Saturday, October 29, 2016

Halloween Week: Best Modern Horror Franchise?

Right now, FX is playing the entire "Paranormal Activity" series, back to back. The only film they are not showing in the line-up today is "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension" which only came out a year ago, so I guess it makes sense. I don't know about you but I love this series. I've talked about it here and there on this blog, but not a whole lot. Because of when these movies came out, I missed out on reviewing a lot of them for this blog. But I have tried to go back to take a peak at them again as much as possible.

Yes, this is a found footage franchise. I know you guys know how much I detest found footage, but "Paranormal Activity" always felt different. Not your average found footage franchise. I remember when the first movie came out in theaters, that people had to vote and get theaters excited to show it from town to town. I was a sophomore in college, and all the buzz generated on my college campus was massively positive. It felt like something new was happening in he genre, even though it looked to be wearing a familiar skin. I felt like I had to see it as soon as possible and when I did, it was under the most perfect of conditions. When a sequel was talked about, I will admit I panicked. I figured it would just be more of the same. A different family being haunted under a familiar style. What I didn't expect was to get an all-out sequel, a continuation of the story from the first film, an expansion of the mythology.

That to me is the secret of this series' success and why it stands out to say, the "Saw" franchise. The first "Saw" movie is a modern horror classic to me, that was milked to death. It never expanded its mythology, its understanding of The Jigsaw Killer, it was just a test to see how many clever ways people could die onscreen. That gets numbing to me. I yearn for good stories to tell, for development in the progress of the characters. That is what I feel the "Paranormal Activity" franchise did so well. Every new film led us deeper in this story of witchcraft and demons and other haunting fun. It may not have worked for all of you, but it certainly worked for me. 

I do miss the "Paranormal Activity "franchise, but I do understand why these things end. There is no way you can keep doing the same things movie after movie and keep them interesting. I will even admit that I felt like the franchise was starting to run out of steam at the end, and even now that its done, we still don't have all the answers. But I like sometimes filling in the blanks for myself. I don't know if we'll see another horror franchise like this in awhile.

How did you like it?

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