If you've been reading redblog for any length of time, you know that I am staunchly anti-scary-movie. I purposely seek out films that feature wizards and hobbits and frat boys doing silly things in Vegas and intergalactic space battles — I want nothing less than total escapism when I go to the cineplex or pop in a DVD. So you might be surprised to hear that I've purchased tickets for an upcoming midnight screening of Paranormal Activity — an indie that is supposedly The. Most. Frightening. Film. Ever… so much so that even The Beard himself, Steven Spielberg, freaked out after watching it.
Have I done lost my mind? Why would I intentionally put myself through an experience that has the potential to scar me for life… that might forever haunt me with images I won't be able to erase from my mind? I really have no answer for these questions except, "I just have to see what all the fuss is about."
On that note, before I go any further, you should take a look at the trailer for Paranormal Activity if you haven't caught it already. Don't worry, there's nothing gory or crazy-scary in it — it mostly shows audience reactions and just a few clips from the film, which was pulled together in one week three years ago for less than $15,000.
So what do you think? By seeing this film, am I setting myself up for an epic mental breakdown and ensuring that I will never sleep again?
Here's why I'm not that worried: I don't believe in evil poltergeists. I believe in aliens and friendly ghosts (yes, like Casper) and magical creatures and a whole lot of other things that most people find ridiculous and silly, but I don't believe in murderous, I'm-going-to-mess-with-you-when-you're-most-vulnerable ghoulies. I'm an extremely light sleeper, and if some dark force was trolling around my condo in the wee hours, I would've caught onto it by now. So I simply don't think that anything in Paranormal Activity could be that bad, or bad enough that I will go from not believing in wicked spirits to suddenly jumping six feet in the air when I hear the floor creak in the middle of the night.
My dear fellow redblogger Locke has tried to bring me to my senses and has forewarned me that now might not be the best time for me to start acting all brave. He'll be seeing the movie this weekend, too… so if you never hear from either of us again, you'll know that it really was horrific and we were both scared speechless (in the "no longer can type, either" sense). But I'm clinging to the hope that watching Paranormal Activity in a sold-out theater at midnight is going to be a memorable pop culture experience that I don't want to miss out on, and not one that's going to irrevocably damage my psyche.
As a result of Paramount Pictures' very creative (and smart, in my opinion) marketing campaign for this film, it's currently expanding into twenty additional cities this weekend (up from twelve college towns). You can see where it's playing here, and if it looks like there are no plans for it to show in your area and you are eager to see it, you can join the over 230,000 people who have used Demand It! (the first time this tool has ever been leveraged for a movie) and let your voice be heard.
Here's to hoping that after seeing Paranormal Activity I'll still be able to resume my redblogging duties on Monday…