Paranormal something

I went to see Paranormal Activity 2 today. I watched the original Paranormal Activity and it scared the hell out of me so my friend asked, “Didn’t you sleep with the lights on for a week after seeing the first one?” I said I did. He said, “Then why are you seeing the second one?” I looked at him like he was crazy because the question made no sense. Of course I would see the second one. The first one was totally scary. But, thinking about it, it is a really good question: why would I want to see a film that I would find so scary?

People like scary movies. It’s thrilling and yet comforting to be frightened within the confines of a two-hour movie, knowing that when it’s over life goes back normal. It’s seeing danger through a protective, bulletproof glass but not touching.

But this is different. This fear carries over to my daily life and affects one of my favourite things in the world—sleep. So why would I want to see this film?

Different horror movie tropes appeal to different people. I think, for example, some people are into zombie movies because zombies represent utter, mindless conformity and this terrifies them; maybe they feel afraid of becoming exactly like everyone else or perhaps it’s a righteous acknowledgement that the world is full of vacuous automatons.

My monsters of choice are demons. I think it’s because they embody pure, supernatural evil and I don’t believe in evil. That’s not to say I don’t believe in evil acts or evil intentions, but I don’t believe in a supernatural, capital-E Evil.

People do evil things and we judge them according to our own backgrounds. Is murder an evil act? Most people would say yes. Is discriminating against gays evil? I think it is, though many people who consider themselves Christian, who believe in Evil, would disagree. If evil exists outside of us, then it’s not our fault. If we can quantify it as something different from us; something separate and distinct, then people commit evil acts because of Evil. And all we need to do is resist that Evil, fight a mythological fight, and we’re good. It’s simple. There’s no moral ambiguity.

It’s more complicated than that though. People kill other people because they’re poor and desperate, because they’re weak, because they’re mentally ill. They kill other people because they make a choice to. They have lived their lives up to that point and their past and experiences and their own inner natures have brought them there and they make the choice to commit an evil act. It’s not supernatural, it’s human.

But I wish there were Evil, I wish there were demons. It would be so easy. There’d be no grey, only black and white. If true Evil existed the little choices you make each day would matter less because they never truly add up to anything; only the big choices, the decisions you make concerning Evil would really matter and all you’d need to do is recognise those choices. And our daily mundanity would evaporate because there’d be true, righteous meaning. Metaphor would become reality.

This is why I wanted to see Paranormal Activity 2: part of me likes having to sleep with the lights on, likes being afraid of a supernatural evil that’s lurking in the darkness. I want to believe there’s something out there that’s Evil. I want to believe in black and white and not in this maddening, never-ending grey.

So I went to see Paranormal Activity 2. It’s totally crap. I wasn’t scared at all.

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~ by kellly333 on October 27, 2010.

2 Responses to “Paranormal something”

  1. baaahahahahaha LOL, the last line just makes this thoughtful post so pure awesomeness.

  2. This is discriminatory against demons.

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