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Movie Jail: This week's defendant is...the Paranormal Activity franchise!

10.26.2015

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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 Defendant

Paranormal Activity

The Case

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.

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

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.

Paranormal Activity 3

IN CLOSING...

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?

Paranormal Activity 4

LAST WEEK'S VERDICT

Lone Survivor Mark Wahlberg

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.

PREVIOUS VERDICTS

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!
Source: JoBlo.com

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+0
6:03PM on 10/28/2015

Guilty

Fuck this overrated, overhyped franchise of movies that are duller than dishwater. These movies are boring, unscary, have bland characters, and are tedious. How many times can you watch some girl get dragged outta of bed or cabinets creaking open.
Fuck this overrated, overhyped franchise of movies that are duller than dishwater. These movies are boring, unscary, have bland characters, and are tedious. How many times can you watch some girl get dragged outta of bed or cabinets creaking open.
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+1
7:53PM on 10/26/2015

Soooo guilty

not even close
not even close
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2:16PM on 10/26/2015

Guilty as fuck!

Give these garbage films the death penalty, they are a joke & an embarassment to the horror genre
Give these garbage films the death penalty, they are a joke & an embarassment to the horror genre
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2:17PM on 10/26/2015
Sorry meant this to be red
Sorry meant this to be red
12:54PM on 10/26/2015

GUILTY!

Hands down the worst franchise ever released to the public. EVER. I would rather watch the entire Twilight franchise 604 times back to back before I have to sit through a single one of these films.
Hands down the worst franchise ever released to the public. EVER. I would rather watch the entire Twilight franchise 604 times back to back before I have to sit through a single one of these films.
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10:54AM on 10/26/2015
Guilty! I can give three reasons. One, not much ever happens in a Paranormal Activity movie. Sometimes, something happens, but a PA movie has no suspense throughout its slowburn. This is not Ti West. Two, PA movies set a bad example for other film-makers and for producers. Since PA, everyone has been making found-footage movies in which nothing happens, characters talk a lot in substitute for action, and the production has obviously saved money by being lame. Three, I have never liked the PA
Guilty! I can give three reasons. One, not much ever happens in a Paranormal Activity movie. Sometimes, something happens, but a PA movie has no suspense throughout its slowburn. This is not Ti West. Two, PA movies set a bad example for other film-makers and for producers. Since PA, everyone has been making found-footage movies in which nothing happens, characters talk a lot in substitute for action, and the production has obviously saved money by being lame. Three, I have never liked the PA casts. Every actor seems to have some trait that turns me off. It is weird how these movie excel at casting performers that irk me. Potentially, I am the only person with this problem.

Anyway, guilty. Let us horrorheads have something better to watch each Halloween.
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+3
10:39AM on 10/26/2015

GUILTY

Hated this series from the beginning.
Hated this series from the beginning.
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-2
9:51AM on 10/26/2015

Average for the franchise: 5.6/10

During the SAW trial, I asked if the arrest meant that the franchise is bad or that we're preventing another installment. In this, case I'm voting Guilty either way. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY isn't a bad franchise overall, but the fact that it's a franchise is bad. Found footage movies must not have sequels. It makes no sense. How can someone keep finding new footage and releasing it in theatres without the police doing something about it? CinemaSins has done a great job pointing out how illogical it
During the SAW trial, I asked if the arrest meant that the franchise is bad or that we're preventing another installment. In this, case I'm voting Guilty either way. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY isn't a bad franchise overall, but the fact that it's a franchise is bad. Found footage movies must not have sequels. It makes no sense. How can someone keep finding new footage and releasing it in theatres without the police doing something about it? CinemaSins has done a great job pointing out how illogical it all is.

P.A. 1 was great, 2 was good and 3 was decent. THE MARKED ONES was passable but 4 and TOKYO NIGHT (not canon, I know) were terrible. I haven't seen THE GHOST DIMENSION yet, but I'm sure that if it makes enough money they'll say "Nah, there's more to tell". No, there isn't! Most of them explained the origin of TOBY without advancing the story. I didn't care about where he came from or how; I cared about how to stop him/it. If he/it can't be stopped, then it's all been just a waste of time!

Next week: Candice Bergen, Jason Blum, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Elisha Cuthbert, Danny DeVito, Matt Dillon, Brad Fuller, Heather Graham, Melanie Griffith, Raja Gosnell, Don Johnson, Angelina Jolie, Jamie Kennedy, Ben Kingsley, Brian Levant, Barry Levinson, Eugene Levy, Lucy Liu, Robert Luketic, James Marsden, Neal Moritz, Amanda Peet, Sean Penn, Kelly Preston, Meg Ryan, Seann William Scott, Barry Sonnenfeld, Barbra Streisand or Patrick Warburton.
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9:44AM on 10/26/2015
Horror movie franchises never end
Horror movie franchises never end
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9:18AM on 10/26/2015

Guilty

The first three were decent and that's about it. Granted I've never been a big fan of found footage movies but these were never anything groundbreaking. After those three films the series turned to complete shit.
The first three were decent and that's about it. Granted I've never been a big fan of found footage movies but these were never anything groundbreaking. After those three films the series turned to complete shit.
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9:17AM on 10/26/2015
Guilty. The first movie was very inventive but its sequels just fell flat.
Guilty. The first movie was very inventive but its sequels just fell flat.
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8:48AM on 10/26/2015

Guilty

Glad this serial offender is finally being brought in. The concept was good in the first couple, but after that it has lost whatever made it something worthwhile.
Glad this serial offender is finally being brought in. The concept was good in the first couple, but after that it has lost whatever made it something worthwhile.
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8:31AM on 10/26/2015

Guilty!

Guilty, but with that said, I agree with Leadhand83's comment. The first three movies should have been it for the series. Hell, the first movie would have been enough of a thrillride without the other two movies.
Guilty, but with that said, I agree with Leadhand83's comment. The first three movies should have been it for the series. Hell, the first movie would have been enough of a thrillride without the other two movies.
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8:11AM on 10/26/2015

Guilty... but

I rather enjoyed the first two movies, but could careless about the others. It really should be the executives thrown into jail for continuously green lighting these sequels.
I rather enjoyed the first two movies, but could careless about the others. It really should be the executives thrown into jail for continuously green lighting these sequels.
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10:11AM on 10/26/2015
...or us for watching them
...or us for watching them
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