Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Problem with Paranormal Activity

I first want to state that I am not saying that I hated Paranormal Activity, in fact, I loved it so much that I saw it three other times after I saw the advanced screening of it. The title is in reference to the amount of people that are saying how boring it is, how awful it was and the general disliking of it and what I think is the problem. Before the movie was theatrically released, there were talks all around film critics and festivals that there was a movie that was supposed to real footage of paranormal activity, or at least, based on real footage. By this time, all we had to base our ideas on was a brief story synopsis and a cook trailer that had some pretty scary scenes… and for the test audiences all they had was nothing to base opinions on except for a setup.

When the critics and the audiences got done seeing it they loved it, they raved about it, hell, they awarded it with high ratings because their expectations were at 0 because there was no hype. Then, after everybody got back home they wanted this movie to be theatrically released so that other people can enjoy it as much as them without knowing that by this time… the hype for this movie was increasing significantly. Commercials started airing that over blew the hype, and phrases like “demand it,” were making audiences even more psyched to see it. Because of all this hype, people that didn’t see it had HUGE expectations. I can’t blame the hypers because it was a good movie and I was one of the few people to see an advanced screening of it.

With the massive hype and all the critics praising the movie, audiences finally got a theatrical release of the film and they went in with the biggest expectations there was. They walked out of the movie disappointed. You can’t experience the true horror of this film now because of all the reviews and hype and the only way you can truly watch this movie with the same fright that people had is if you isolate yourself from all media or you go in with an open mind and don’t pay attention to the hype. The movie is slow paced, the frights gradually build up and that’s something that you have to understand.

The marketing for this movie was very genius and it really did help the sales but this is your classic case of good hype gone really bad. As for me, I loved it and I know I will buy it without having that same feeling of seeing this on the big screen, which was another problem. So many people downloaded the movie off their computers or got screeners of it that the scare effect wasn’t there. The only way to truly see this film is in a theater and on a big screen.

I know it’s kind of impossible for me to warn the masses of people already to go in with an open mind but this is just something that I thought I would do as an explanation as to why a lot of general audiences are laughing or disliking the movie all of a sudden.


Matt-suzaka said...

I wholeheartedly agree...I loved the film, but hype is a bit of a bitch when it comes to creating expectations that are unreal, or better yet, unfair.

I have grown the ability over the years to keep my own personal hype in check and I am rarely ever disappointed because of this...I wish others could do the same thing. People should know better.

Anonymous said...

I personally think it was a mix of both hype and the current jaded film goer. I think some folks bitch and whine just for the sake of doing so. And the internet only encourages such behavior as its easy to be a keyboard jockey from the confines of your home.

True, the overhype didn't match genuinely with some peoples expectations. But by and large, I think the overwhelming disappoint that some people express is rooted in people greatly disliking something just for the sake of doing so.

Thats my feelings anyways.

the jaded viewer said...

Totally agree too. Hype destroyed the movie but then again Blair Witch was the same way. I was so hyped I saw it first day and I loved it. Then I hyped everybody else.

Eviltwin said...

The trouble with many folks is that they are lazy film watchers. They expect everything to be handed to them openly and fairly, and when that expectation is not met they feel cheated and upset. Also, not to down anyone, but I have found that folks around here who tended not to like it have trouble with thier imaginations to begin with. Know what I mean?

Anonymous said...

I disagree, Eviltwin. You're a classic example of someone who has to belittle other peoples' opinions: you assume there is something "wrong" with the people who didn't like it. I have another theory: there is nothing "wrong" with them -- they just have an opinion different than yours. I work in Hollywood, and the #1 rule about this business: art is subjective.

If you take a script, and send it to ten talent agencies, some will love it, others will not. That same principle applies to releasing a film: some love it, others don't.

Anonymous said...

Back atcha and your passive-aggressive talk, Mr Hollywood. Opinions are subjective, as well. Sucks, right.

And to be fair Eviltwin *does* hit on the truth that some people go to the cinemas and see PA expecting something transcendent in the horror genre because of the hype.

Post a Comment