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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

cinematic roots of: ‘Paranormal Activity 2’

No movie springs from a vacuum. There are always influences from past examples of the genre, from the previous work of the filmmakers and stars, even from similar films that don’t quite work. If you want to understand where a movie is coming from, take a look at where it’s coming from.

In Paranormal Activity 2, more regular folks in an ordinary suburban house are haunted by supernatural visitors while some cheap camcorders spy on it all for your entertainment. This flick sprang from (among other films):

Paranormal Activity (2009), of course, the movie that started it all by reproducing the gotcha thrills of a carnival funhouse — boo! — without even the bonus visceral experience of being jostled around in a bumper-car ride.

Poltergeist (1982), and discover all sorts of bad things that can happen when you build your suburban tract home on an old Indian burial groun.

The Amityville Horror (1979), the exaggerated based upon a true story of a Long Island home beset by spooky occurrences after a family is massacred there by one of its own.

The Door in the Floor (2004), for more from director Tod Williams; this sounds like it could be a horror movie, but it’s actually about a family falling apart in metaphysical ways; it’s based on a John Irving novel, so the bloodletting is no more than figurative.
Where to buy:
The Amityville Horror [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
The Door in the Floor [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Paranormal Activity [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]
Poltergeist [Region 1/U.S.] [Region 1/Can.] [Region 2]

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