Love That Rush
I finally saw “Paranormal Activity”, the innovative advertising wonder of the past couple months. Now to say it was the scariest movie of the decade is quite an overstatement and is ignoring the greatness of “The Ring”, which I would probably give that crown right now. I did think it provided a fair amount of tension whenever the characters were going to bed. They threw in some video editing to speed up their sleeping with a time lapse and a clock counter to let you know what time it was. Whenever the time lapse stopped it meant something was captured on camera and you were going to see it. That was where the movie scares were, but not jump out of your seat scares, just nervous tension from thinking “Oh geez, what’s going to happen this time?”
So the movie itself wasn’t the fright-fest that I was hoping for, but it did have some psychological after effects. I think because of the reality style filming and the lack of absurd CGI effects, it made it seem a little more real and could make your own mind start to hear or see things in the dark. I had some residual effects for the first night and chose to turn on the downstairs light instead of navigating swiftly through the dark as I usually do. But past that, it didn’t do much. Since the movie features many creaks and noises, and many houses have their own natural noises that happen on their own, you can see how some people could get a little freaked out and now think that they might have a little paranormal activity of their own going on in their own homes.
No matter how you cut it or how scary you think the movie is, “Paranormal Activity” is going to be considered a monumental success. It has overcome the original hand-held camera horror movie success “The Blair Witch Project” as being the most profitable movie ever made. This was achieved partly due to it’s minuscule budget needed to get a nice video camera and a few actors, and also partly due to it’s amazing advertising campaign that left people foaming at the mouth to see it after telling them they couldn’t. I doubt this method could have been pulled off with a movie in a different genre because horror is special.
People love to be scared. They love that rush. I don’t psychologically know why, but they do. Dangling the chance for a terrifying experience in front of their faces is something that horror fans can’t resist. Now the top two most profitable movies ever are both independently made horror films. Hopefully Hollywood will get the message and stop paying Michael Bay absurd amounts of money to make utterly horrible movies like “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”. I mean what happened there? The first Transformers movie was nowhere near that bad. Anyway, keep at it movie people. The public wants the best scares you can throw at them and are willing to pay to see them.