(Very light spoilage ahead. However, if you’ve seen a Madea movie or a previous Paranormal Activity–you probably have a strong idea how these movies end.)
So, I saw two bad movies. Thankfully, not in the same day. In both movies, characters are not friends with logic and the plot is not there to make sense–just to set-up scenes that the audience will (hopefully) enjoy.
A Madea Christmas, a comedy, is pretty good at setting up scenes that pay off in laughter. “Smart” characters do stupid things and viewers can see the consequences of bad decisions coming a mile away. However, the dramatic conflicts set up lots of opportunities for Tyler Perry, Larry (The Cable Guy) and Kathy Najimy to trade jokes. It’s not always knee slapping funny (and stereotypes for everyone!), but they are good for a chuckle.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is a movie that I walked out on after about an hour. I understand from other folks that the ending was this super awesome thing but I just didn’t care. It would have been a lot easier to like if there were some decent scares along the way to the finale. When you are sitting in a horror movie bored, faults that you would usually gloss over become too big to ignore. And beg to be mocked.
For example, this is Jesse, our main character and marked one, when he meets a girl at a party:
Hey, girl. Let’s go back to my house. Oh, wait, my grandma’s not in bed. Let’s go downstairs to the apartment where a woman rumored to be a witch was murdered a few days ago. A condom?* Oh, snap! Let me run off and get one and leave you here in this dead witch’s place–by the way, her killer is still at large. What could go wrong? Be right back!
And they communicate with the evil force through this:
Yeah. I’m sure I’ll watch the rest of The Marked Ones one day. Whenever it comes on tv and I can dvr it – and fast forward.
Conclusion: The people behind the Paranormal Activity franchise should tap Tyler Perry to write the screenplay for an upcoming chapter in the series. In fact, I think I’d like to see Madea and Jesse’s grandma (she knows Simon is evil!) team up in a movie to tackle a haunted house or a demon possessed mom-to-be.
*If nothing else, I was happy to see the young lady insist on a condom. Somebody in this movie had some sense.