That’s right! I said bullshit! I have to admit that I am a paranormal junky–I watch all things ghostly, alien, foreign, disgusting, and creepy. I have watched the same haunted house stories on the history channel, the travel channel, the sci-fi channel, and “the Shining” about as repeatedly as a lonely teenage geek on a Friday night, or Saturday night, or any night for that matter. Sometimes there’s nothing else on, other times I am simply fascinated by the paranormal and why others are freaks just like me. Which is why I was so interested and intrigued by the new movie “Paranormal Activity.” How can I not spend my bank card award money on that? It has been a must-see movie all the rave, and my husband and I were determined to “must-see” it. That is, until we saw it.
It was Sunday night. Sunday is pretty scary–it’s the last day of the weekend. I’m in my glasses and pajamas (minus underwear) and am very comfortable with my boxed Merlot when my husband and I decided to escape into the paranormal. We’ve heard nothing but rave reviews and decided to review it for ourselves with great judgement, but not until he put on underwear too. We both put on pants and take the drive up the street to the local theatric watering hole where so many have met their demise. Psyched and carrying an obscenely huge tub of popcorn and diet sodas, we were surprised by the full theater and decided to pick seats up close in the line of fire expecting to jump out of our seats. Umm, that was what we were hoping.
Instead, it went more like this: we sit down, we start snarling at our popcorn as if food is a foreign, tasty substance, we laugh at a preview, we laugh at the teenagers laughing at the preview, then without warning, two dumb twenty-somethings appear on the screen and start talking to each other incoherently. “Um, honey?” I say. “Yeah, babe.” My husband says. “Is this the movie?” He says, “I think so.” Okay then, “this popcorn is delicious.” We watch and wait like a hunter hoping for a gruesome, bloody, obnoxcious death with a dear. Little did we know.
We hear some young woman’s squeeky voice bitch and moan at her boyfriend. My husband does not need to pay nine dollars to appreciate this. As a woman, even I’m rolling my eyes at her. The young, dumb man is defending himself–when will men learn? This goes on for a while; until bedtime. We hear a distant noise. It’s morning. Repeat. Always repeat. The couple’s friend comes over. She thinks the phenomenon is “weird.” She leaves after having a bucket of wine. What? I said one bucket. A psychic comes over. He says very vague things like “this thing is following you, then?” He’s the psychic, doesn’t he know? Then he leaves. This is my cue to go to the bathroom.
I sit back down and foolishly ask if I’ve missed anything. My husband: “No, not a thing.” It’s night time again in the movie and a camera is placed in the couple’s bedroom. We hear noises from outside the bedroom. The movie is called “Paranormal Acitivity” so of course the noises can’t be a mouse, or burglar, or the house settling. It must be an invisible goblin causing mischief in the kitchen looking for something to eat.
Surprisingly, the noises from another room are not terrifying me the way blood spattering out of the walls for no apparent reason could. My husband gets up to go the bathroom and to get more popcorn. He doesn’t even bother to ask if he missed anything. I resume eating my Dots out of boredom. More noises happen. Then, sheets magically lift up on their own, then a leg is lifted. No, it’s not what you think. We are supposed be afraid because her leg is moving and being dragged down a hallway. By this point, the audience is determined not to be afraid at all. We’re bored, and we’re pissed. One hour and twenty minutes later the boyfriend is thrown into the camera and that is the only time anyone jumped. One hour and twenty-one minutes later the movie ended.
I couldn’t help but think of the disappointment. I put my underwear on for this? I want my money back.