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items tagged with Paranormal Activity

Demonizing: "Paranormal Activity 2"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-10-24 20:30:46

Paranormal Activity 2PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2

Paranormal Activity 2, which serves as both sequel and prequel to last October’s low-rent horror smash, employs the same scare tactic that made its predecessor such a shivery good time: An unbroken, stationary, nighttime shot that we stare at for long seconds while waiting – and waiting – for an unseen demon to subtly (or not-so-subtly) announce its presence. The difference, though, is that instead of a nocturnal view of a young couple’s master bedroom, director Tod Williams’ follow-up gives us six camera setups of its type, each positioned in a different part of a sprawling California dwelling. You’d think this would result in six times the spooky fun, but sadly, Paranormal Activity 2 is only about one-sixth as scary as the original, and even that might be a generous estimate.


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(How) Freddy Got Fingered: “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Furry Vengeance”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2010-05-03 13:33:24

Jackie Earle Haley in A Nightmare on Elm StreetA NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET

Before its title card appears, director Samuel Bayer's reboot of A Nightmare on Elm Street opens -- as these things usually do -- with a dream sequence, in which a frightened, sleep-deprived teen finds himself face to face with the scarred and monstrous personage of Freddy Krueger. Granted, the murderous apparition with the razor-blade gloves and snappy sweater-and-hat combo, last seen in 2003's Elm Street/Friday the 13th mashup Freddy Vs. Jason, hasn't been away from cineplex screens for terribly long. But Freddy's arrival should still provide both a jolt and a kick, especially with the creepy, ferrety Jackie Earle Haley taking over the role from Robert Englund, whose initially horrifying figure in Wes Craven's low-rent classic descended into camp long before the series reached (what we incorrectly presumed was) its conclusion.
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All About Steve. And Alec.: Notes on the 2010 Academy Awards Telecast
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2010-03-08 19:26:14

Best Actress winner Sandra BullockAll told, I thought this year's Academy Awards telecast was awfully satisfying, and I'm not saying that because I predicted 18 out of 24 categories correctly.

Yup. 18 out of 24.

Tying my personal best.

And three of my incorrect guesses were in the short-film categories, where no one knows what the hell is going on.

But I digress.


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In Glourious Company: Mike Schulz’s 10 Most Enjoyable Movies of 2009
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Feature Stories

2010-01-04 12:00:00

Eli Roth and Brad Pitt in Inglourious BasterdsAs one calendar year ends and another begins, it feels like a good time to give thanks. And amidst the lame romantic comedies and thrill-less thrillers and unending stream of remakes, sequels, and - in the case of Rob Zombie's Halloween II - even the remake of a sequel, there was actually quite a lot that I was thankful for in the movie year of 2009.


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The Evil Dead and the Evil Dad: “Paranormal Activity” and “The Stepfather”
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2009-10-18 20:48:11

Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat in Paranormal ActivityPARANORMAL ACTIVITY

It's not often that you witness an image in a horror movie (or in any movie, really) that you instinctively recognize as iconic. The last one I can think of in the scare-flick genre would probably be Heather Donahue in The Blair Witch Project, with her wool cap, her nose running, and her mouth out of camera range as she videotapes a final, tearful apology. (Seeing that shot for the first time in 1999, you knew it was one that would endure - and be parodied ad nauseam.) But we now have a new addition to the Iconic Image Hall of Fame thanks to Paranormal Activity, which, like Blair Witch, was filmed on a shoestring budget, and which features a shot, like that of Donahue, that will no doubt be instantly identifiable for generations of horror-movie fans.


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