Monday, 16 January 2012

Abnormal Activity (2010)

A lot of people watched The Blair Witch Project many years ago and immediately thought "I could do that, it's nothing special". Which led to all kinds of rip-offs and parodies (most notably The Bogus Witch Project, which I've sadly still not seen). So it's no surprise that just as many, if not more, people thought exactly the same thing when Paranormal Activity opened to such success. It's simplicity itself, to copy it should be a piece of cake. Here we have the parody, Abnormal Activity, to remind everyone that there's actually also some talent required.

The plot is all about . . . . . well . . . . . . . ummmm . . . . . . wait, there isn't any damn plot. Okay, a couple decide to start filming stuff after they notice some unusual things going on in their home but, trust me, this goes around and around in unfunny circles for just over an hour before finishing everything up with a lame punchline.

Writer-director Jason Gerbay (who also stars as Roger) obviously thought that he had stumbled upon a great idea but he should have just kept it in the form of the 15-minute short it started off as. The script doesn't sound like a script most of the time, it's full of rambling nonsense, incoherent moments and lines that someone with a poor sense of humour must have found funny at the time. The direction is just as bad. Gerbay obviously thought that all hand-held "found footage" films were just roughly planned out and then hastily edited here and there to exaggerate amateur filming. Once the headache wears off after viewing his attempt to recreate that style you'll realise that many proper movies (I'm sorry but this barely registers on the scale as a proper movie) within the subgenre actually get the balance of rawness and cinema just right. Unlike this.

The one high point is the presence of Lexy Lexington, a fun and likeable lady willing to really throw herself into every lame gag. Sadly, she gets less screentime while we're forced to endure a couple of painfully unfunny and "quirky" demonologists visiting the house and plenty of footage of Roger going around the house with the camera glued to his face.

There are very, VERY few movies that I give a 1/10 to because I always feel that as long as someone seems to be trying, as long as there is SOME kind of heart beating within the movie, then it deserves to score an extra point. As long as you don't watch the thing and think that it could have just as easily been directed by a group of gibbons fighting amongst themselves. Or, worst of all, as long as I don't think "even I could do better than that" (in this case, I'd think back to my short film I made as a teenager that featured me, a friend and some Boglins and realise I already DID make a better film).



  1. Wow, a 1/10 from the man who's watched almost the entirety of the Seagal oevre means there is some serious awfulness in the flick!

  2. Indeed sir, indeed. This is the fourth 1/10 I have ever given out. The others were given to Transmorphers, Home Alone 4 and Sherlock Bones.

  3. I've seen bits of "Home Alone 4". Dreadful mess. Poor Missy Pyle. At least now she is in stuff like "The Artist". Talk about career improvement.

  4. She's certainly had her ups and downs. But I felt equally bad for the guy who I used to enjoy in Third Rock From The Sun. Just a horrible, horrible film.