Archive for ghosts

Insidious

Posted in Horror Cinema with tags , , , , , on December 23, 2011 by Cristina Blackwater

Insidious – 2011

plot: Saw franchise veterans James Wan and Leigh Whannell team with Paranormal Activity writer/director Oren Peli to give the familiar haunted house story an exciting new twist with this tale of a family that moves into an old house and begins to suspect they are under siege from otherworldly forces when their young son inexplicably falls into a deep coma. As devoted parents Josh (Patrick Wilson) and Renai (Rose Byrne) struggle in vain to uncover the root cause of their son’s condition, the stress of the situation gradually begins to take its toll on their once-strong relationship. Later, when darkness falls and specters appear to reach out for them from the shadows, the frightened parents realize they’re dealing with powers beyond human comprehension.

thank heaven we are almost at the end of tho-thousand-eleven. see? i even made it rhyme. why, you ask? well i don’t know about you but personally, with a very few exception, this year cinema has been mostly boring, and disappointing. i will not even say that it was bad, i’ll say it with the tone of a parent that just stares at you and silently shakes his head. no son, i’m not mad, it’s just that i am very disappointed. i expected better from you. i know you have potential. but as Mumford and Sons would say, sigh no more! today i bring you a flick that makes things a little bit better.

Insidious is a fun little (as in low-budget) indie gem that comes from the combined efforts of the creators of Saw and Paranormal Activity. At first glance we are presented the good ol’ haunted house formula, with a child who is all of a sudden inexplicably comatose, a mother who practically just starts crying and freaking out until the very last-minute, and a skeptical father who is all like, come on now, i’m not having any of this shit. the kid is pretty badass looking. look at that haircut! even mom and dad are intimidated.

so for a little bit we move into the familiar realm of the “oh look there’s a creepy shadow behind the bed, and gosh darn! who keeps moving my sheet music box around?!” and all that, until finally the mother, between one freak out and one hysterical crying attack, asks the mother in law for some help

mother in law has a solution to everything. she decides to call up ghostbust… erhm, i mean an old psychic and her two minions with very funny looking ghost hunting instruments.

after that all hell breaks loose. turns up the kid is not reaaaally in a coma and his astral body is trapped in another dimension called The Further (which was also the original title for the movie), where ghosts and demons alike party like it’s 1999 all day and night. also also! the father had an experience with this dimension in the past (and the psychic helped him out of it) but had completely removed it from his consciousness. and so he becomes green lantern and goes into ghost world to save his lost kid

that’s not your kid, dude! come on! and the light is supposed to be green. oh, amateurs..

that’s better.

but to make it short! Insidious is a fun, fucking fun movie. it has no gore, virtually no blood but for a couple bloody hand prints here and there, and still it delivers a few scares. you’ll jump off your seat, and laugh, and notice all the little imperfections and holes in the plot and even the few ridiculous ideas, but the entertainment is guaranteed. i thoroughly enjoyed it. yay ghostbusters!

and remember kids…

even demons like to photobomb.

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Paranormal Activity

Posted in Other Cinema with tags , , , , , on January 2, 2010 by Cristina Blackwater

Paranormal Activity

Plot: After a young, middle class couple moves into a suburban ‘starter’ tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to.

Paranormal Activity is a 2007 independent horror movie directed by Oren Peli. It follows the life of Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloat), a young couple who happens to deal first hand with the hauntings of a demonic presence. The film is the modern Blair Witch Project head-to-toes: shot with a home camera (in the filmmaker’s house), it’s presented as “found footage” from the camera set up by the couple to capture what is haunting them. In the opening credits, the filmmakers thank their parents and their local police department for the use of the edited home video footage we’re about to see. It only costed 11,000$ and after its long-awaited release in the US theaters in October 2009, went on to make over 100 million, becoming what it’s considered to be one the most profitable movies ever made.

Paranormal Activity was super hyped, and even branded as “scariest movie of all times”, and for that reason, soon developed two completely opposite school of thoughts: those who really loved it and those who really despised it (altho i have to say one thing to those who didn’t like it; watching this movie in a noisy and crowded movie theater just doesn’t give it justice. Try watching it alone, in a dark room, with headphones on, and then see if it doesn’t stick with you even a little bit)

I remember when Blair Witch came out the reaction was exactly the same: some were coming home shocked and puzzled and some others where more like “uhm.. what was that?” . There simply was no in-between whatsoever.

Now, let’s just say that if you’re a believer – in ghosts and hauntings and the like, that is – chances are you’ll really dig it. Personally i found the movie to be absolutely frightening, real, and scary as hell in its simplicity. I’m with those who couldn’t sleep the night they watched it. And as the horror hound that i am, i couldn’t wait for the challenge, for the discovery of something that despite my “now accustomed to atrocities” mind, could still give me the chills.

As you may already know, there are two alternate endings : the first, original, 2007 release – and the 2009 theater one. I won’t discuss them here for the sake of those who haven’t seen it yet, but if you want to read more about it just click here. There is also a less known third version that was part of a private screening and was later added to the Dvd.

I don’t have many pictures to show you this time, since the movie is very simple and follows the everyday things of a normal couple. You’ll have to get used to the slow (thus realistic) pace, building up to events that are more and more evident, messing up with Micah and Katie’s life to the point of non return.

All in all Paranormal Activity was one of the most discussed, certainly most successful movies of the past few years, so even if you don’t believe in “silly ghosts” and all that jazz, give it a try either way, just like that, with no particular expectations, for the ride will be entertaining to say the least.