Paranormal Activity 4

thisweekindiscs

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. The Woodsman and the Rain (UK) A small mountain town in Japan is invaded by a film production crew making a zombie movie, but few of the locals seem all that interested. Katsu (Koji Yakusho), an older lumberjack, takes issue with their presence but soon comes to befriend the inexperienced director. The two men learn from each other This is a sweet and unassuming little film that manages laughs alongside a small amount of light drama. The townspeople’s reaction to the film crew ranges from indifference to awe, and it’s a joy seeing Yakusho in a fun, lightweight role. His enthusiasm once he joins the crew is infectious and clear on his face, and it’s an expression anyone who loves movies has shared more than once. Also available on Blu-ray. [Extras: Deleted scenes, interviews, trailers] *NOTE: This is a UK region 2 release meaning US residents will need a region free player to watch.*

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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 […]

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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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The producers behind the Paranormal Activity franchise have created a lucrative money-making machine based solely on giving us faux found footage of ghosts making various bits of technology go glitchy every October. The first trailer for directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s next installment in the series revealed a film that was going to inch along the loose story Paranormal Activity has been telling, that was going to stick to its web cam shots of flickering lights aesthetic, and that was going to add video chatting to the mix of technological things that ghosts like to mess with. Well, there’s plenty of time before Paranormal Activity 4’s October 21 release, so the studio has saw fit to put out a second preview for the film, and this one adds yet another high tech gadget to the spine-chilling mix. Gasp in white-knuckled terror as you take in the horrific results of just what happens when ghostly spirits take over the operations of your living room’s Xbox Kinect. Oh, the humanity!

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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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Today is a great day for fans of lights going on and off and stationary webcam footage, for today is the day that the trailer for the new Paranormal Activity has dropped. If you remember, last year, directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman went retro and took the series back to the boxy camcorder days of the ’80s, which was a fun way to add some zest to the experience of thinking that you might have seen something move over there in the background for a minute, but then it was gone. Well, this year they’re back in the saddle, directing Paranormal Activity 4, and it turns out they’ve found yet another way to spice up amateur looking footage that leads up to a figure standing behind the main character and then a fade to black: they’ve added video chat. Yes, Paranormal Activity 4 takes the story of haunted sisters Kristi and Katie and brings it back into today’s world. This time around, the remaining family members seem to have moved next door to a teenage girl or something, and also there’s a kid who has electro powers like Powder…but none of that is really important. The Paranormal Activity movies aren’t so much traditional storytelling as they are the crafting of an experience. It’s all about sitting on the edge of your seat, never knowing when something freaky is going to happen next, and then screaming your lungs out when something suddenly does.

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Just days after Paramount announced that they’re (shockingly!) going ahead with a fourth installment in their runaway scare-em-up success Paranormal Activity franchise comes word that Paranormal Activity 3 co-directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman are back on board to direct. The pair took on PA3 after the success of their “documentary” Catfish, and while that film has certainly had its own share of speculation as to its veracity, the pair’s ability to present fiction as fact (or vice versa) helped make the third Paranormal Activity the best (and most inventive) yet. The fourth film is already slated to hit theaters on October 19, 2012, continuing the franchise’s established tradition of a pre-Halloween opening (the first film was the only one to not occupy a similar release date), effectively stealing the thunder of the Saw franchise now and forever. Our pals over at /Film took this opportunity to speculate about what the next Paranormal Activity would entail, positing that “the story of Paranormal Activity 4 will likely go one of two ways. Either it can go back in the past and show why Katie and Kristi’s grandmother got all wacky or it can jump ahead (something I felt the third film was lacking) and explain what is going on with the now possessed Katie and her nephew, who she’s kidnapped from her dead sister.” Those ideas just got my gears turning for what I want to see in the next installment.

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Recently, Paramount sent around one of those pat-yourself-on-the-back sorts of press releases announcing that they made more money worldwide than any other studio last year. Of course, not one to dwell too long in the past, they also managed to slip in a little paragraph bragging about how good their upcoming 2012 looks as well: “In 2012, Paramount’s release slate highlights include World War Z, a zombie thriller starring Brad Pitt and directed by Marc Forster, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the next installment in the global franchise starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Channing Tatum, a new chapter in the Paranormal Activity franchise, and The Dictator, starring Sacha Baron Cohen and directed by Larry Charles, the team behind Borat.” The interesting part of this paragraph is that, in addition to mentioning a bunch of high profile projects that we already knew about, the studio is also claiming that they have another Paranormal Activity movie in the works, which is news. All of these other movies are in various stages of post-production, but Paranormal Activity 4 is naught but a glimmer in some profit-minded executive’s eye.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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