Our Fascination with Paranormal Activity

While watching the movie paranormal activity for the second time I began to wonder why this film had as much success as it did. Watching the film the first time I felt that it was extremely boring and nothing really happened until the last half hour of the film. The second time around the film was seemed even less eventful. Despite its lack of action and fear evoking scenes, the film had a gross revenue of $192,735,402, not bad for a film made on a $15000 budget, and only released in select theaters. Its hard to believe that a film such as that could be such a hit while a film like the collector, which in my opinion was a far better horror movie, also released in select theaters and had a budget of $3,000,000, only grossed $7,712,114. Although some of Paranormal Activities success can be attributed to it being marketed as the scariest movie ever made, i believe peoples natural attraction to the unknown also plays a big role. Ghosts, spirits, demons and other types of paranormal activity have always been of interest to humans. This fascination can be seen even in children who will say things such as “maybe the ghost took it” or “the ghost did it”. What i thought really demonstrated the extent to which people not only are drawn to but believe in paranormal activity was when i saw this clip shown on CNN in which a transparent figure is seen walking across the room of Michael Jacksons mansion shortly after his death. This clip drew alot of controversy in the United Stated, many people actually believing that they had seen the ghost of Michael Jackson haunting the neverland ranch. It was later explained that the image was created by the shadow of a passing crew worker, but to calm the nerves of Americans CNN had to air a new broadcast explaining what had actually happened. I was surprised to see the amount of attention that this video had received because ghosts are something that i personally do not really believe in, and if they do exist am almost positive they would not be able to be caught on camera. After seeing the attention that this clip brought getting over 3 million views on youtube, the success of the film paranormal activity seems more reasonable. The film drew on societies existent curiosities.

4 thoughts on “Our Fascination with Paranormal Activity

  1. This is so true bc I know I was freaked after seeing paranormal activity bc it played off my existing fear or ghosts. Even after I saw the mj clip I swore mj would come haunt me for watching the video lol. -_-

  2. Wow I didn’t know that movie made that much money. I think it was the carefully selected scenes for the trailer that contributed to the hype. I hear about movies through word-of-mouth most of the time.
    My friend linked me to one of those Michael Jackson ghost clips and it turned out to a prank (some scary looking thing popped up when I was looking closely trying to determine if it the shape looked like MK).

  3. I agree with Jenny in that the trailer contributed to the success of the movie. I went to see the movie because of how scared people looked on tv while watching it. It got me hyped about it. I did get scared, or more like it made me think about the possibility of a demon doing this, but it wasn’t like it was scary from beginning to end. Certain scenes are scary while most of the movie is kind of boring. The way people talked about it and how it was advertised definitely made it big.

  4. I also did not understand the hype surrounding Paranormal Activity initially. I was really excited to go see it in theaters because of the reputation that movie had been garnering. When I finally went to go see it a couple of weeks after it came out, the whole time I was watching the movie I was wondering when something was going to happen. I suppose this is a movie that thrills its audience by building suspense. This only worked about halfway into the movie for me, then I started to just become bored.

    Maybe this is because the idea of the supernatural does not scare me like it does others. I also agree with Jenny thought that I think this film had a GREAT marketing technique, and used carefully selected scenes to market it as the “scariest movie ever”. But I’m still baffled as to why the movie got such great reviews from critics..

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