Friday, October 19, 2012

Paranormal Activity 4 [2012]


IMDb listing -
CNS/USCCB review -

Paranormal Activity 4 (directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, screenplay by Christopher Landon, story by Chad Feehan) is one of those films that I've found little enthusiasm in seeing and yet I do believe deserves some mention here.  Other films in this category have included Sasha Barron Cohen's The Dictator, the Transformers' series knockoff Battleship and last spring's Silent House which starred Elizabeth Olsen who I generally like but could not bring my self to yet another "troubled/haunted house" film.  And there have been other popular/widely released films movies that I've found to be so uninteresting/unappealing that I've chosen to ignore them completely.

In the case of the Paranormal Activity franchise, I do have to say that I liked very much the first installment (which came out before I began writing this blog).  Like many others, I found it to be a brilliantly made, low budget (horror) film.  But by the end of the second installment and certainly the  third (both of which I did review here) I came to believe that the series had "jumped the shark," (and certainly in terms of filming technique).

I do believe that there are only a few very limited directions in which the series can go.  That is, it can, as the third installment suggests, get "increasingly dark" and I don't have any particular interest in either becoming (or, more to the point encouraging others in becoming...) "zoologists of Evil."  I do think that I have a healthy respect for Evil and don't care to know what "kind of demon" a particular demon tormenting a family would be.     As a priest, I've periodically blessed houses of parishioners concerned about strange things happening in their homes.  Generally speaking that's all that's ever been necessary.  If something really strange was going on (never has) I'd probably recommend calling the Diocese.   Honestly, there's no need to play with these things any more than that.  If one really believes in the existence of Evil / malevolent spirits, etc, then it really makes no sense to "study" or "play with them" unless one just wants to get into trouble.  (These spirits would be far smarter and certainly more Evil than you or I...).

So I'm done folks.  Who knows, maybe the Paranormal Activity series will go into a different direction, that of deciding to make light of itself.  And that would be fine.  However, if it chooses to continue to go in the path of poking ever more deeply into the Occult/Abyss, it will just become increasingly (though unintentionally) vapid or make us "experts" in things that we really _don't_ need to become experts in.

Meaning this as a joke: If at the end of our lives we find ourselves in Hell tortured by demons, will it be particularly helpful to us to "know" what class of demons is doing the torturing?  "Oh by the way, are you related in any way to the demons we saw in Paranormal Activity __?" "Oh no, Hollywood always gets this stuff wrong ..." ;-)

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