Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Paranormal Activity

Chiclayo’s CinePlanet has air conditioning and our apartment doesn’t so it seemed like a good idea to take in a movie last night. After checking the listings we decided on Paranormal Activity, which is a low-budget artsy film of the type that plays well to critics and bombs with the general public. To me the movie borrowed heavily from all aspects of ‘The Blair Witch Project’ of some years ago.

There were long lines at the ticket office, most of whom were there to see the premier of ‘Old Dogs’ with John Travolta and Robin Williams. Tickets to ‘Dogs’ were soon sold out so the overflow opted for Paranormal.

Paranormal is supposed to be a scary film and it does a decent job of consistently building and accumulating suspense from scene to scene, most of which involve a camera recording a sleeping couple while a demon raises havoc with them. Anyway, this is not a movie review, so on to my point.

The entertainment for me came not from the movie, but from the audience and one little girl. During the first ’sleeping couple’ scene the girl was heard to say to her mother that she didn’t like this and wanted to go. The audience chuckled. As the intensity of each scene increased, the girl continued whimpering in a successively louder voice…“Mama…let’s go!” The audience responded with loud and long collective laughter. It was at this point I realized the audience was using this girl to mask their tension. She allowed them to laugh through the scary parts, even while holding on tightly to chair arms and each other. I actually believe that at this point if she had not cried out the audience would have demanded she do so. During the climax scenes the girl was literally screaming…“Mama it’s coming again!” and pleading to go. Audience laughter drowned out the remaining dialogue.

Movie goers who watched Paranormal Activity last night owe a big thanks to a little girl who thought she was going to see a comedy with Travolta and Williams and ended up getting the crap scared out of her for an hour and a-half. She probably never even tasted her popcorn. I hope she slept well.



  1. That seems pretty horrible to me. I couldn't imagine forcing one of my kids to sit through a movie that was scaring them that badly. :(

  2. OK, I cannot take my husband to see that movie! :-)

    Seriously, that was not nice to force a child to watch a scary movie! not a good idea!