This time, Hollywood, we're on to you!
A decade ago, the movie industry head-faked some of us into believing The Blair Witch Project was culled from real footage.
And now, just in time for Halloween, it's up to its old tricks and treats, head-faking some of us into thinking Paranormal Activity is the new Blair Witch.
Well, fool us once, shame on you for making us feel more stupid than usual. Fool us twice, ain't gonna happen because now we get it.
Blair Witch was fiction pretending to be a documentary; Paranormal Activity is a documentary pretending to be fiction!
Oh, who's looking foolish now?
Here's how Hollywood—and Paranormal Activity—failed to pull the wool over our big, brainy heads:
• The "movie" was shot in 2006, otherwise known as the year the real-estate bubble burst. Think it's a stretch Paramount Pictures found camcorder footage of first-time Southern California homebuyers having trouble sleeping? Ha!
• Paranormal "characters" Micah and Katie express awe at a swinging door and get freaked by a spider. Everyone knows a real movie character doesn't break a sweat for anything less than the apocalypse. Or a Rocky sequel. Double ha!
• The "movie" is cool, then a teensy bit boring, then scary, then a teensy bit boring, then superscary, and so on and so forth—just like real life in a demonically possessed house! Triple ha! (Note: To the best of our knowledge, we have never lived in a demonically possessed house, but we imagine that, for variety's sake, there are some uncompelling goings-on in between the shrieks and screams.)
Well, we could go on, but the evidence is clearly overwhelming. The only thing we've failed to explain is the why: Namely, why would Hollywood want us to think Paranormal Activity is the work of a supertalented first-time writer-director, rather than the last gasps of a young couple coming to terms with their upside-down mortgage?
Because, outside of the Michael Moore brand, documentaries don't gross $60 million-plus. Most of the time, they don't gross $6 million.
Because reality shows about things that go bump in the night are a dime a Ghost Hunters dozen.
Because if you think we'll think Paranormal Activity is the new Blair Witch, then you think we'll go see it.
And while Hollywood may be right about that last one, we're putting the town on notice: We've seen Inglourious Basterds; we know things about World War II you'll never know.
And we know everything about Paranormal Activity that you'd never thought we'd figure out!
We remain open the possibility that we are looking for boogeymen everywhere.
Truth is, we've been a little jumpy ever since we saw this really scary movie…