Paranormal Activity 3

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 […]

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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..

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31 Days of Horror - October 2011

They said it couldn’t be done. A fifth year of 31 Days of Horror? 31 more terror, gore and shower scene-filled movies worth highlighting? But Rejects always say die and never back away from a challenge (unless you count that time Kate Erbland was challenged to sit next to Allison Loring for Paranormal Activity 4), so we’ve rounded up the horror fans among us and put together another month’s worth of genre fun. Enjoy! Synopsis: Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2 showed us terrifying glimpses into the lives of adult Katie (Katie Featherston) and Kristi (Sprague Grayden) and the strange activity that seemed to surround them. But what happened to these two sisters that caused this activity to follow them into their adult lives and leave them with no memory of what happened to them as children? Paranormal Activity 3 gives audiences a glimpse into that backstory of what may have happened to the girls when they were younger that caused or led to the unfortunate incidents that haunted their adult lives.

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While last year’s Paranormal Activity 3 injected the hit franchise with some much-needed style and skill, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman‘s first big-time feature was chided for releasing some trailer that, how do we say, featured almost nothing but footage that wasn’t in the film film? No matter really, as the final result was the best in the series and still pulled off more than a few inventive scares (come on, you know that kitchen gag was aces), but such a track record certainly gives us pause when it comes to any new video footage from Joost and Schulman’s upcoming Paranormal Activity 4. This new teaser is packed with some very standard scares – faces in the dark, banging doors, flashing lights – and while that may be a bit boring and expected, it does mean that we most likely aren’t getting teased with very specific footage we won’t see in the final product. After all, jump scares are a dime a dozen. Check out the latest teaser trailer for Paranormal Activity 4 after the break.

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray may be coming to you a few days later than usual, but fear not, as it was worth the wait. Fox and MGM decided to drop a number of great films on me at the last minute, meaning long hours of pouring over special features, drinking heavily and ultimately turning myself into a late-1970s Woody Allen character by the end. It was all worth it, as you’re about to experience 2500 words or so of the most full edition of this column we’ve seen in a long time. Plenty of unsung heroes of 2011, classics of yesteryear and boxing robots to go around. Also, Rob Hunter stops by for some cross-column reviewing with Rebecca. 50/50 In a week that will see the release of a bevy of classics coming to Blu-ray for the very first time, it would be a crime to overlook one of 2011′s most heartfelt works, complete with some ranged performances from the likes of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Bryce Dallas Howard. Jonathan Levine (The Wackness), working from a script by Will Reiser based on a true story, tells the tale of Adam, a 27-year old guy who gets diagnosed with spinal cancer. Dealing with his overbearing friends, his smothering mother and a relationship that hangs on the edge, Adam must find a way to not only beat cancer, but all the situational drama it’s caused between him and those he cares about most. It’s funny, touching and full of memorable performances. […]

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This Week in DVD

Welcome to This Week in DVD! Lots of titles hitting shelves today, and we’re covering nineteen of them below. High profiles like Real Steel and Paranormal Activity 3 are releasing alongside indies like The Woman and Beware the Gonzo. There’s also several older titles worth checking out including Punishment Park, The Arena with Pam Grier and a Criterion release of Godzilla. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Whistleblower A female cop (Rachel Weisz) from the Midwest takes a temporary but high paid job as a UN peacekeeper in Bosnia and discovers despicable crimes and criminals in her midst. Her instinct as a cop is to help people and bring the guilty to justice, but the systematic corruption may be too widespread and unbeatable. Weisz gives a strong and emotional performance, and the film pulls no punches in its exploration of the sex trafficking trade that exists in Bosnia (and around the world). It manages to be both powerful and suspenseful too while never feeling the need to glamorize or Hollywood-ize the story. This isn’t the sexiest release of the week and there are some better films below, but it’s an important and well made movie with a message worth sharing.

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The Best Movie Trailers of 2011

They say it’s hard to judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to world of cinema and movie marketing (and the plethora of films that hit theaters each weekend), it’s hard not to use a film’s three-minute long trailer to judge whether or not it will be something you’ll be interested in seeing (and with movie prices on the up and up, it’s hard to go in blind these days). The illustrious Jack Giroux and Allison Loring rounded up the top 11 trailers released over the past year. They’re both for films that came out in 2011 and either lived up to or fell short of their promise and for films due to be released next year that have begun teasing us early. Plus a few honorable mentions because Jack and I aren’t super great at math (we’re writers, and I’m pretty sure you can only be good at one or the other). From horror to action to comedy (and much discussion about the merits of underwear – you’ll see), our picks spanned the genres proving that it does not matter what type of film you are promoting, just whether or not you are able to grab people’s attention. Listed in no particular order, let us know in the comments if you agree, disagree or if there was a trailer you loved that we missed on our list.

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The Reject Report

There are only a few proven constants in the known universe. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, mixing Pop Rocks and Pepsi in your stomach will cause you to burst from the inside out (actually, this one hasn’t been proven), and the Twilight movies make a crap ton of money. And here we are again, ladies and germs, at the period of the box office year when Twi-hards feast their ever-loving eyes on yet another one. But this isn’t just another Twilight movie. This is the beginning of the end, the first of a two-parter that finishes off the franchise for good. Or, at least, until they reboot. I’m guessing it’ll make some dough this weekend. Aren’t you? It’s the Reject Report, and teen angst is eternal. At least, that’s what teens tell me.

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The Reject Report

What? Tintin? I know what you’re thinking. “I know we had Daylight Saving Time this morning, Jeremy, but you’re taking this “time travel” business a little too far, aren’t you?” You’ve probably notice we’re still at the beginning of November and haven’t been transported magically to December 21st when The Adventures of Tintin gets its US release, and you’d be both observant and right. However, Tintin, world figure that he is, got his release in several foreign markets on October 26th-28th. The ignorant American that I am didn’t bother to address this until now. Well, here you go, foreign markets. It’s your day to shine. The Adventures of Tintin has already pulled in $125.3m in foreign territories, pretty much guaranteeing its worldwide success well before its North American release. The film is already generated income from over 5000 locations in 21 foreign markets, but most of its dollars have come from the United Kingdom and France so far. It made $21 million from France last weekend and $10.9m from the UK. Spain and Germany were also big markets for the film, pulling over $10m from the locations combined.

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The Reject Report

Yes, we know. It’s a little early to be celebrating Christmas already. It’s actually a lot early to be celebrating Christmas, but what’s good enough for the weekend box office is good enough for the Reject Report. There is a Christmas movie hitting this weekend, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, and it’ll be looking to take dollars and laughs away from the other new release, Tower Heist. As much as we’d all like to see Brett Ratner go down in flames to the might of Harold & Kumar, that outcome might not be so foregone. Doesn’t matter to our Christmas spirit, though. We’ll still be singing carols and hanging out underneath the mistletoe. Alone. Practicing on the back of our hands. Oh, right, the box office.

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The Reject Report

And we’re back. Three cups of coffee, and these boots are made for walking. Granted, the walking might be a little jittery. That’s what happens after you’ve gone through a whole pot of the magical, black stuff. It’s kind of like catnip for adult humans. And it all comes back full circle. The circle this week leads to Puss in Boots, that lovable side character from the Shrek films who’s finally getting his own animated adventure. He’s sure to take the grand ball of yarn this weekend, but he’ll have some stiff competition from the returning Paranormal Activity 3 and the triple threat himself, Justin Timberlake, finally getting his name above the title on an action/sci-fi/epic. It’s the Reject Report this week, and we’re seeing the bottom of the cup. Coffee coffee coffee.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we speak with Paranormal Activity 3 star Lauren Bittner, get some minute-by-minute screenwriting tips from “Something Startling Happens: The 120 Story Beats Every Writer Should Know” author Todd Klick, and we present a very special interview with Mr. Orson Welles (as played by an inebriated Geoff LaTulippe). At least 2/3rds of the show is a great idea. The rest is a genius idea that just might burn down the internet. Download This Episode

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The Reject Report

Just when you thought it was safe to station video cameras in an attempt to capture the nightly doings of some nefarious supernatural entity. Oh, those pesky ghosty things and their habits of turning innocent tea parties into screaming nightmares. That’s not based on first-hand experience, by the way. My tea party days are over. Luckily for Paramount, audiences were in the mood for chills this weekend, as Paranormal Activity 3 had a dump truck of cash backed up to its haunted house doors and unloaded. The third entry in the now-never-ending series not only trounced the competition and stunned box office analysts, its broke the records for both October opening weekend and Fall opening weekend. Both of those records were previously held by last year’s Jackass 3D, which debuted to $50.3m.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in a frilly lace cravat and some leather boots, grabs his sword and takes a trip to France to become a Musketeer. Unfortunately, he seems to be almost 400 years too late for those kinds of shenanigans. So he hops the English Channel to become a spy with MI-7. Of course, no one told him that MI-7 was actually nothing more than propaganda. So he heads back home for a good night’s sleep, and to make sure that happens, he videotapes himself throughout the house. While he doesn’t witness any paranormal activity, there are many unspeakable things that can be seen on them.

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The Reject Report

This Reject Report doesn’t stand over your bed for hours on end. It swing all the doors in your kitchen open violently. It doesn’t even knock your keys onto the floor in the middle of the night. It’s a much kinder, gentler Reject Report, one that brings you flowers and chicken noodle soup and Gatorade when you’re sick. Which, hey, if that’s your thing, you might not be seeing Paranormal Activity 3 this weekend, but you’ll be in the minority. That’s what Paramount is hoping here in its third run at the established franchise that is Paranormal Activity. It’s hoping to drive people to the cinemas then scare them witless, and it’ll more than likely succeed. There isn’t much competition to prove it wrong. The 18th crack at The Three Musketeers and the second crack at Johnny English sure won’t knock the activity off its pedestal. But let’s get into just how much money Paramount is looking at.

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Boiling Point

It’s October and that means one thing in Hollywood: not releasing horror movies. It’s become sort of a yearly tradition for me to bitch about the lack of horror movies released in the month of Halloween and so far, Hollywood hasn’t yet disappointed in disappointing me. People love Halloween, they love scary movies, and they love combining the two. During the month of October, more people than ever are interested in seeing scary flicks and having fun in a theater. You can look at positively mediocre movies, like most of the Saw franchise, Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies, and Paranormal Activity, that are released in October and make oodles of money — money they wouldn’t make at any other time. It’s sort of like when poker started appearing on television, everyone started buying poker sets. Poker movies started coming out. SyFy Channel and The Asylum make a living off of making rip-off movies that play around the release of huge movies, when people are most interested in that subject. If only there were a way to know when people would be interested in what…

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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.

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Remember the salad days, when commercials tried to tell us that Paranormal Activity was the scariest movie ever made? And remember when you finally saw the film, and it had one jump-scare, and that was it? Just me? Well, we can talk about that later. It was a bit of a no-brainer that Paranormal Activity would spawn a franchise – after famously being made on the cheap, and gathering serious word-0f-mouth buzz by way of the Internet (a sort of modern day The Blair Witch Project approach to viral techniques of marketing, paired with a sense of the secretive), Paramount would have been stupid to let the “found footage” smash hit go without pushing out a few more sequels. There was Paranormal Activity 2, which served as the chocolate wafers to the cookie cream that is the Oreo that is the Paranormal Activity franchise. That’s a yummy way of saying that the events of the first film fit into the middle of the second film, making it both a prequel and sequel. Clever! Now we get a real prequel, one that goes way back to the childhood of Katie and Kristi, the sisters at the center of the mystery. Check out the second trailer for Paranormal Activity 3 after the break, which expands on the first glimpses we got of the film from its earlier teaser, glimpses that show us that young Katie and Kristi were, well, pretty damn hard to handle.

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The Paranormal Activity franchise has been a big success by just about any measure. Both parts earned huge profits at the box office, and while they have issues there’s no denying both films delivered with some truly frightening scenes. The final twenty minutes of part one (seen above) are pretty damn terrifying. I can still hear Landon Palmer screaming in my ear… This series has quickly eclipsed the Saw films to become an annual Halloween event, and part three hits theaters this October. Original director Oren Peli is onboard as producer and the reins have been handed over to the duo behind last year’s faux-doc about online relationships, Catfish. Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman are making their narrative feature debut (technically speaking anyway) with what appears to be a prequel set in the 1980s. The two sisters, each of whom faced unseen tormentors in parts one and two, are now shown as young girls via home movies as they first come into contact with the paranormal entity that will eventually haunt them as adults. Check out the trailer below.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s like that time your boyfriend promised to call, but he didn’t. Then he called, like, way later and you still forgave him anyway because you love him. It’s exactly like that. Nathan Adams and Cole Abaius team up to handle the post this evening (hint: Nathan wrote the funny ones), and we lead off with some new pictures from The Daily Mail of Spider-Man swinging around in the air on wires. They mostly just look like Spider-Man swinging around in the air on wires, but I think that’s pretty cool because those last movies looked mostly like cartoon Spider-Man swinging around in the air on wires. If I wanted to see that I would just watch cartoons. I like that they’re making the effort of actually hauling some poor sap up there for practical effects.

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