Τετάρτη, 31 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)

Paranormal Activity III (2011) Discover how the activity began 

Paranormal Activity 3 is the third film of Paranormal Activity film franchise, the plot structure of Paranormal Activity 3 is actually a prequel to the initial Paranormal Activity film (Oren Peli, 2007). The third film of the legendary series was directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman.

The plot structure of Paranormal Activity 3

The film Paranormal Activity 3 begins in 2005, when Katie delivers a box of VHS tapes to her pregnant sister Kristie and to her’s husband Daniel. After a year the box with the VHS tapes is missing.

The story then moves back in the past somewhere in 1998, Kristie and Katie lie with their mother Julie and hers mother boyfriend Dennis. Kristie starts to communicate with an individual boy named Toby. Dennis is the first to notice the happening of strange things in the house. Julie and Dennis decided to make a sex video but they were unlucky because their effort was interrupted and stopped by an earthquake. During the earthquake Julie and Dennis were looking for the girls, camera stays on and records dust falling from ceiling and records the shape of an invisible shape in the room. After a few seconds the shape moves and the dust falls to the floor.     

You can see the trailer of Paranormal Activity 3

to be continued

Elias Stoikos

Relative Articles

I need to mention that this article tries to provide information to reader using all the available data on the day of its publishing. New information and data for this subject and issue are published every day. It’s been highly recommended to the reader to search on Google for more information. World is moving searching is the driving force. Searching is the source of inspiration and the source of truth.     

Τρίτη, 9 Οκτωβρίου 2012

The 50s Horror Movies

Fifties the Decade of Horror and Science Fiction crossover

During 40s horror films were characterised by the high - contrast of black and white, with shadows like pools of ink and protagonists slipping into near insanity. In the 50s horror films changed the semi - documentary grey with everyday heroes and finally conquered the silver screens.

The period of 50s was the decade of McCarthysm, the fear of atomic warfare, juvenile delinquency, the Suez crisis and the mass expansion of Rock n Roll music. After World War II and especially after the Nazis, the Holocaust and the Red Soviet threat the lone Count from Transylvania and Dr. Frankestein’s monster were not able to create fear to audience. However, monsters could soon be back, dressed in new suit and transformed into modern creatures.

The most significant Horror movies of the Fifties

The Thing from Another World (Christian Nyby, 1951) is one of the most significant and one of the most influential horror films of this decade.  
Actually, “The thing from another world” is a crossover between horror and science fiction, the plot structure of the film is about alien invasion. The Alien in the film “The Thing from another world” is evil, aggressive and deadly. The victims of the Alien deadly attack are members of a scientific research team and military (air force) personnel in an Artic base. The Thing film follows the typical horror film plot structure a team of people trapped somewhere and being under attack of an unstoppable, unexplained and deadly force.

The Thing from Another World” shares elements of classic Universal Monsters films. The alien monster is a vegetable bitped, looks like a bald Frankestein monster in boiler suit and has the Dracula habit of drinking human blood, but more of the above the filmmakers innovated more cliche’s. 

The shadows of the menace Artic base may be deep but the main characters of the film show only sensible fear and treat the monster like a problem to be solved. Among the human characters is developed a conflict about the alien monster. The military crew wants to destroy the alien creature, scientists want to communicate with it and learn from it. This conflict between military duty to protect the country and humanity and the scientific point of view appears almost in every alien, dinosaur or radioactive mutant in fifties horror movies. Also, Thing established the matter - of - fact semi - documentary tone of the film which finally was copied by a large number of 50s horror film.

The Science Fiction - Horror crossover of 50’s

In 50’s spaceships, rockets and space suits were not enough to create science fiction film style and atmosphere. Almost all science fiction movies of the period take care to include a monster to qualify at least as a semi - horror movies. I can mention the enormously powerful robot Gont in the the film “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (Robert Wise, 1951), the giant squid in the film “"2000 Leagues under the sea" (Richard Fleitcher, 1954), the Metaluna Mutant (bug eyed, inject - limbed and exposed brain) in the film “"This Island Earth" (Joseph Newman, 1955). But the monster did not appear only in horror films, but also in other films. 

Mutants were presented to 50’s horror films, among them we can distinguish “The Werewolf” (Fred F. Sears, 1956), “The Vampire” (Paul Landres, 1957) and “Frankenstein 1970" (Howard Koch, 1958).

On the following video you can see the theatrical trailer of the film “Thing from Another World”  

I need also to highlight the fact that Radioactive mutants beasts (monsters) appear in Cinema as result of the nuclear competition between superpowers during the 50s decade. “The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms” (Eugene Lourie, 1953) is  a classic horror film of that decade and presents a radioactive dinosaur which was created after a bomb test at the North Pole, also the film “Them!” (GordonDouglas, 1954) presents transformed Insects after the first atomic in 1945. At the other side of the Pacific Ocean Ishiro Honda filmed the legendary Gojira “Godjila” (1954) then Terry O. Morse will produce the US Edition of Gojira with the title “Godzilla, Kings of Metal”.

The atomic power as result of mutation and the transformation of innocent humans into monsters was a common concept in 50s. Among the films with relative theme are “The Neanderthal Man” (Ewald Ante Dupont, 1953), “The Fly” (Kurt Newmann, 1958), “Monster on the Campus” (Jack Arnold, 1958), “The Hideous Sun Demon” (Robert Clark, Tom Boutross, 1959).

On the following video you can see the original Japanese theatrical trailer of the film “Gojira” (Known as Godzilla in Western Countries)

Horror from Space the Fifties masterpieces

The classic novel of the H.G. Wells “The War of the Worlds” was adapted for cinema theaters and aliens arrived in sleek, aerodynamic murder machines with tri - lobed, snake - necked probes to conquer earth, the film was directed by Byron Haskin in 1953. The concept of mass alien invasion was popular during fifties but because of financial reasons (limited resources) the plot structure of fifties horror films was transformed from mass aliens to alone alien troublemakers as in films like “ Phantom from Space” (W. Lee Wildw 1953) and “Devil Girl from Mars” (David McDonald, 1955)            

During 50s the Universal Studios were against heading the monster films genre. The majority of Universal Horror films were produced by William Alland and they were directed by Jack Arnold. Among the most significant films of that period are “It came from outer space”  (1953, Jack Arnold), the plot structure is about an alien visitor, “Tarantula” (1955, Jack Arnold) a film about a monster bug, also significant film is the “Monolith Monsters” (1957,John Sherwood) also the “Magnetic Monsters” (1953, Kurt Siodmak).  

In my opinion the most significant of all monster films is “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954, Jack Arnold) a film about a humanoid monster who lives underwater in a black lagoon somewhere in the tropics. The Monster from the Black Lagoon is a great movie and the storyline of the movie is similar to the “monster and the beauty” legend.
Also interesting films of the fifties are “Revenge of the Creature” (1955, Jack Arnold) and “The Creature Walks Among Us” (1956, John Sherwood).

The Grind - house outfits in the mid fifties

In the fifties parallel with the major studios works were also significant movies produced by independent filmmakers like James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff’s all of them work with AIP (American International Pictures) Studios.  Limited financial resources was a huge factor for rediscovering horror and science fiction genre and changing the point of view by focusing directly on a mostly teenage, drive - in audience. To the kids, heroes in uniforms like Kenneth Tobey seemed square. Significant works of AIP are “"Invasion of the Saucer Men” (1958, Edward Cahn) “The Blob” (1958, Irvin Yeaworth).

The plot structure of the Blob is about the inability of adults to combat the menace archetypal big - eyes monsters, only teenagers can fight and destroy the monsters. During that period AIP unleashed movies created by young producer - director Roger Corman - the most significant of them are:  “It Conquered the World” (1956, Roger Corman), “Not of this earth” (1957, Roger Corman), and the “Attack of the Crab Monsters” (1957, Roger Corman). Actually  AIP films have terrific pace and they can be watched pleasantly. Also, significant movies of this period are also - “The Amazing Colossal Man” (1959, Bert I.Gordon) and”The Wasp Woman” (1959, Roger Corman)                           

The Scientific Developments and the Conspiracy Theories affected the horror genre during fifties. As a result there was the production of films such as “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” (Don Siegel, 1956) the plot structure of the film is about a small town where people came down with an epidemic of an unusual delusion - that their friends and relatives have changed. There were people who believed that film “Invasion of Body Snatchers” is a film about the vision of Senator McCarthy about communist hunting in United States of America. This theory can be accepted but there are also psychological readings about this film. The Body Snatchers ground from seed, owe a little of stories about doppenlgangers (inspired by works of Poe “William Wilson” and Tthe Student of Prague”), vampirism or demon  possession, but Finney set out a modem with which has proved useful ever since.

On the following video you can see the trailer of the film “Invansion of the Body Snatchers”

The Gothic horror during fifties

The Gothic horror is represented in fifties by films as “The Son of Dr. Jekyll” (1951, Seymour Friedman), “The Strange Door” (1951, Joseph Pavney), “The Black Castle” (1951, Nathan Juran) which is actually a remake of the film “The most dangerous game”. Also, during the fifties we have the film “House of Wax” (1953, ….) which is actually a remake of the film “Mystery of the Wax Museum” (1933, …). Finally the Gothic style horror films were based of plot ideas about the 19th century mad science, voodoo and mummies with stars as Lugosi, Chaney Jr, Karloff and finally they were produced by Howard W. Koch - films like “The Black Sleep” (1950, …), “Voodoo Island” (1957, …), “Frankestain 1970” (1958, …), “Pharaoh’s Curse” (1958,...).

to be continued

Elias Stoikos

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Horror Cinema by Steven Jay Schneider, Jonathan Penner, Paul Duncan
The Horror Film by Peter Hutching 
Reel Terror: The Story, Bloody, Gory, Hundred - Years History of Classic Horror Films  by David Konow
Dark Directions: Romeo, Craven, Carpenter and the Modern Horror Film  by Kendall R. Phillips 

I need to mention that this article tries to provide information to reader using all the available data on the day of its publishing. New information and data for this subject and issue are published every day. It’s been highly recommended to the reader to search on Google for more information. World is moving searching is the driving force. Searching is the source of inspiration and the source of truth.     

Τρίτη, 2 Οκτωβρίου 2012

Paranornal Activity - Scare tips and clever film techniques

Paranormal Activity decoding a successful film model

As I have already mentiones in my previous articles about Paranormal Activity films, the initial film of Oren Peli “Paranormal  Activity, 2007” has started one of the most successful film franchises in history of cinema. There is a large number of articles online about Paranormal Films most of them try to describe the plot structure of films and issues about production and commercial success of the films.

In my opinion the most significant is to start a the key points of success. To search and explore the filmmakinmg tips that have change the  film industry after 2007. Obviously after the Paranormal Activity film we life a new wave of “found footage” horror films. Actually is the largest film production wave after the first found footage film  “Cannibals Holocaust” (Rugerro Deodato, 1980) and the late 90’s phenomenon “Blair Witch Project”(Daniel Myrik, Eduardo Sanches). Paranormal Activity redefined the found footage genre after a period of slashers and torture horror films.

So, by studying the Paranormal Activity films I believe it is valuable  to decode and highlight  the key points and elements of success of Paranormal Activity films.

Decoding the plot structure of Paranormal Activity films

The plot structure of film is based on the most used, tested and successful plot structure of horror films -  a group of ordinary people (in the case of Paranormal Activity a family) are trapped in an unusual situation against a deadly, unstoppable and unbeatable force. They have to fight back if they want to survive.

1. The Vilain in Paranormal Activity

Since the beginning of our word and especially through holly scripts that humanity has to fight the supernatural weird creatures “demons, ghosts, evil spirits etc”. In the case of Paranormal Activity - Oren Peli very cleverly uses as villain the most dangerous, evil and deadly supernatural villain - a demon.

2. Unique point of view - Believability rather than camera work

Paranormal Activity has a different point of view as a film. The plot structure is presented to audience through hidden cameras, security cameras, video chats etc.  Oren Peli wanted his audience to believe the story, to feel the demon and finally fear after the end of the film. As I know the first film maker who used this technique is the Japanese  Takashi Kinato, who filmed the scene of a bank robbery using a security camera.  

3. The villain is believable in Paranormal Activity

They use to say “sometimes lays are more believable than truth”. Obviously Oren Peli studied and searched relative issues about paranormal, supernatural and demons. As a result the mythology of the demon in Paranormal Activity is built step by step by presenting firstly the results of the demon’s actions (sounds), then by presenting the more results (open doors, TV turn off etc) and finally by presenting the violent part of demonic presence.  It’s a villain from the supernatural world, we can see him only through the result of his actions and the human reaction to his action.  

4.  Paranormal Activity follows the Alfred Hitchcock’s model

The villain in Paranormal Activity is a “demon” a deadly, vil and aggressive supernatural creature. Audience can not see it, the villain is introduced step by step and very slowly. Actually this technique to not present to audience the villain directly was introduced by legendary British filmmaker Sir Alfred Hitchcock. The most significant example of this approach is the film Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960), Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975), Duel (Steven Spielberg, 1971).

5. The plot structure of Paranormal Activity
Paranormal Activity follows the most used and the most successful plot structure for horror films - a group of people is trapped into an unexplained situation and they are under the attack of an unexplained, aggressive and unknown force. In Paranormal Activity we have a family and the force is a demon. This model is used almost in all horror films as examples I can mention Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978), Friday the 13th (Sean Cunningham, 1980) etc

to be continued

Elias Stoikos

Relative Articles

Paranormal Activity - Wikipedia

Oren Peli

Paranormal Activity 2 - Internet Movie Database

Paranormal Activity 3

Paranormal Activity Official

I need to mention that this article tries to provide information to reader using all the available data on the day of its publishing. New information and data for this subject and issue are published every day. It’s been highly recommended to the reader to search on Google for more information. World is moving searching is the driving force. Searching is the source of inspiration and the source of truth.