Paranormal Activity 2

We are now four installments into the Paranormal Activity series — five if you include the first spin-off, Tokyo Night — and the movies are starting to feel like episodes in a long-running TV show rather than a succession of film sequels with independently existing story arcs. As Adam noted in his review of Paranormal Activity 4, it’s like watching Lost, particularly in the later years when answers to mysteries were not only kept from fans but those mysteries were joined by new questions. With the latest film appearing to have the lowest reviews, CinemaScore and box office gross since the series began, will fans keep following the Paranormal Activity films until they get all the explanations they seek? Just as with a show that decreases in quality and increases in frustration (that’s not to necessarily mean Lost), I will likely keep with it out of curiosity. I can be obsessive and exhaustive in my curiosity at times, and if anything, Paranormal Activity 4 has actually piqued my interest more than the other films have, even if it’s just by introducing new characters and taking a leap forward in time, the latter leaving a large gap in our understanding of what’s going on. And I’m not alone. You can find people discussing and offering theories all over the web, including from people who admit the new movie is the worst of the bunch. To them, this is just a weak episode, something all TV shows have now and again and […]

read more...

Editor’s note: With Paranormal Activity 4 now officially released in theaters, here is a re-run of our Fantastic Fest review, originally published on September 27, 2012. Although the FF version was a work-in-progress, as far as we can tell the final cut is mostly the same save for a slight reordering of some scenes near the end. Another set of cameras and another hopeless family that can’t help themselves. They can’t rid themselves of a demonic presence that is purposefully in their home for a reason, nor can they keep from being compelled to record everything that happens. For a franchise that utilizes the “found footage” form of filmmaking, it still isn’t quite clear yet who has found all of this footage to show us, or why they’ve chosen to sift through two decades’ worth of recordings and cleanly edit it all together and make movies out of them. I gather I’m reading too much into this, but by this point I think I’m due an explanation. Paranormal Activity 4 takes place chronologically following the disappearance of Katie (Katie Featherston) and her nephew Hunter (Brady Allen) at the end of  Paranormal Activity 2, which actually took place before Paranormal Activity, except for the final five minutes, which take place after the events of Paranormal Activity, which started this whole train until we saw Paranormal Activity 3, which explained the origins of the hauntings and the commentary on home video paranormal voyeurism. Part 4 takes place five years after the events of […]

read more...

Drinking Games

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Paranormal Activity movies have been massive successes and helped propel the found footage genre into the mainstream. Whether or not you agree this is a good thing, you’re gonna have to brace yourself for a brand new movie of long home video camera shots when Paranormal Activity 4 comes out this week. In preparation for the new film, why not revisit the previous three movies on your choice of platform. To make things go a little more smoothly so you don’t feel the effects of repetition and bad horror movie characters, enjoy this drinking game with any of the films from the series..

read more...

I could probably make this review incredibly brief and make everyone happy. If you liked the first two films you’re likely to like the the third.

I wrote that review while waiting in the line for the men’s room.

Like Paranormal Activity 2, Paranormal Activity 3 is a prequel to its predecessor. It takes place in the month of September of 1988 when the two sisters of the first two films were little girls and the referenced beginning of their experiences with the invisible, kitchen furniture-hating demonic figure began. Seriously, this demon really hates kitchens. I think he hates everything but camcorders.

read more...

Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as TheManFromWaco andTeenWlf2 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the pair questions what separates the wheat from the shit when it comes to reboots, prequels and movies capitalizing on name recognition in order to get ahead in the marketing game. What makes a prequel great? How can a reboot really succeed?

read more...

This Week in Blu-ray

This week’s entry into the world of Blu-ray punditry is sponsored by the letter W, as in WTF. For those following along at home, that’s the internet acronym for “what the f**k?” It’s usually accompanied with a grammatically incorrect smattering of exclamation marks and a comment about how we should all start building an Ark. Quick, someone grab all of the typing cats. We wouldn’t want to lose those in the flood! Yes, this week is bringing about the apocalypse for plenty of reasons: horror movies that make me want to take a shotgun up the colon, dramedies that use David Bowie in strange ways, a Pam Anderson movie that doesn’t take place on a boat, the birth of internet porn and plenty of rape. WTF, indeed. Barb Wire This week’s big pick should be exemplary of the week as a whole. Because what kind of a week would lead me down the path of picking a mid-90s comic book adaptation starring a mostly nude Pamela Anderson — or more to the point, one of the worst movies of all times or any times, including future times. In a sea of releases, there wasn’t much to choose from, so why shouldn’t you head over to your local retailer’s bargain bin (where you’ll undoubtedly already find this gem) and pick up a movie. On your way home, you can go get a barb wire tattoo around your arm and a tramp-stamp on your lower back. It’s classy all the way, this […]

read more...

This Week in DVD

The FSR family is many things. Knowledgeable, opinionated, 99% white males… But the best thing about the collective writers here is their ability to turn my usual grinch-like personality into one that embraces the spirit of giving. I’ve given pickup lines to Robert Fure and written school papers for Landon Palmer. I’ve bought alcohol for Jack Giroux and comfortable shoes for Merrill Barr. I even gave Neil Miller the idea of actually turning his “weekly” Blu-ray column into a weekly Blu-ray column. But now I’m finally getting something in return. I’ve stolen Miller’s brand new “PICK OF THE WEEK” concept as well as his idea of including titles I haven’t seen yet but still have an opinion about. Presumptuous? Probably. But you can handle it. If you can’t, feel free to give Cole Abaius a pruning with a pair of rusty shears. Wild Target Emily Blunt stars as a petty thief who rips off the wrong guy (Rupert Everett) and finds herself targeted for murder. The hitman (Bill Nighy) hired to kill her falls for her quirky criminal tendencies instead, and soon the two are on the run alongside a hapless ginger (Rupert Grint). This is lightweight entertainment to be sure and isn’t necessarily worth a purchase, but it’s still a lot of fun and doesn’t deserve to get lost in the DVD shuffle. It has a loose and casual spirit, Blunt and Grint get to cut loose and act zany, and Nighy is just fantastic as the aged hitman […]

read more...

In most years of film one can logically find a common theme amongst a decent number of pictures to apply a label that sort of embodies what that year may represent in hindsight. Such as, the year of the Animated Film if a bunch of strong animated pictures were released, or the year of Jude Law if Jude Law did stuff, or the year of the R-Rated sex comedy if there were a bunch of films that made you remember you’re comically bad at sex.

The theme is usually something very superficial and easy to locate, unlike certain things difficult to locate that make you comically bad at sex. However, I’m somewhat of an introspective individual. I don’t like to buy into simply what’s on the surface. I like things to mean more. I like the potential of finding something connective between some generally unrelated material.

Basically what I’m saying is I like to make shit up for the purpose of entertaining journalism. Yet, despite my reaching deep into the abyss of irrelevance I have come back with the knowledge that a handful of pictures from 2010 contain something substantial about them, or contained within them that does work metaphorically as strong advice about particular relationship situations, or sexual inadequacies or troubles.

The fact that I found them in films ranging from children’s fare to horror pictures obviously says more about the film industry than my obsession with finding sex in everything.

read more...

The Reject Report

Just as expected, DreamWorks Animation proved once again they are a force to be reckoned with in the world of animated feature films. Their latest outing, Megamind, led the charge this weekend, the largest opening weekend to the Fall movie season in box office history. When compared to other films in the DreamWorks Animation camp, Megamind topped the openings of such massive successes as the first Shrek, Madagascar, and How to Train Your Dragon. When also comparing these opening numbers, it seems a fairly safe bet that Megamind will both end up topping out around $200 million domestic and garner a sequel in the coming years.

read more...

The Reject Report

It wasn’t exactly a return to the form of its youth, but the Saw franchise was able to come back to the top of the box office this weekend. The third lowest opening in the series’ history (ahead of the first film’s $18.2-million opening and last year’s $14.1-million opening for Saw VI), Saw 3D was able to pull in its reported $20-million budget and then some. On top of the $22.5 million it made over the weekend, it was able to pull in an addition $1.5 million in late night ticket sales from Thursday. The idea of Saw 3D being the finale of the franchise might be flying out the window quicker than a projectile buzzsaw, and Lionsgate will surely be analyzing in the coming days and weeks whether they want to jump back in for Halloween 2011.

read more...

The Reject Report

As Admiral Ackbar so phlegmingly exclaimed, “It’s a trap!” You sit down in your seat at the movie theater to see the latest (last?) Saw film, you put on your 3D glasses, this triggers a wire to pull which drops a marble down a shoot which knocks over a pin which falls onto a switch which turns some gears which opens a doorway which allows a bowling ball to roll out which bumps into and starts a lawn mower which blows up and pops a balloon which causes a chicken to lay an egg which turns some more gears which opens Mikey’s front gate which turns some levers which opens a trap door which drops millions upon millions of dollars into Lionsgate’s pockets. That’s how that works. At least, I think it’s how it works. Maybe I shouldn’t be covering box office reports.

read more...

The Reject Report

Two weekends in a row. Two cultural phenomena (as well as entries into a highly successful franchise) exploding into theaters. After Jackass 3-D broke October records last weekend, you might have thought movie goers would take a break, kick back as the weather gets cooler, and maybe carve out a jack-o-lantern. Nonsense, says the pool cleaner-hating demon! Get those people into theaters and let them feel the terror all for themselves. That’s precisely what millions upon millions of people did this weekend, as Paranormal Activity 2 opened to the fifth highest October opening in history. It now also holds the highest October opening for a horror film, beating out the $39.1 million The Grudge opened to in 2004. With a budget of only $3 million, you can be certain Paramount will be green lighting Paranormal Activity 3 in a matter of minutes.

read more...

The Week That Was

Like its many kindred frames throughout the rest of the year, this week was filled with distractions for yours truly. First there was the launching of a new “lifestyle” site called Badass Digest, the new home of Devin Faraci (of CHUD.com fame). For weeks, many of us have been patiently waiting to see where he would end up. Now we see that he’s teamed up with Tim League and the Drafthouse Empire, where he will now begin embracing life as a blogger. The site has been a time sucking venture around Reject HQ, as we can’t keep our eyes off of it. Good on ya, Mr. Faraci. Your competitive strategies are working like a charm.

read more...

Sequels are rough waters to navigate. Ideally they need to accomplish two things: enhance, expand, and support the world of the original and still stand on its own as an individual film. If you’ve ever seen a sequel that does too much of the former without any attempt at the latter, you get a pandering sequel that feels completely unnecessary; a la The Ring 2. If the movie missteps in the opposite direction, the sequel will seem so severed from the original and you will be left wondering why it bears the same name; the woe bore by the likes of 30 Days of Night: Dark Days. Whether you loved, loathed, or were indifferent towards the first Paranormal Activity, it’s hard to deny that its follow-up succeeds in both criteria.

read more...

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr puts on his ghostbusting gear to take on the two big spiritual flicks in the theaters. He suffers through a tsunami in Hereafter and struggles even more to get through Clint Eastwood’s latest Oscar-bait flick. Then he sets up a stationary video camera to capture any strange goings-on while he sleeps. He plans to sell the film to Paramount as Paranormal Activity 3: More Shots of Nothing Happening.

read more...

Paranormal Activity 2

The line forming for Paranormal Activity 2 at the major mega-multi-plex here (in a town that doesn’t usually see lines form around the corner at the plexes) was massive. There were tons of people all clamoring to get inside the dark theater and be scared all over again. The franchise looks like it’s headed for even more films (we await the announcement of a 3rd, 4th, and 5th film any day now), but all that matters right now is whether or not you fell in love with it. Did you like it as much as the first? More? Were you disappointed or did your expectations find themselves being dragged down the stairs and right out the front door?

read more...

The Reject Report

The found footage demons have returned to the big screen, but they’re gonna have some poo jokes and 3-D beehive tether balls to contend with at the box office this weekend. The sequel to 2009’s surprise hit, Paranormal Activity, hits this weekend, but it’s placement at the top of the charts is not a forgone conclusion. A little film called Jackass 3-D is still riding strong in the wake of its record breaking weekend. Which of these “documentary” titles will end up on top? We’re not 100% sure, but, if we were the demon, we’d be watching out for flying feces.

read more...

Boiling Point

There was a time when viewing trailers brought great joy into my life. I was a trailer whore. I’d watch them all the time. What better way to kill a few minutes than to get a brief glimpse of what was coming to theaters over the next few weeks. Then, things changed. It wasn’t me, trailers, it was you. You got selfish. You let yourself go. I don’t even recognize you anymore. The trailer game has seemingly changed over the years, in two big ways, both of which I find disagreeable to say the least. Perhaps this first aspect should be for a separate column, but trailers give away far too much. Trimming it down could definitely remove some of this excess information. I mean, who really wants to know who lives and dies before they walk into the movie? Who wants to know every little detail? The most recent trailer for Paranormal Activity 2 straight up shows a freaking ghost in it. Like, legitimately, just a scene of a ghost standing behind someone. Why would you put that in the trailer?

read more...

We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them by now. Strange, we know. Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of September searching EBSCO Host, making phone calls to important producers and making fan trailers out of peanut butter and marshmallows to make sure that you, dear reader, are in the know about what’s coming out in October. Wondering why it’s a few days late? Because we don’t run it until it’s perfect. Or something. Anyway, just check out the movies to see what you wanna see.

read more...

As you may have noticed by now, we are at Fantastic Fest 2010 covering the most fierce genre festival experience this side of the Atlantic Ocean. During a screening last night though, our managing editor Cole Abaius was minding his own business, about to partake in a few adult beverages and a movie with at least one castration scene, when an Alamo Drafthouse waiter delivered unto him a mysterious package from an address in New Hampshire. Inside was a flash drive containing a video that clearly has something to do with Paranormal Activity 2. It features a baby walking backwards down a set of stairs and of course, at least one little surprise. It’s pretty creepy, especially if you combine it with some of the other videos that showed up on the doorsteps of our friends at Bloody Disgusting, UGO and others. (The UGO guys found a package in their hotel room at Fantastic Fest. That’s creepy enough, right there.) Check out our exclusive prize after the jump.

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3