Saw It For You: Paranormal Activity 4

I’m a fan of supernatural horror with a slow burn. That’s why I was so thrilled to be a part of a test screening of the upcoming horror movie Paranormal Activity 4. It comes out October 21, but thanks to my signing the wrong name to the NDA, you don’t need to see it! I saw it for you.

Paranormal Activity 4 (2012)

Synopsis. A new family moves next door to Katie’s, but little does she know their supernatural activity… is also paranormal.

Trivia

  • To provide the most realistic performance possible, actress Madison Briar spent two months living in a haunted house. After her death she was replaced by Katie Featherston.
  • Animal handlers had great difficulty training the family dog to act frightened of The Possessor (actor Micah Sloat), due to Sloat’s “overpowering cooked meat smell.”
  • The rickety house that spectacularly collapses in the movie’s climax was not a CGI special effect. It was also not intentional. The construction company is currently under investigation.
  • In interviews, character actor Martin James Kelly remarked several times that he’d had “one ghost of a time” on set; director Ariel Schulman later confirmed that Kelly had had sex with a ghost.
  • Featherston’s line about wanting to “haunt the fuck out of an Arby’s Beef-N-Cheddar right about now” was ad-libbed.

Mistakes

  • In the backyard scene, the ghost is noticeably distracted by his trainer off-camera.
  • All the video footage Katie records inexplicably shows her in frame, holding the same video camera she’s taking the footage with.
  • In several exterior shots, another film crew can be seen filming the original Paranormal Activity (2007) across the street.
  • Boom mic in shot. In the shower scene, right after a voice screams “Doug, watch your goddamn boom mic.”
  • When Professor Weissgeist demonstrates the SpectroFinder 9000, he rotates the Poltergauge to “Vaporonic” even though he says the ghost is classified “Paranormous.”
  • Plot hole. Katie’s father paralyzes the ghost by shooting it through the C7 vertebra.
  • Professor Weissgeist tells Scared Fisherman #2 that ghosts can only possess bones — but  sharks have cartilage, so there would have been no way for the aquarium to become “giga-haunted.”
  • The opposite of “paranormal” is “normal.” It is not “regu-normal” as Katie says in the last line of the film.
  • “The End” was misspelled.

Memorable Quotes

Katie: What a creepy family to move next door to. I hope they’re not haunted or something.

Man on Bus #1: Seems like another normal day.
Spooked Man on Bus: Yeah… but something about it is a little spooky.

Katie: Dad, what if there is a ghost in the house?
Katie’s Father: Katie, for as long as I’ve known you I’ve been your father.

Professor Weissgeist: And when the switch is set to detect negavertic energy, it sends an autologic pulse vector back along the thaumaturgic ley conduit!
Katie: Talk English, Professor!
Professor Weissgeist: It’ll seriously fuck up some ghost asses.

The Ned

Saw it for You: Prometheus 2

Using a sophisticated predictive algorithm, the Chainsawsuit entertainment mainframe (entertainframe) has been able to derive the entirety of the Prometheus sequel based on this announcement. I watched the whole thing and have readied its IMDB entry, even though I won’t be able to add it there until the movie comes out in 2015. WARNING: HUGE SPOILERS FOLLOW.

Prometheus 2 (2015)

Synopsis. After escaping the deadly planet LV-223, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and android David (Michael Fassbender) crashland on LV-223-2, where they find another Weyland research vessel — the Sisyphus — preparing to research more alien ruins with even deadlier results.

Trivia

  • After Prometheus, director Ridley Scott immediately began work on a sequel, saying there was “still more to tell after the planet or whatever blew up (sic).”
  • During a marathon session, the writers finished a total of 18 completely different screenplays for the sequel. Ridley Scott chose the 15th screenplay with a resounding “that one, I guess.”
  • The after-credits scene is the movie Gladiator (2000).

Mistakes

  • Scientifically, there is no way for a planet to be “right next door” to another planet, regardless of how many times the line “It was right next door to us! All this time!” is fearfully intoned as the camera dramatically pushes in on the speaker’s terror-stricken face.
  • Continuity. In the mapping chamber scene, David is somehow holding his own head, even though his only head was reattached to his neck earlier in the film. The angle then changes to Dr. Elizabeth Shaw observing the map screen. When the angle returns to David, he is now holding two David heads.
  • An alien with “combination alkaline and acid blood” would just have blood with balanced pH.
  • When Dr. Hogeboom autopsies the alien’s corpse, he declares “it’s a goddamn Prometheor.” He meant to say “it’s a goddamn Promethoid.” No one has ever seen a Prometheor.
  • Audio goof. Due to an audio mixing mistake, someone can be heard earnestly humming the Meow Mix jingle during the fight with the Titan Promethoid.
  • The crab aliens are incredibly lethal when first encountered, yet at the first sign of hunger, Williams says he’ll just “grab and eat one of those crab aliens.”
  • There is no possible evolutionary reason for alien meat to taste exactly like piping-hot savory New England crab.
  • Based on the technology demonstrated in the Alien series, it seems unlikely that the crew could escape a gravitational field by adjusting a lever on the bridge labeled “Planet Size.”
  • Continuity. Referring to his past as an assassin, Geizel tells Dr. Shaw, “since the corrective surgery, that part of my life is behind me forever.” However, during the attack on the colony, Geizel once again has infinitely-regenerating rocket fists.

Incorrectly Regarded as Goofs

  • In the scene where Dr. Falmouth screams, “What’s been happening on that ship?” the movie cuts to a shot of an empty, silent chair for eight solid minutes. This was intentional.
  • In the medbay sequence aboard the Sisyphus, part of a downtown Burbank soundstage is visible through a porthole. This was intended to signify Dr. Shaw’s wistful longing to return to downtown Burbank, where many movies were shot during Hollywood’s 20th-century heyday.
  • We have no way of knowing what a foot-long Subway® Cold Cut Trio™ would cost in 2093. With even conservative estimates of inflation, a $5 sandwich would be remarkably cheap in 2093, and Captain Richel would be correct in naming it “an incredible — and incredibly delicious — value.”
  • Geizel smiles knowingly at a photograph of an adult Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in his locker. In 2093, Ellen Ripley would only be one year old, but Geizel may have kept a memento from the 1979 Earth movie Alien with him for cinema buff reasons.

Memorable Quotes
Dr. Elizabeth Shaw: These things are killers! They were never meant to be controlled and studied!
Dr. John Hogeboom: I thought we’d be far away enough. But their planet was right next door to us. All this time.
Dr. Elizabeth Shaw: You son of a bitch.

David: Decks A through G reporting complete containment failure. Someone disabled the decontamination grid at the source.
Dr. Elizabeth Shaw: This is one giganto screwup!

David: I have researched the historical significance of the name “Sisyphus.” He was a Greek figure, damned to repeat the folly of his past over and over as punishment.
Dr. Falmouth: It’d be pretty ironic if the crew of our ship lived up to that namesake. Like if we each were the Sisyphus in our own story.
David: It would be.
Dr. Falmouth: That’s the name of our ship, too. Sisyphus.

Dr. John Hogeboom: This extraterrestrial could have been the find of the century. Too bad we didn’t find it when it was still alive. (throws alien into wastebasket)