I was watching Paranormal Activity last night, for the first time since it was released. It still scared me, and is one of the few movies that does so. I watched with my eight-year-old, and maybe I should add that you shouldn’t judge. But maybe you should? I don’t know. She’s fine with it. At that age mortality isn’t a real thing. She loves horror movies. Except for Coraline. Both kids are terrified of Coraline. Which…. let’s not think too deeply.
Anyway, she wasn’t scared and I was, and I was trying to figure out why. Then she said, “I just hope this guy dies. The worst thing about this movie is the boyfriend.” And I realized she was right – it’s less the demon that’s terrifying, than the guy she sleeps next to, who insists on waking the monster up, with absolutely no respect for his girlfriend’s feelings. So the movie works on those two really nice levels: the demon, that has followed her around her whole life, and that waits for her vulnerabilities, and the boyfriend, who basically does the same thing. And they’re both in that bed. And she can’t get away. Because the problem that draws them comes from within.
It’s a logical extension of “Blair Witch,” where that third dumb friend throws the map away. Why did he do that!?!?!
We then watched the trailer for “The Conjuring,” the logical progression of “Paranormal Activity” where the fun idea that ghosts-are-people-but-demons-are-monsters gets nice traction.