If it’s Halloween, then it must be time for a new Paranormal Activity movie! In the tradition of the Saw films, the Paranormal fracnhise releases yet again another sequel to coincide with the freaky holiday in the hopes that audiences looking to be spooked and scared out of their seats will attend the festivities.
What It’s About
The Paranormal Activity series began with a very tiny-budgeted (around $10, 000) 2007 film by writer/director Oren Peli that gained notoriety when Steven Spielberg first had a look at it and hyped its appeal. The movie sparked a unique demand among the public to get the film to screen in their respective cities and had to vote online to make it happen. When it hit theaters during the Halloween season of 2009, Paramount Pictures (who became the distributor) found a massive hit on their hands when the movie grossed over $100 million.
Similar in tradition to the POV camera perspective found in the 1999 hit The Blair Witch Project (which also benefitted from a clever marketing campaign), the film focuses on a married couple named Katie and Micah. After some strange noises and incidences in their household, Micah begins videotaping the occurences and all evidence points to an unseen entity meaning to do the couple harm as the activity escalates into dangerous repercussions.
Katie drops hints that her past also contains some peculiar connections to what is happening now and when it’s all said and done, she becomes possessed by the entity, murders her husband and leaves the house (the original ending of her being gunned down by cops was changed on Spielberg’s recommendation). Sensing the potential for continued profit and a long-running story/mythology, Paramoung quickly ordered a sequel for 2010.
Paranormal Activity 2 decides to jump back in time somewhat to show us Katie’s sister Kristi and her family, terrorized by what is suggested as the same malevolent force in the original film. The events are told mostly through the cameras of the security system of their household. The sequel reveals that the force is a ancient demon that is targeting Krisi’s newborn son Hunter.
Kristi’s step-daughter finds a way to deflect the demon’s focus by shunting it toward Katie instead (leading into the events of the original film), but the move backfires when a blood-soaked and possessed Katie shows up at the house after murdering Micah and proceeds to kill her sister Kristi (along with her brother-in-law) and take Hunter away into the night.
2011’s Paranormal Activity 3 jumps even further back in time by exploring VHS videotape footage that’s been stored in Kristi’s basement and discovered by the sisters. Shot by the sisters’ stepfather fifteen years before, the third film depicts how the entity started with the family as an imaginary childhood friend of Kristi and wound up killing the girls’ mother and stepfather, thanks in no small part to their grandmother who belongs to a coven that work alongside the force and are trying to find it a male target.
The movie ends with Katie and Kristi in the care of the grandmother, seemingly brain-washed to forget the events ever took place. All this leads to 2012’s Paranormal Activity 4 which takes place five years after the conclusion of the second film. Told primarily through the cameras placed in computer screens and mobile phones, a mother and daughter begin noticing weird occurrences when a woman named Katie and her son Robbie (formerly known as Hunter) move into the neighborhood.
Returning to direct Paranormal Activity 4 is Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman after scoring well with the third film and the script is penned once again by Christopher Landon, who has thus far handled each story with the sequel films. Paranormal Activity 4 is playing at Cineplex Odeon First Markham Place Cinemas for local Markham residents and is rated 14A for coarse language and disturbing content.
EOne Entertainment releases a new film based on the Alex Cross detective character from best-selling author James Patterson. The role was originally played by Morgan Freeman twice in Kiss The Girls and Along Came A Spider, but now has been taken over surprisingly by comedian actor Tyler Perry. The choice is intriguing considering Perry`s history in the comedy genre and now starring in a very dark film with a complex role.
His adversary comes in the form of a physically transformed Matthew Fox (Lost) who plays the psychotic serial killer that Cross is tracking down after the murder of someone close to him. Handling the directing duties is Rob Cohen, known best for simple-minded action movies like The Fast & The Furious and xXx.
Alex Cross is playing at Cineplex Odeon First Markham Place Cinemas for local Markham residents and is rated 14A for graphic violence, disturbing content and coarse language.