into the basement while everyone else was gone.  So when she came out of the basement, she was all demonic and wanted to take a nap.  (Pretty sure the movie was still a little short at that point and they needed some more horrifying drama, so she couldn't demonize herself right at that moment.)  Ali the step-daughter shows the chin-bumping-on-the-carpet footage to Dad and Dad suddenly realizes that the nanny was right all along!  Her Spanish declarations of evilness should have warned them but they did not listen.  He gets Martine back and they come up with a plan.  They can pass the evilness off to someone else beside Kristi but it has to be a blood relative.  Guess who's the closest relative?  Yes, it's KATIE!  Katie the demonically possessed one from the first movie!  Katie wins the supernatural lottery in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2!  (Well, they couldn't give it to the baby, right?)

Dad and Martine perform an ancient-only-known-to-nannies ceremony.  Dad chases Kristi around the basement, along with Hunter giggling hysterically.  (They must have been tickling the kid's feet off camera.)  There's some Blair Witchiness going on with shaking cameras and shoots of intermediate blackness.  (One has to remember that the security guys did not put a camera in the basement, but the director remembered that Dad needed to take his camcorder in the basement to chase his errant demonic wife and to also make the movie not have a big gaping hole in it.)

Phew!  All is well.  Words scroll across the screen to remind us that it's four months later and Katie has just smeared Micah against the wall at another location.  Now we get to see Kristi's house again.  There's Daniel and Kristi and Hunter.  Katie pops up, weirds everyone out by standing behind Daniel for awhile without him knowing it while he's watching a Dunkin' Donut commercial.  (Which would weird anyone out.)  Then she breaks his neck, goes upstairs and throws Kristi against the camera.  (It worked well with Micah.)  Then she takes off with Hunter, who is giggling again.

And they're never seen again...da dah daaaaaaahhhhh.  (But there is a note that Ali comes back from a school trip and finds the bodies, although it doesn't say what happens to her boyfriend, Martine, or the dog.)

You might understand why they don't pay me to review movies.

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