Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

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Michael
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 12:09 pm

Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#1 Post by Michael » Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:18 pm

With all the hype surrounding Paranormal Activity escalating lately, I'm surprised there is no mention of that film on here. I love a good haunted-house-ghost-story movie. Anyone seen this?

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mfunk9786
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#2 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:47 pm

It just opened in the Philadelphia area today (at The Bridge by UPenn and the King of Prussia 16) so the missus and I will be seeing it Sunday night, and I'm sure you'll get a report one way or another. I'm excited - for once a marketing campaign has managed to get me revved up about a film that I know absolutely nothing about. And I'm keeping myself in the dark on it as much as I can. It worked for The Ring, which I saw no ads for - it managed to make me literally scream at one point as a result. I was totally spooked.

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swo17
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#3 Post by swo17 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:54 pm

Ruh roh.
IMDb trivia wrote:The original ending was changed at the suggestion of director Steven Spielberg.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#4 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:00 pm

Ruh roh indeed! But maybe it'll be like when Kevin Smith was discouraged from his "Spike Lee" Clerks ending of having Dante shot by a burglar (that was actually still in the film when it screened at Sundance).

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swo17
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#5 Post by swo17 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:12 pm

Whatever it is, just make sure you bring a box of Kleenex with you to the theater!

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mfunk9786
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#6 Post by mfunk9786 » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:20 pm

If it's anything like the ending of The Terminal, I'm going to track Spielberg down so I can grab him by his neck and ask for my money back.

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oldsheperd
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#7 Post by oldsheperd » Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:53 pm

The paranormal activity is actually Oskar Schindler who will weep about how many more people he could have saved and then everyone will be friends and Schindler will go back to his home planet with some Reese's Pieces.

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domino harvey
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#8 Post by domino harvey » Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:49 pm

Maybe this is Poltergeist-era Spielberg fiddling though

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oldsheperd
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#9 Post by oldsheperd » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:36 pm

You mean like f%cking with Tobe Hooper so it no longer becomes a Tobe Hooper film?

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domino harvey
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#10 Post by domino harvey » Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:48 pm

I just read the Wikipedia entry and uh, uh, more like Amistad Spielberg

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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#11 Post by royalton » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:11 am

It's simultaneously overrated and underrated - people call it either the scariest thing since The Haunting or nothing at all, and it's neither. It's not incredible, not the scariest film ever, but it's a good scary movie. I think it's best seen at home, alone, though. The audience experience is fabulous, and everyone should have that, but every nuance of the whole "home invasion" is much more real and unsettling when you come home and are in your own space. I'm going to see what becomes of my longer write-up of it before I put it here. I do think the cuts made to make the film leaner and trimmer probably didn't help; they could've done even more with the sense of dread that permeates the film, made it longer and more intense.
SpoilerShow
I also felt they should've done more with the attic, as it was clearly the demon's inner sanctum and every time things went down over there my heart stopped.
There were other endings (be warned, SPOILER heavy) and I think they'd be far preferable than the silly CGI bit at the end, which damages the film as a whole. I particularly would've approved of the one with
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Katie sitting in the bedroom for days, though the police showing up is a bit much.
All in all, I think I preferred [REC] for a totally immersive, visceral experience, but that's my gut reaction - I have to go again, as well as, I think, see the film in a more proper, quiet setting.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#12 Post by mfunk9786 » Sun Oct 11, 2009 5:37 pm

Paranormal Activity set a new all-time weekend gross record for a film playing at under 200 screens, surpassing Platoon. Shit, I hope I can get a ticket tonight.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#13 Post by mfunk9786 » Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:10 pm

My report, in short:

I thought it was a big snooze and the little lady was way more tense/frightened than she admitted once the credits rolled. One trashy young woman left halfway through and said loudly, in a ladylike tone, "Fuck this shit, it's fuckin' borin'! Let's go!" and proceeded to shout "BOO!" loudly to try to sarcastically startle some onlookers before exiting the theater. As if the filmmaker was present to hear her criticism and take it into account.

I certainly admire the filmmaker, though, as he was able to accomplish neat haunted house effects on zero budget. And the acting was far from cringe-worthy - despite having little to do but whine at each other, the leads do an admirable job throughout and never veer too far into over-the-top Blair Witch territory. I just wish it were scary, all the actual startling moments
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come at night, when they're expected to - and then once they're over and the sun comes up, the movie throws us back into more whining.
I actually thought that the ending, despite the Spielberg influence, was the most effective moment in the film.

I certainly wouldn't discourage anyone from seeing this, and I admire those who made it - but its tricks didn't work on me psychologically like they were supposed to, and as a result, the whole thing was a wash. I'd still like to find out how the hell they did that, though, on numerous occasions throughout the film, and am a bit in awe of it from a technical standpoint.

Spoiler alert: here's an article on the original endings of the film, which is making me pretty agitated with the Spielberg ending despite my initial satisfaction with it.

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Marcel Gioberti
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#14 Post by Marcel Gioberti » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:47 am

The comparisons to Blair Witch Project seem a propos, which means I'll probably rent this one in about three years.

I watched Blair Witch at the movie theater and it was one of the most memorably garbage experiences in my movie-going life. ](*,)

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Joe Buck
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#15 Post by Joe Buck » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:48 pm

Saw this yesterday at my wife's insistance. It was just ok. Not as great as I was lead to believe. Would have preferred something intellectual to interest me, like some kind of background story to attempt to explain what was going on. All we get is a MacGuffin or two that go nowhere. Otherwise, it's just a bunch of spooky noises. Meh.

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domino harvey
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#16 Post by domino harvey » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:13 pm

This was the first movie to ever beat a Sawject on opening weekend-- and it was playing in about half as many theatres too. Maybe this will be the film that stops the cinematic Bataan March of the Saw franchise

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manicsounds
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#17 Post by manicsounds » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:56 pm

Naw, it just means that starting from SAW VII, they will start filming in CC-Camera / POV-style

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Michael
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Re: Paranormal Activity (Oren Peli, 2007)

#18 Post by Michael » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:14 am

I also saw it and ended up reacting "That's it?". I expected to be scared out of my wits but I wasn't. A creepy moment here and there. The final scenes of [REC] are a lot scarier than all the frames PA put together. But I'm thrilled about PA being such low-budget ($11,000!) garnering so much acclaim and cash. Anything is possible.

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