Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...the Paranormal Activity franchise!
This is Movie Jail, a unique maximum security prison that houses some of the worst writers, directors, actors and producers from Hollywood and beyond. Their crimes? The offenses vary from convict to convict but most of these inmates have contributed negatively to the film world to some capacity* and his or her misdeeds have covered a long enough period of time that the authorities had to intervene. In each column a defendant is put on trial, arguments are made, and then it is up to YOU, the jury, to decide if the person is guilty or not guilty of crimes against cinema. Their lives are in your hands, dude.
The Prosecution: Paranormal Activity 4, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, with Halloween nearly upon us, the prosecution has decided now is a good time to bring charges against one of the newer horror movie franchises: Paranormal Activity. While the first three films received mostly positive reviews and were financial successes, the last three movies have scored low marks from critics, and it seems people have turned on the series, as they also haven't hit the box office highs of the previous installments.
To be honest, the prosecution has never been a fan of the found footage movies. Sure, they have some creepy moments and the filmmakers have done a solid job of building off of the events from the first movie, however we've never found them to be outright scary, plus they are also pretty repetitive.
Like the Saw franchise, Paranormal Activity has definitely worn out its welcome, and although Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension is being billed as the final film in the series, the prosecution has a feeling that this isn't the last we've seen of Toby and The Midwives. Even though the movie had a very soft opening weekend and a higher budget than its predecessors, the franchise could live on in VOD/direct-to-DVD movies or get a reboot, so let's make sure that doesn't happen by sending it to Movie Jail.
The Defense: Paranormal Activity, Paranormal Activity 2, Paranormal Activity 3
Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps Paranormal Activity has gotten a little long in the tooth, but the franchise certainly doesn't belong in Movie Jail. In the defense's opinion, the first three films make a great trilogy, and going three-for-six critically and financially really isn't that bad, especially for a horror movie series; the Hellraiser flicks would kill for those numbers. Maybe one of the reasons why people have been so down on the latter movies is because a new one has been released every year since 2010, except for when the franchise took a break in 2013.
The prosecution believes the films are repetitive, however the same could be said about most other horror movie series. Even though the franchise has been seeing diminishing returns at the box office, it still has its fans, and the recent installments have probably done quite well when it comes to DVD/Blu-ray sales. Some who claim to be "true" horror movie fans may argue that the films aren't terrifying enough, but it's not as if they are completely devoid of scares, and unlike many horror offerings, they don't rely on just blood and guts to frighten moviegoers.
The franchise probably should go on hiatus for a while, but that doesn't mean we should lock the series up for life, and the defense wouldn't mind if it did return after taking an extended break.
Do you think there are any scares left to squeeze out of the horror series, or are you sick of the found footage films? Has the franchise earned a prison stay with its disappointing sequels, or do the first three films make up for their unimpressive follow-ups? Is the Paranormal Activity series GUILTY or NOT GUILTY?
*The cases for and against a defendant going to Movie Jail by the author are not necessarily his views and opinions but they are some of the beliefs that one would use to effectively make an argument for both sides. Not quite a devil's advocate but you get the point. Anyway, this is all in fun so don't take it too seriously. We have a separate jail for those people called "Troll Tower" and believe me you do NOT want to go there.
WHAT SAY YOU, GUILTY OR NOT?
LAST WEEK'S VERDICT
The jury was feeling Mark Wahlberg's "Good Vibrations" in last week's trial. Mr. Wahlberg was found NOT GUILTY of all charges, and although jury members said that he's no Daniel Day-Lewis and has appeared in more than a few bad movies, they also said he's still an entertaining actor who doesn't deserve to go to Movie Jail.
GUILTY Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, Vince Vaughn, Tim Burton, The Farrelly Brothers, Michael Bay, Jessica Alba, Ice Cube, Gerard Butler, Halle Berry, Marlon Wayans, Julia Roberts, M. Night Shyamalan , Katherine Heigl , Cuba Gooding, Jr., Tyler Perry, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Ashton Kutcher, Happy Madison Productions, Jennifer Lopez, Bruce Willis, Paul W.S. Anderson, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brett Ratner, Rob Cohen, Renee Zellweger, Shia LaBeouf, Renny Harlin, Diane Keaton, McG, Demi Moore, King Joffrey (Game of Thrones Special), David Spade, Spike Lee, Kevin James, Joel Schumacher, Ehren Kruger, Chris Rock, Mark Steven Johnson, Mickey Rourke, Ashley Judd, Uma Thurman, Josh Duhamel, Saw Franchise (Halloween Edition), Zach Braff, Sam Worthington, Melissa McCarthy, The Wachowski Siblings, Kate Bosworth, Garry Marshall, David Goyer, Akiva Goldsman, Avi Arad, Damon Lindelof, Hayden Christensen, Dennis Dugan, Sharon Stone, Jessica Biel, Nick Swardson, Simon Kinberg, Alex & Stephen Kendrick, Eli Roth
NOT GUILTY Robert De Niro, Val Kilmer, Nic Cage, John Travolta, Oliver Stone, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Wes Craven, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Roland Emmerich, Kevin Costner, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves, Kevin Smith, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson, Anna Faris, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron, Ray Liotta, Jason Statham, Paul Walker, Will Smith, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Johnny Depp, Ryan Reynolds, Milla Jovovich, John Singleton, Jon Voight, Jack Black, Brian De Palma, Jerry Bruckheimer, Nicole Kidman, Justin Timberlake, Freddy Krueger (Halloween Edition), Johnny Knoxville, Orlando Bloom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dan Aykroyd, Sylvester Stallone, Gavin Hood, Jason Lee, Jennifer Garner, Carrie-Anne Moss, Kate Beckinsale, John Cusack, Chris Columbus, Clive Owen, Terrence Howard, Andrew Niccol, Drew Barrymore, Steve Martin, Joel Silver, Michelle Rodriguez, Kiefer Sutherland, Dario Argento, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Quaid, Rob Reiner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Mel Gibson, Pierce Brosnan, Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman, Ivan Reitman, Stephen Sommers, Shawn Levy, Jai Courtney, Ridley Scott, Peter Jackson, Jamie Foxx, Luc Besson, Jason Reitman, Mila Kunis, Jennifer Connelly, Sienna Miller, Ben Barnes, Simon West, Len Wiseman, Brendan Fraser, Megan Fox, Neal McDonough, Cameron Crowe, Katie Holmes, Elijah Wood, Tarsem Singh, Reese Witherspoon, Burt Reynolds, Ed Helms, Sean Astin, Michael Polish, Kelsey Grammer, Queen Latifah, Mark Wahlberg
UPDATES: Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage and Roland Emmerich, Jim Carrey, Robert Rodriguez and Gerard Butler, Jessica Alba, Julia Roberts and The Farrelly Brothers, Ben Stiller, Tim Burton and Shia LaBeouf, Johnny Depp, Kevin Smith & Chris Rock, Ice Cube, Owen Wilson & Vince Vaughn
|Extra Tidbit:||Who should stand trial next week? Share your suggestions for actors, directors and writers below with your verdict!|