Scary Sh*t – Paranormal Activity 2

In my office, my friend told me that the Korea-Japan match was on. It was a match I was looking forward to, but it had somehow slipped my mind completely. Not that it’s all that mysterious, for later than night I had already arranged to watch ‘Paranormal Activity 2’ with a friend of mine. I was looking forward to it, because ‘TRON: Legacy’ seemed like a long time ago. It’s a reflection of the times that a film released around a month ago can already be considered outdated. The hype, the expectation, the anticipation is built and built and built over months, perhaps even years of hard work, blood and tears…only for the whole thing to be concluded by the opening weekend. By the third weekend of its release, you’ll be able to just waltz in and watch, without worrying about the crowds.

Something similar occurred for ‘Paranormal Activity 2’. The first was a big success, of course, and I was indeed scared by it. There’s no shame in admitting that, and in fact, I revel in it. I go to the cinema ready to be scared. Why? It’s a part of a process to let me know, and to test me that I am still able to watch films in a normal way. To receive it the way it’s meant to be received, and not be so fussy about the technical and aesthetics aspects of the films like some filmmakers. It is a part of me that I enjoy retaining, for it is my enjoyment of the movies and films that is central to almost everything that I do now. To lose that joy would be like to lose a part of myself, and I wouldn’t want that to happen.

So, I was scared sh*tless by the first one. And I was happy to be scared sh*tless in that way.

****

Jangan pandang belakang...

I plonked myself down at the local mamak, catching the action about 13 minutes in. I had estimated that I have enough time to watch the first half, at least. My commitments to my faux motherland would be fulfilled, somewhat. Going beyond that, I had expected to watch some good football. Japan and Korea are two of the finer teams in world football, and two of the finest in Asia. This is what the Asia Cup is all about: the best teams going head to head with one another. In all honesty, while Iraq’s win was romantic four years ago, the interest in that match was high more because of political matters (since they were playing against Iran), and not because they’re renowned for their good football ethics.

Japan and Korea, however, are a different story. If anything, these two teams ooze footballing quality, with some players having established themselves well not just in Asia, but also in Europe. A few days ago, my housemate was indifferent as to the potential quality on offer, because he “hasn’t heard of anyone coming through since Nakata”. I responded against that with good humour and logic, but I fear that it is such statements that makes him (and people like him) look like idiots. Even more so, it’ll make them look like idiots who pretend to know something about what it is they don’t know anything about. Of course, he’s the one missing out on the talents of Kagawa and Koo Ja-cheol, who will surely be moving to bigger clubs than Blackburn Rovers soon. Not to mention the fact that we also have the likes of Honda, Park Ji-sung and Lee Chung-yong on offer, and it makes for a very fluid first half, which finished 1-1. Keen to watch the second half, but not as keen to miss an appointment, I set off from the mamak with some optimism that Korea might make it through, but also aware that Japan had displayed more than enough to ensure the second half will be a tight affair.

Knock, knock.

They would go on to beat Korea on penalties after extra time. Dammit.

****

My friend had made reservations, but she couldn’t get there in time to get them. I went there first, and got the tickets for her and another friend of hers. There’s not that many people at GSC Midvalley at 11pm, though that shouldn’t really be a surprise. What was a surprise was the ticket prices on offer. I am more astounded by the specificity with which such tickets are sold. Tickets before 11am and after 6pm have different prices. Weekends, weekdays, blockbusters are all different as well. Some tickets have three different prices for the same category, listed as 11/12/13 in Ringgit Malaysia. I wonder about the increase in prices, and how fair it is. I took a picture of the list with my camera, mindful of a future article that I want to write.

My friend eventually arrived, being all flustered with her apologies. I wasn’t particularly worried, since we didn’t really miss anything. We got in in time near the end of the trailers, and I managed to catch the trailer for Zach Snyder’s next film, ‘Sucker Punch’. It seems like an exciting movie.

****

Baby boys: in demand. Is the spirit from mainland?

I drove home after the movie, contemplating the movie itself and how it made me feel. The adventures of Kristi (Sprague Grayden) and her family in being haunted was interesting, but not entirely new. Not that it mattered, because it was effective. It was a shocking movie in many parts, which, though it seems to be conventionally obvious, it still is something that got to me. I can specifically point to certain parts of the movie that made the hair at the back of neck stand, or the moments that almost literally shook me with surprise. You know something’s going to happen, you know it…but you don’t know what. The sound (and/or the lack of) was an important part of the film; I might screen the film or the first one to my students to discuss this.

I got into bed around 2:30am, maybe even 3am. I was exhausted. It’s been a long day, but in my head, the final scenes of the film kept replaying itself, and I kept turning towards the door of my room to see if there’s something I should be worried about.

I only managed to fall asleep around 7am due to pure exhaustion. This is the only line I really wanted to write about this film, but that would be cheating, wouldn’t it?

Fikri subsequently watched ‘REC’ with his friend last night, and is now on the lookout for its sequel.

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