SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2
By Adam Nori / MNPSG Team Lead
October 26. 2010
This Halloween, viewers will revisit the world of haunts and paranormal activity in well... Paranormal Activity 2 from Paramount Pictures. The movie looks to scare up a good time and producers hope to have the audience on the edge of their seat but first they have to get the folks interested in the feature film.
How do they do this?
By focusing on a more realistic and intimate reality through "docu-shooting" and by saying that the movie is based on true events. Wait...? True events?! Did this story really happen? Ever since the first movie, I have often been asked, "Is Paranormal Activity true?"
Fortunately, this story did not really happen and was written into our reality. However, this movie does base some of it's "activity" on real reported paranormal activity. (You can see how the name came up to the writers.) The writers did take into consideration what real paranormal activity has been reported by people who really have experienced these problems in their real daily lives.
One of the film's stars, Katie Featherston, recently talked about the plausibility of the movie's events in the real world by saying, "It's so grounded in reality...Everything that happens in the movie either has been reported in real life or could actually happen. The improvizational nature of it really makes people feel like they're watching something that's intimate." [source]
Katie Featherston talks about "Paranormal Activity 2"
I personally applaud the production crew for doing so as this makes the movie's docu-approach much more interesting and appealing. Let's face it, only so many times you can watch torture porn movies like Saw or keep cheering for Jason to slice up those sex crazed kids at the lake, right?
So let's explore some aspects of Paranormal Activity 2 from the perspectives of a crew that actually checks out real life claims of reported...well, you get the picture.
If you have not seen this movie yet, I do not suggest you continue any further as there will be some spoilers within this article.
A lot of folks will walk into this movie thinking that the story is caused by ghosts and that their home too could be haunted such as the one within this movie. This is not the cause and since this is Hollywood, you are seeing the most extreme case of anyone's imagination to push the story along as well as captivate the audience.
A brief glimpse into the world of paranormal investigators
I applaud the filmmaker's attempt in this sequel because unlike the first Paranormal Activity this movie allows you to view static cameras. The family in this story has decided to install security cameras after a very traumatic event that appeared to be a violent break-in.
This view of the movie is not very different from the view that many investigative teams use when looking for evidence of a haunting within a location. As the movie moves along, the viewer is allowed to play a pseudo-Where's Waldo game of normal daily life versus paranormal activity. Welcome to one of our tasks that comes included with sneaking around in the dark and bumping your head on hidden objects.
What is based in reality?
- The scene with the bedroom doors closing slowly on their own. Often times we hear about cases like this from clients who claim to have had their own bedroom or household doors close for no apparent reason. This is kind of where the creaking door effect for Halloween came from.
- Dad's Denial. "Oh man this isn't an effect!" is probably what a lot ofyou are saying but this is very true. Many cases that we are called on to investigate only have one or two members of the house really believing in the activity and one may be just as skeptical as dear old dad. This is okay! We appreciate folks that don't jump to conclusions! (No, we really do!)
- The Baby Montior cutting out with static / TV Interference / Baby light flicker. While the movie poses an extreme case of this phenomenon, it does happen in real life. This is why teams carry with them Trifield Natural EMF Meters and other forms of electromagnetic field meters. We measure disturbances within that field and look for any natural cause.
- The Nanny burning sage. This is a form of spiritual cleansing that many investigators, shamans, and cultures still use to this day. To be effective, one must burn the sage and walk around the house and enter each part of the home. After doing this, open the windows and allow for any bad energy to be carried outside.
- Houses being ransacked and looking like they were robbed. While this may be rare, many poltergeist cases that are reported start off in a similar manner.
- The child and dog's interaction with the entity. We have a story about Children and Ghosts on this very website that you can view for more information. The same principle that is mentioned within that article about social standards adheres to animals as well. Some also believe that animals are more senstive in physical senses than humans are. (Well, when was the last time you saw a dog hit a parked car due to cell phone usage?)
- Hearing noises such as footsteps in unused rooms such as the basement/attic. One theory behind ghost research is that some spirits don't like to be bothered by the living. Thus, they resort to areas of the property that are not used as often in daily life by the living such as spare bedrooms, attics, and basements. This would be where abandoned haunted houses ideas come from in the month of October or when people want to tell their favorite ghost hunting group about locations to investigate.
- The Kitchen scene. Yes, activity can happen that fast and that random. This is truly what scares clients and drives them to contact a local team. These moments can make skeptics into true believers.
What is Hollywood?
- Demons wanting the first born of a family who made a deal with them for profit or gain. Really? Interesting lore but this is really going to throw some people for a loop.
- The stairs scene towards the end of the movie. No reported case of someone being dragged that far has ever been documented. It's drama and it's scary.
-Transfer what to who? Seriously, what?! How did that turn out for you, sir?
-Olive oil. Great for cooking, not so much for exorcisms. Sure the nanny isn't still bitter at you for firing her?!
-The clevage shots every 8 minutes. Despite our best wishes fellas, even if you buy a home video camera, you will not have your wife and her sister's boobs on that many tapes. Seriously, what kind of perv shot this movie? It's called sexual harassment pal, she's up there.
These are just some things about the movie Paranormal Activity 2 that we felt audiences would appreciate learning about after seeing this movie. If you haven't seen it yet, what the heck did you read this far for and also, what are you waiting for?
The bottom line is that Paranormal Activity 2 is truly a better movie than it's predecessor by giving audiences "more in your face activity on tape." I have been creeping around allegedly haunted locations for the better part of a decade and this movie even had me jumping and smiling after hearing the audience do the same.
Official Trailer for Paranormal Activity 2
For more on Paranormal Activity 2, please visit the following links: